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Two pioneering women of bluegrass come together to kick off SMF 2018 in the North Garden Assembly Room!

Seven-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Female Vocalist of the Year Rhonda Vincent was born into bluegrass music, first performing in the late 1960s at age 5 alongside her family members in the Sally Mountain Show. Her family’s band toured extensively throughout the 1970s and 80s, with Vincent’s solo career launching in 1985. After a brief foray into mainstream country, she returned to her bluegrass roots two decades ago, and has been one of the most celebrated entertainers in the genre ever since. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage consists of Vincent on mandolin and lead vocals, Hunter Berry on fiddle, Brent Burke on dobro, Aaron McDaris on banjo, Josh Williams on guitar and Mickey Harris on bass.

Claire Lynch established herself as an exceptional talent as lead vocalist for the Front Porch String Band beginning in the 1970s. Over her career, she has won six IBMA awards and been nominated for three Grammys. Dolly Parton praises her as having “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business.” This is the Claire Lynch Band’s debut appearance at SMF. The band, which has been in existence for more than a decade, features Lynch, joined by Bryan McDowell on fiddle, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and bassist Mark Schatz.

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