Kimmie Rhodes is a name that may not be known to the causal Country fan in the UK but is an artist who, since the release of her debut album ‘Kimmie Rhodes & The Jackalope Brothers’ in 1981, has earned the reputation as one of the finest Texan singer-songwriters in the business. Fourteen further albums have been released whilst her material has been recorded by the likes of Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Emmylou Harris & Willie Nelson. Indeed Willie Nelson features prominently throughout Kimmie’s career, it was the veteran artist who invited Rhodes to record her first album in his Pedernales studio, whilst the two also recorded a glorious duets album ‘Pictures In A Frame’ in 2003.
Rhodes grew up in Lubbock, Texas and began singing as early as the age of six, taking centre stage in a gospel trio with her father & brother. Fascinatingly her singing career initially took a backseat to being a florist, whilst raising a family Kimmie also ran an independent greenhouse business and florists. During this time she began writing poetry and learned to play the guitar developing a further love for music. A move to Austin, Texas in 1979 kick-started a move in to the business professionally, quickly forming that first band Kimmie Rhodes & The Jackalope Brothers. ‘Man In The Moon’, Kimmie’s second album was released in 1985 and was the first to be released in the UK, prompting live appearances in the UK & Ireland, including headlining sets at London’s Wembley Festival. Those tours across the Atlantic have continued, helping the singer to build a loyal fanbase on our shores.
Her most recent album ‘Covers’ debuted in 2013 and featured (unsurprisingly) interpretations from Kimmie of songs written by legendary writers such as Lennon & McCartney, Bob Dylan & Neil Young. Criss-crossing genres the record was an amazing mix of sounds and a triumphant collection, one of the highlights of which ‘Adam’s Song’ is a duet with Rodney Crowell who describes Kimmie as having ‘the soul of a poet, and the voice of an angel‘. A new album ‘Cowgirl Boudoir’ is set for release on 9th March, it sees Rhodes picking up her own songwriting pen again to deliver 14 tracks to delight her fans, and deserving to win over plenty of new followers. Producer Gabriel Rhodes (one of Kimmie’s sons) helps with the writing, as does guest artist Johnny Goudie who also duets with Kimmie on two tracks.
Opening track ‘I Am Falling’ sees Rhodes & Goudie teaming up on a wonderful steel guitar-soaked mid-tempo tale of a couple succumbing to love, whilst ‘Having You Around’ is a atmospheric toe-tapper with the pair displaying impeccable harmonies. ‘Lover Killing Time’ is one of the strongest solo tracks from Kimmie, also a track solely penned, an exquisite & timeless slow-shuffle instantly transporting the listener to a smoky bar in Texas. ‘Worthy Cause’ with its’ bohemian 70’s feel is another stand-out, as is buoyant closing track ‘Yes’ with a loose acoustic feel & tremendous picking. ‘Cowgirl Boudoir’ is an album that sounds equally at home in 2015, as it would back when Kimmie announced herself on the UK scene in 1985. Flavours of the music from all of the decades in between mix together with the traditional Texas Country sound to create a hugely appealing record, all sung exquisitely by a charming vocalist.
In order to support the release of ‘Cowgirl Boudoir’ Kimmie Rhodes is embarking on a tour of UK & Ireland in March. Beginning in Belfast on 19th March, the tour takes in six Irish dates ending in Armagh on 25th March. Kimmie then heads to England to play Bristol, Leeds & Basingstoke, before closing the tour on 1st April in London (get full details here). Kimmie will also be appearing at Country 2 Country festival on 8th March, as part of the ‘Under The Apple Tree Sessions’ taking place at The Saloon Stage.
‘Cowgirl Boudoir’ is released on Sunbird Records on 9th March and is available for pre-order now.