Every so often a voice comes along that moves you. I mean, sure, there are a lot of really good singers out there and around town. I could rattle off 15 people really easy who have great voices (probably easier than rattling off those whose voices aren’t great, there are a few…but I digress). But there is something that just clicks and gives you chills, the ones where your legs kind of lock up and your shoulders tremble. Julie Rhodes commands a voice like this and she gets me every single time.
When a friend sent me along Julie’s EP to give a listen to I did as I usually do, put my ear buds in while working at my desk, but something was different. When her take on the song “Wade in the Water” came through the wire I stopped typing, I stopped moving, I just kind of froze in place and then had immediate sense that this was something special. I immediately wrote back to Jonah telling him about this experience and that he had found someone special…he didn’t need me to tell him that, he already knew.
Tolchin’s response in regards to the singer, “Julie Rhodes is the future of Soulful music. She holds in her heart, mind, and vocal chords what the world needs to hear. I’ve been producing Julie’s new record, and I’m extremely excited about it. I think that it will mark the first chapter of an awe-inspiring career for her.”
Coming off of “Who’s That Yonder?”, Rhodes took to the clubs. Rounded up a band and started playing the usual suspect bars of Somerville and Cambridge. Each time gaining some new fans and wowing a few more sets of ears in the process. Just about a year from sitting down and penning her first song, she is an instant veteran of gigging and winning over an audience. Seriously, her take of ‘Turtle Blues’ SLAYS a crowd. Bringing them to their knees and raising them back up again. Now, she is back at it in the studio. Recording basic tracks with our good friend Eric Lichter at Dirt Floor studios, hitting up FAME studios in Muscle Shoals for some overdub sessions, and having some pretty impressive players add their input to her songs.
“Jonah first introduced me to Julie last winter at Club Passim, and she was instantly likable, if a bit shy. Jonah raved about her, and I trust him, so we made plans to track at Dirt Floor the following summer. When she first opened her mouth to sing my jaw dropped, and she’s an incredible writer as well. It would be too easy to compare her with certain singers,so I won’t. What I will say is this- she’s a musical force to be reckoned with.” says Eric Lichter, owner/engineer at Dirt Floor studio where Julie’s full length record has begun tracking.
2014 was a break out year for this gal. I can say without hesitation that 2015 is going to be a blockbuster year for this soul queen. I cannot wait to see what comes down the road for Julie Rhodes, she is paving a way all her own with some great friends along for the ride to support.
(photo by Steve Benoit)