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Kimmie Rhodes

Kimmie Rhodes Stables Milton Keynes

27th Jan 2016

kimmieBy Lesley Hastings

Texan born Kimmie has no less than 16 studio albums under her belt, her songs have been recorded by the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Wynonna Judd and Tricia Yearwood, and she has co-written with some of the greats including Emmylou Harris and Beth Nielsen Chapman. Not to mention her three musical plays, acting, book writing, documentary producing……..we are lucky she has time to tour!
And indeed I was lucky to get to this intimate gig last night (in the venue’s smaller, 100 seater space), I had snapped up the last available ticket after missing her recent Midwinterfest performance due to illness but needed a second one for my friend/driver as I broke my wrist and can’t yet get behind the wheel. Thanks to the power of social media, the lovely staff at The Stables came up trumps!

I love this gem of a venue as it attracts genuine music lovers who listen intently to the artist performing, and this was the case last night with the audience entranced throughout the two hour-long sets. Kimmie’s voice is hauntingly beautiful, emotional and at times vulnerable which for me is a welcome change from many singers who feel the need to belt out songs with often little thought about the actual lyrics. She was joined on stage for some of her numbers by her daughter, Jolie Goodnight (who in fact opened the proceedings competently with covers of two jazz standards from her debut album) her more focused tones blending well with her mother, whether they were harmonising or duetting. Of the latter, their rendition of “You Don’t Know Me” from Jolie’s album was particularly praiseworthy. A real “family affair”, as usual it was Kimmie’s son, Gabriel (” Gabe”) accompanying her most impressively on lead guitar (not too flashy, doing just what was needed) and adding the occasional harmony, while Kimmie played rhythm guitar throughout. There is something special about families who perform together, I think, a sort of unspoken and unique bond/understanding that can’t be manufactured. And in case you are unaware, Gabe has also produced many of her albums. Also joining the family on stage was the UK’s incredible B.J. Cole who sat pensively, adding some really atmospheric lap steel where pertinent (he is also an amazing pedal steel player, in case you aren’t aware) …. I felt so fortunate to have witnessed this surprise appearance!

With so much material to choose from, including her most recent release from March 2015 ” Cowgirl Boudoir”, the set was a fantastic mix of Kimmie’s original songs and a few covers ( she has put out an entire covers album, incidentally) interspersed with some amusing and informative tales and anecdotes, including telling us of the the inspiration behind some of her compositions and stories about how she met both her late husband Joe Gracey after moving to Austin and her “songwriting husband” , longtime collaborator Gary Nicholson, in Nashville, about whom she said ” we consummated our relationship by writing “‘Love me Like A Song” which went on to be recorded as a Kimmie/ Willie Nelson duet. One particularly amusing interlude related to her Lubbock in Northwest Texas, her home from the age of five until she married, which she described as a stark place with little there apart from prairie dogs but which oddly enough was the birthplace of Buddy Holly and home to Waylon Jennings……what was it about this otherwise inauspicious town that produced such great musicians? Kimmie said the only theory she and Waylon could come up with was it was something to do with the DDT that was sprayed by trucks to kill the mosquito population (their bites lead to the disease encephalitis), with parents encouraging their kids to go and play outside when the trucks turned up! At ease throughout the evening whether singing or recounting such tales, Kimmie connected with her audience really well, and both during the interval and after the gig was happy to mingle, signing CDs and chatting to her fans. Saving one of her most well-known compositions for her encore, she finished a most enjoyable evening with her Emmylou Harris co-write ” Love and Happiness” and received a well-deserved standing ovation.


West Texas Heaven
Loved By You
Just One Love
Love Me Like A Song
Bells of Joy
God’s Acre
Worthy Cause
Love and Happiness
Catch The Wind (cover)
Raining In My Heart (cover)
Just Someone
Just Drove By
You Don’t Know Me (cover)
White Freightliner (cover)


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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