Louiville, Kentucky native, Alan Rhody released his ninth album, “Led by Love” in 2012. He has recorded with such greats as John Prine, John Hartford, Sam Bush and Maura O’Connell. Known for his easy-going but engaging stage presence, moving ballads and all-out charges into rockabilly and blues, he is a highly expressive guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player who always gives it all on stage. A typical Rhody concert showcases mostly his own songs, but he also delights audiences with his own memorable interpretations of songs by some of his favorite artists-writers as well as ancient traditional tunes. And though his songs have earned platinum and gold record awards, what he likes best is connecting with an audience and having a great time!
"Led by Love" marvelously ties together several musical and personal threads of Alan’s life. In many ways, it brings his music and songwriting full circle, from the topical “Bad Times” and “They Call Me The Truth” to the very personal and poignant “Old D-28” and “The Great Beyond”. An individual high point in Rhody's four-decade award-winning career, the collection offers his signature story-telling; original melodies and stellar musical backing and production.
Rhody’s music and performances have been vital parts of the country and folk roots music world for the last thirty-five years. Over those years Rhody has kept up a busy schedule of touring and conducting songwriter workshops as well as being an accomplished painter. As a songwriter he is responsible for the first Billboard No. 1 for the Oak Ridge Boys (“I’ll Be True To You,”); Ricky Van Shelton’s first Billboard Top 30 (“Wild-Eyed Dream,”) and Lorrie Morgan’s first Billboard Top 20 (“Trainwreck Of Emotion,” w/Jon Vezner). His compositions have also been recorded by a long list of other diverse artists such as Del McCoury, Michael Murphey, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Lynn Anderson, Toby Keith, Suzie Boggus, Lee Greenwood, The Atlanta Rhythm Section and Kevin Welch.
It all started in Louisville, where Alan was an art student and a fan of all kinds of music. While attending The Art Center Association School, where he graduated on a full scholarship with a major in painting, some friends had a rock and roll band and invited him to a rehearsal. They asked him to sing a song and really liked what they heard, offering him a spot in the band if he learned to play harmonica. That year, as one of the two lead vocalist and the harmonica player with the Kingspades, the seeds were planted to what would become a life-long endeavor. Rhody was inspired by the folk and blues stars of the time, to go out and purchase an acoustic guitar. Within two years he started composing his first few original songs. He later traveled to the west coast and across Canada developing his music and working as an advertising artist. By 1973 he had released his first single recordings and performed on several CBC and CTV network TV programs including Nashville North, Canada’s hugely popular TV program hosted by one of his musical heroes, Ian Tyson.
In 1977 at age 31 and married with three children, Rhody with his wife Kathy, took the huge step to move to Nashville, Tennessee, after signing with publishing/production giant, Tree International (now SonyATV). Upon his arrival, he was immediately recognized as a bright new talent and began having his original songs recorded by a Who's Who of country, folk and bluegrass. His breakthrough as a writer came with his haunting ballad, “I’ll Be True To You,” recorded by a gospel quartet making their first venture into the country market. The quartet, The Oak Ridge Boys took Rhody's song straight to No. 1, crossing over into the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. It became a “country classic” and still receives regular airplay after 35 years, also having won the BMI "Million-Airs" Award.
“That single certainly invented me as a writer in town and drew a lot of excitement my way,” says Rhody.
As a visual artist, Rhody has focused on portraiture and figurative works of late, including one of his friend and co-writer, Murray McLauchlan. The painting is featured on cover of McLauchlan's new solo release, "Human Writes". As a poet, Alan is one of forty-six U.S. writers featured in the new anthology, "Filtered Through Time" (Westview), reflecting on the 150th Anniversary of The Civil War.
“A singer-songwriter of unusual clarity and intelligence.”
-Peter Cooper, The Tennessean
"He has earned a level of respect and recognition that places him ended up living and working in Canada for the next eight yearsin the vanguard of pioneers of the contemporary roots music movement.”
- Greg Quill, Toronto Star
“If you’ve never seen this Nashville singer-songwriter perform, you’re missing out on one of our most entertaining and amusing acoustic troubadours.”
- Robert K. Oermann, author, music journalist, historian
“Solid, tough, trim and clear as a bell. He is consistently head and shoulders above the pack. I’m a confirmed fan and always have been.”
-Kevin Welch, Dead Reckoning artist, songwriter
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