Music Reviews By B.K. Hart


Fresh Voice on the Rise-Jamie Rhine

Ever listen to a country singer do a cover of a song and knew from the gate that the artist was destined to be great someday? But somewhere deep inside the track was a micro-setback that kept them two steps away from the door? Maybe it was the delivery, the dynamics, the presence, or something that was just not enough.

Or did you ever hear a young lady sing, and her voice was so clear and crisp, the pitch so right, the inflections so true, and the expression so real it made you want to cry tears of joy, or fill up inside with involvement? But there was something in the track that made you say, "well, I just didn't feel it like I should have".

I had the privilege of hearing a young lady by the name of Jamie Rhine perform a rendition of Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee", which, as I understand it, is simply named "Bobby McGee". I listened to this track several times, and quite frankly, it got better every time I heard it.

This young lady's voice is so expressive, so clear and so pitch-right, I almost cried (really) with involvement. She sings this track with such a conviction, and such a likeness, that Janis herself would have stood up and cried. She delivers a sense of ownership with the music that instantly makes the professional take notice that she could take any music and make it hers just by her go-get-it style alone. This artist will no doubt raise the bar for artists coming behind her as she combines the nostalgic flavor of a legend with the the exuberance of her own youth and power. If she continues to put in the work, she will definitely make the grade.

The only setback in this track has nothing to do with Jamie, however. She has the pitch control, the power, the presence, and the stamina to deliver her beautiful voice to perfection. But what she lacked in this project was an able engineering staff. Her vocals seemed shallow and punchless, and being a producer myself, I know it wasn't her fault. I have written before about inexperienced engineers cutting their chops on artists' expenses, and this is definitely one of those cases. The sound of the background music was empty of dynamics, although it was quite rhythmic and flowing. Jamie's voice wasn't given the treatment it deserved, considering her caliber of vocal strength. It was left a little flat, but the fact that she has a strong voice rose her above all that. Despite the obvious lack of adequate skill on the part of her engineer, who may indeed be a pretty good guy, Jamie Rhine soars over and above any obstacles in her path. Watch out, country music, move over and make room for more royalty!


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