Rhonda Towns
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Rhonda Towns

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Review by Bill Yates, Roots66.com

You could say Rhonda Towns had been singing all her life and you would be right. At age four she was singing with the adults in the choir in her father's church in Arizona. She sang for church, for schoolmates, for talent contests, and just because she loved it. But she (and her parents) turned down offers in order to complete school. After leaving college, Towns appeared in shows for the Black Country Music Association, Black Entertainment Television, Ed McMahon's Star Search, commercials, and print advertising. Of course, in addition to her vocal talent, her model beauty didn't hurt. Her musical influences are Reba McEntire, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Pride, and Vince Gill. I Wanna Be Loved By You is Towns' debut album.

Towns begins with the sweet "Somethin' Better," a song of real love. The upbeat title song "I Wanna Be Loved By You" is self-explanatory. "Those Were the Nights" is a reminiscence come to mind upon meeting a former lover. Towns expresses her strong Christian faith with a very fine a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer." "Storm Before the Calm" describes the relationship between two strong-willed people who fight but make up.

"Waiting for You" encourages a reluctant, previously hurt lover to open up to new love. "Plenty More Love" is a very nice danceable fun piece. In "I've Heard the Wind Blow Before," the singer has learned not to succumb to the words of her unfaithful lover. A discarded lover tells off her former lover in "Go On With Yourself." A "Slow Rain" brings back memories and gives rise to a request for the lovers to get together.

I Wanna Be Loved By You is a very fine accomplishment for a first album—or even second or third album. Rhonda Towns is a very talented new voice in country music. She has a nice, strong, clear voice and is capable of straight singing or adding that right touch of country twang. She projects well and the recorded sound is clear and balanced and doesn't drown her voice in the supporting music. The song selection is good, varied, and of high quality. The musicians are very good and the whole production is thoroughly professional. A few more tracks would have been nice. I look forward to her next recording. Keep your ears peeled for Rhonda Towns. Get the album and you'll be able to tell your friends you spotted her talent right from the first recording she made.

My Favorite Songs: "Plenty More Love," "Those Were the Nights," "Slow Rain"
Rating: [Rating: 4-1/2 notes] 4-1/2 notes
- William Theron Yates


I'm not really an expert on girl singers. I've spent a lifetime thinking I didn't really like girl singers. Once I was talking about this with Judy Henske (or maybe it was Pamela Polland) and I told her that I only really liked Linda Ronstadt, and Joni Mitchell, and kd lang, Bonnie Raitt, and maybe a little Joan Baez, and she said, "Don't kid yourself man...sounds to ME like you like chick singers!" Anyway, here are a couple more.

Rhonda Towns' list of musical influences includes Patsy Cline, Reba McIntyre, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Pride and Vince Gill, so it's no surprise that her album I Wanna Be Loved By You is a much more straight country project. It's another great sounding record, with guitars, banjo, drums, the ever-present pedal steel and Rhonda's real country voice.

Songs were chosen from the Nashville storehouse. Remember, you can't swing a cat in Nashville without hitting a songwriter. They're all professional, well-constructed and sort of familiar sounding. The title track sounds like a hit, catchy tune, great singing and country fusion backing (with a swell electric guitar solo).

Rhonda was a winner on Ed McMahon's Star Search, she's been on TV with Crook'n'Chase, and in 2000 she became the first black female country music artist to tour in Europe. This debut CD has a slick polished sound, and several of the tracks (including the title track and "Something Better") should have no trouble finding their way on to playlists all over the country. The only misstep is the a capella version of "The Lord's Prayer" stuck in the middle of the disc. It's a bit overwrought, but might have worked better as the opener or closer.

Two more female singers whose debut albums offer mixed blessings. Give either or both of them a chance...they'll grow on you.

http://www.greenmanreview.com/cd/cd_dk_twochick_twofer.html
- David Kidney


Rhonda Towns I Wanna Be Loved By You
Now that I have finally gotten around to this review, let's jump right in head first.

I had heard the title track and first single of the debut Rhonda Towns album some time ago. It was a bit up-tempo and to be honest, I wasn't overly impressed.

The rest of I Wanna Be Loved By You is much better by comparison. Rhonda has a great voice- channeling Alison Kraus on the new single "Somethin' Better" and Reba McEntire on the acoustic "Those Were the Nights."

What I really loved was when she turned neo-traditional toward the end of the CD. "I've Heard the Wind Blow Before" and "Go On With Yourself" are throwbacks of the first order.

My only criticism is that at times you get the feeling that Rhonda is trying too hard to imitate her influences (although she is quite good at doing so). Once she finds her own identity, wacth out!, cause she certainly has the chops.

Overall Grade- Solid B (leaning B+)
Darren's Blurb- "Rhonda Towns has an excellent country voice and the potential to be a hit-maker once she hones her musical identity."

http://fmsoundcountry.blogspot.com/2006/05/rhonda-towns-i-wanna-be-loved-by-you.html

- Darren Staley


Rhonda Towns kicks off I Wanna Be Loved by You with "Somethin' Better," a catchy country singalong that wouldn't be out of place on CMT. She follows with the title track, delivering Bernie Nelson and Shane Teeters' lyrics with verve against the backdrop of electric guitar and pedal steel. Both songs show Towns as a capable interpreter, quite at home with the nuances of contemporary country, and her band is rock solid. She's also at home with quieter fare like Rick Holt and Freddy Weller's "Those Were the Nights," though a tad too much echo has been added to her vocal. Unfortunately, Towns also embodies some of country's more cloying qualities, as when she offers a brief introduction about giving thanks before cutting loose on an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer." This nearly brings the album to a halt for two minutes, before jumping back into another upbeat song about two lovers in each other's arms. At 30 minutes, I Wanna Be Loved by You is short, and since Towns only sings other people's songs, there was no reason she couldn't have added a couple more. Having said that, she's shown superb taste in choosing these songs, and I Wanna Be Loved by You is a likable, well-delivered album. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide

http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/discography/index.jsp?pid=723239&aid=766570
- Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide


Country Music
Rhonda Towns - I Wanna Be Loved By You
from Jolene Downs
Guide Rating - *****

The Bottom Line
Rhonda is like a breath of fresh air among so many artists that all sound the same. Her voice is pure and heartfelt, and her sound is traditional, yet fresh. I think everyone would enjoy this CD and would give it some serious playtime in their stereo. It is a great CD to listen to while driving around as well. It is well worth checking out.

Pros
• “Somethin’ Better”
• “Plenty More Love”
• “Those Were The Nights”

Cons
• None

Description
• 10 Tracks.
• Produced by Harold Shedd, Norro Wilson & Jim Cotton.
• Released by Dawn Records.

Guide Review - Rhonda Towns - I Wanna Be Loved By You
Rhonda Towns is an up-and-coming singer who is a real treat to listen to. Her music is not the typical cookie cutter variety that so many artists seem to subscribe to these days. And while you can hear the various influences in her music, the sound is all her own. The songs on the album have a very traditional sound while the lyrics touch on the positive aspects of dealing with relationships.

“Somethin’ Better” is the second single from the album. It is a mellow song that says things are kinda like love, but somethin’ better. The lyrics are very well written and Rhonda sings with pure emotion. That statement really holds true for the whole album. The whole thing is filled with quality material. She has some mellow songs, some ballads like “Those Were the Nights,” a couple of up-tempo songs and she also includes a powerful version of “The Lord’s Prayer.” It was tough to pick favorites because I liked them all, but I really liked “Plenty More Love,” “Go On With Yourself” and “Calm Before The Storm.” The bottom line is that anyone giving this newcomer a shot will not be disappointed. She will become a fast favorite and you will enjoy the music the album has to offer. You can’t help but be drawn in by the honesty and emotion that the music holds. Rhonda Towns is a breath of fresh air in the often stale atmosphere of today’s country scene.

Related Guide Picks
Rhonda Towns Audio Interview - February 2006

http://countrymusic.about.com/od/cdreviewsmz/gr/rhondatowns.htm
- Jolene Downs


buddyhollywood.com
Rhonda Towns' Debut Reeks Of Crossover Appeal
Written by Mike Parker
Monday, 24 July 2006

I Wanna Be Loved By You

by Rhonda Towns

Dawn Records

There is something about a true feminine country singer that makes the term, ‘crossover,’ seem totally unnecessary. The women of country music like Skeeter Davis, Reba McIntire, Shania Twain, Juice Newton, Faith Hill, and more recently Carrie Underwood tiptoe effortlessly between country and contemporary radio. I dunno, maybe it’s because even though you can’t see them through the speakers, but there is just something in their voice that reeks of sex appeal. Get ready to add Rhonda Towns to your list of women with that country girl voice that you can’t get out of your head.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 August 2006 )

http://www.buddyhollywood.com/index.php

- Mike Parker


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DAWN RECORDS INTRODUCES DOBIE GRAY’S “Slow Rain”
FROM RHONDA TOWNS

NASHVILLE, TN (May 22, 2008)—Dawn Records announces the release of “Slow Rain” * from its flagship artist Rhonda Towns. The radio single (written by Dobie Gray, Ricky Ray Rector and Bud Reneau) is the third national release from Towns’ debut country CD entitled I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU produced by Harold Shedd (Reba McEntire/Shania Twain/Alabama/ Toby Keith), Norro Wilson (Kenny Chesney/Reba McEntire/Sara Evans/Shania Twain/Tammy Wynette/George Jones) and Jim Cotton (Billy Ray Cyrus /Montgomery Gentry/Alabama).

“When we recorded ‘Slow Rain,’ it was a little out of the box from what we were trying to accomplish, but, we did it anyway,” said producer Norro Wilson. “…and like a lot of records, sometimes a little magic hits the ears—that’s what happened here and we loved it. Even after this bit of time, it still sounds good. Good release, good idea and good job, Rhonda. Rhonda Towns has the looks, great communication qualities and more love for the business than anyone I know. She’s not going to give up!”

The single is timeless, traditional country and was released “by request.” “I’ve really been concentrating on my next project and we had no set plans to officially release another single from this album,” Rhonda introduced. “I received a call from the MD of a radio station in Sparta, North Carolina who told me that a listener requested ‘Slow Rain.’ So, I asked him to test this song for me. The response was positive and very encouraging. ‘Slow Rain’ is one of the first songs I recorded with producer Norro Wilson when I started coming to Nashville.”

Rhonda has already received early applause:

"With a hard row to hoe, in this world we call the music business, I admire Rhonda's tenacity and applaud her pursuit.
She has faith in this song and, as a writer, I can tell you, she 'delivers' it. At the risk of making comparisons,
her style reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorite country artists, John Anderson."
-- Dobie Gray/"Drift Away"

"Rhonda has a magical sound reminiscent of days gone by when Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette brought the women of country music to the forefront of a male dominated industry. Rhonda broke ground for women of color with the release of
'Somethin' Better' & 'I Wanna Be Loved By You' and her current single, ‘Slow Rain,’ will draw strong play requests from our listeners in Minnesota & Iowa on U-S Country 99.9!"
--Scott Soderberg, OM/PD, KAUS-99.9FM, Austin, MN

“Rhonda Towns is beautiful, soulful, country, magical, and full of heart. From I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU comes ‘Slow Rain,’
a single no one could have re-recorded to breathe new life into it like Rhonda has. It’s a moving, inspiring, true country single from one of my favorite indie artists in the business. Rhonda brings back the authentic country sound that radio has been missing for many, many years. She gives it her all to highlight her country roots!
One listen and you’ll be hooked!”
--Michael Sexton, Music Director, WCOK Radio, Sparta, NC


Rhonda has been seen in CMA Close-Up, Country Weekly, Billboard and Maverick and graced the covers of Power Source and Indie Islands magazines. A professional on the performing stage, in front of a camera and on the runway, Rhonda has appeared on National television (GAC/CMT), in television commercials for Maxwell House, Toyota and Bounce, and in print advertisements for Dillard’s, K-Mart and designers Lori Weidner (Canada) and Sandra Salcedo (Texas). She is also a regular model for REBAwear and Dillard’s and has modeled for Manuel and Fashion For Every Body. She is currently working with producer Biff Watson (Emma Mae Jacob/Hilljack) on her sophomore recording project.

Rhonda made her initial country radio introduction with “I Wanna Be Loved By You” in 2005. “Slow Rain”* is scheduled to be released this month (CDX Vol. 448). Jerry Duncan Promotions (Nashville, TN) will head-up the radio promotion campaign.

For more information on Rhonda Towns visit: www.rhondatowns.com.


# # #


FOR ARTIST INFORMATION/MATERIALS OR INTERVIEWS CONTACT
Ami Blackwell / news@musiccitynews.com / 615.770.2994
*MP3 of the single available upon request.

Rhonda Towns
Single: “Slow Rain”
(Written by Dobie Gray, Ricky Ray Rector & Bud Reneau)
Release Date: May, 2008/CDX Vol. 448
From the album I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU
Dawn Records
(Produced by Harold Shedd/Norro Wilson/Jim Cotton)
- Kat Atwood


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RHONDA TOWNS INTRODUCES “SLOW RAIN” CONTEMPORAY REMIX

NASHVILLE, TN (May 6, 2009)—Rhonda Towns (Dawn Records) is pleased to introduce the updated, contemporary remix of her current radio single “Slow Rain.”* Written by Dobie Gray, Ricky Ray Rector and Bud Reneau, this stylish rendition follows on the heels of the original single’s momentous and steady climb up the secondary and Music Row Country Music Charts.

Initially released “by request” in mid-summer 2008, the cut comes from Towns’ debut country CD I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU (produced by Harold Shedd, Norro Wilson and Jim Cotton) and it’s since taken on a life of its own. “This song is an unanticipated surprise. It’s magical,” said Towns. “We had no plans to officially release ‘Slow Rain,’ but the strength of the song alone has breathed life into it.”

Under the direction of Billy Sherrill, renowned engineer, producer and arranger for such acts as Kenny Chesney, Montgomery Gentry and the Dixie Chicks, the new musical composition opens with piano that dances with pedal steel and is cradled with strings (performed by veteran musician Randy McCormick) that gently carry Rhonda's distinctive-sounding vocals.

“’Slow Rain’ was one of the first songs I recorded with Norro Wilson when I started coming to Nashville. At that time, country music was transitioning into a new era. ‘Slow Rain’ was produced as a timeless, traditional song. After getting the response from radio that I hoped for, I decided to do a remix. The new compilation reveals the background vocals and enhances the instrumental leads that were already on the original tracks giving a song that already stands the test of time a new modern-day feel,” said Rhonda.

The new version of “Slow Rain”* is now available via MPE and will be featured on CDX Volume 474/May 11, 2009. Spinville Records’ Debbie Gibson Palmer (LA) and Jack Pride (Nashville, TN) will head-up the radio promotion campaign.

Marking her fourth consecutive year, Rhonda will appear once again at the CMA Music Festival to perform for festival-goers at the Durango Acoustic Corner and sign autographs for the country music enthusiasts visiting Music City. She is currently working with producer Biff Watson (Emma Mae Jacob/Hilljack) on her sophomore recording project. Rhonda has been seen in CMA Close-Up, Country Weekly, Billboard and Maverick and has graced the cover of Power Source magazine and indie islands Magazine.

For more information on Rhonda Towns visit: www.rhondatowns.com.


# # #


FOR ARTIST INFORMATION/MATERIALS OR INTERVIEWS CONTACT
Ami Blackwell / news@musiccitynews.com / 615.770.2994
*MP3 of the single available upon request.

Rhonda Towns
Single: “Slow Rain”
(Written by Dobie Gray, Ricky Ray Rector & Bud Reneau)
Release Date: May11, 2009/CDX474
From the album I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU
Dawn Records
(Produced by Harold Shedd/Norro Wilson/Jim Cotton)
- Kat Atwood


I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU will prove to be quintessential. Delivering a modern feel with the authenticity of traditional country music, RHONDA TOWNS reveals her distinct, smooth vocals mixed with a traditional country sound. - Roland Stone


Discography

Debut CD:
Rhonda Towns "I Wanna Be Loved By You"

Available on I-tunes

For Immediate ReleaseMay 6, 2009!
Music City News Media & Marketing
Rhonda Towns (Dawn Records) is pleased to introduce the updated, comtempory remix of her current radio single "Slow Rain" written by Dobie Gray (Drift Away) Ricky Ray Rector & Bud Reneau.

Photos

Bio

The daughter of Reverend James and Mrs. Eula Towns, Rhonda is no stranger to Country Music. Rhonda made her debut as a country music singer on Ed McMahon’s Star Search as a champion female country music artist. “I was loving and singing to country music when country music was really not too popular. I just loved country music because it sound so much like what I grew up on in church”.
Rhonda’s love for music goes back to when she was a little girl singing in the church choir where her father was the Pastor at the tender age of four years old. Old southern hymns and upbeat contemporary country gospel songs were always heard from the choir stand on Sunday mornings
Rhonda, who is affectionately nicknamed Sissy, would entertain her classmates with songs from church at school in the gym when it was too cold or rainy to go outside and on the school bus on the ride home after school. Classmates would always beg Rhonda to sing another song. Rhonda won her first talent shows at her elementary school for two consecutive years in the school’s talent competition. Rhonda drew attention from a local country music television show that invited Rhonda to become a regular talent. After serious family discussions and careful consideration, the decision was made to decline the offer as her mother and father decided Rhonda was too young to begin a music career. Her education was paramount and Rhonda concentrated on school.
Rhonda’s musical influences are Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, and Vince Gill. “Reba has such strength and power in her voice. Patsy was soulful, bluesy, and had a unique country sound. She was way before her time. Loretta Lynn has an authentic sweet country voice I truly believe is an extension of her personality. Dolly Parton is the most amazing female country music singer songwriter of all times. Of all these remarkable entertainers, Rhonda will tell you that her mother has made the biggest impression on her life and her career. “My mother is my earthly spiritual partner. She has guided me through almost every challenge in my life and in the pursuit of my dreams. Her motto is ‘There is no such thing as can’t…and…if they can do it, you can do it, too!’.”
Rhonda has appeared on “Today’s Country” with Crook ‘n’ Chase, Good Morning Atlanta, Good Morning Arizona, Sonoran Living/Channel 15, Fox 10 News/Phoenix, Arizona, “First Annual Black Country Music Show” in Atlanta, Georgia, The Famous Bluebird Café, Douglas Corner, and Café Milano while appearing on shows for the Black Country Music Association in Nashville. Numerous mainstream media articles have written about Rhonda’s undeniable talent. In 2000 Rhonda made her debut appearance in Zurich as a headliner at the “16th Annual International Concert of Switzerland” followed by her national appearance and performance on the BET Network. This officially made her the first female African American Country Music Artist to debut in Switzerland and the BET Network. Rhonda performed for Country Thunder USA in 2003 and 2006.
Rhonda current single "Slow Rain" (written by Dobie Gray whose remake of "Drift Away" reemerged as a big hit), was released by request in the Fall of 2008 and is still active on country music radio playlists across the country.
Since the release of “Slow Rain” it has been featured in “Country Weekly Magazine, charted #3 highest position on country New Music Weekly Charts, tied #1 for six weeks on AllAboutCountry.com with Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”, #2 as an Independent artist, #1 on Real Country Radio in Japan, and officially charting on the Nashville Music Row Charts.
Rhonda’s professional history includes working as a model, appearing in television commercials for Maxwell House, Toyota, Bounce, Mazda, Arizona Lotto/Arizona Lottery, and Arizona Health Department. Runway and advertising print work for Dillard’s, K-mart, Reba Wear, all under the direction of Ruth Leighton of the Leighton Agency, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona. Rhonda currently has an airing national Blue Diamond Almond commercial in national rotation.
Rhonda also gives back to her community by supporting the founding local chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona by hosing a yearly concert for the foundation. Rhonda will Host her third benefit concert this year. She also supports Save the Foundation of Foundation of Arizona by giving the foundation donations from the sells of her album.
Music has been a part of Rhonda’s life as far as she can remember. Even though her journey has been challenging in country music, she still believes that hard work, honesty and values will always shine through and the rewards for that will be fulfilling.
Go to www.rhondatowns.com.