One of the things I love about the country format are the fresh new artists that arrive on the scene.  One such breath of fresh air is Rachel Rhodes, a young recording artist currently in the area on a tour promoting her new album Heartland.

"So far we've been having an absolute blast!" Rhodes says.

Heartland was written and recorded in Nashville with some of Music City’s most talented and well-known musicians. It’s single and title track, “Heartland,” was released last month to digital sales and has already garnered rave reviews: 

“‘Heartland” is a strong offering,” said Sara Hunt, who writes for Maverick Magazine, a British country music publication. “It is classy, confident and vocally strong. A really exquisite song full of passion and drama. It is one of those songs you will never tire of listening to. Rhodes is an exciting prospect for the future of music.”

Rhodes developed her strong, charming voice while studying music performance at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Her talent as an opera singer carried her on tours of the United States and Europe while an undergrad. She then bounced around Minnesota, contemplating her next step, while she wrote songs and eventually moved to Nashville in hopes of bringing them to life.

Rhodes partnered with Owatonna, Minnesota native and "Camera Can't Lie" (Atlantic Records) frontman Eric Arjes to compose and produce the album. Her songs Heartland, Soak It In and Live On Love are sweet homages to life and love in the Midwest. The album’s opening track, No Ordinary Night, along with Wild And Reckless, bring an upbeat, pop element to the album and are balanced by the slow, haunting ballad, The Girl You Think You Love.

Rhodes’ lyrics and tone are bright, but the tracks are also given a traditional country feel through the strong presence of skilled players Bruce Bouton (steel guitar, dobro) and Larry Franklin (fiddle, mandolin), who both have played on albums by artists such as Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and many others.

Click below to hear Rachel's title track song from the album Heartland.