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Music Review - `Ain’t Your Momma` by Rhonda Funk (dmac)

Rhonda Funk - A Shiver in the Sky  (click on image to watch video)

 06 June 2021

 

Black

Although Rhonda Funk has more of a R&B-ready name than a Nashville-associated one, don’t let that fact cause you to doubt her strong country music credentials. Her “Ain’t Your Momma” album is a passionate, sincere collection of decidedly country music. In fact, it’s her fourth album to date, and a mighty good one.

She so good, in fact, she can even make a Jon Bon Jovi song sound authentically down home. Granted, this is a song from Bon Jovi’s ‘country’ album. However, few of us believed New Jersey’s own poodle-haired rocker was ever truly a country artist. Funk sings this one over a hopping, danceable country beat. Her new arrangement of includes twangy guitar, organ, and that steady rhythm. Her voice also fills this ‘leaving song’ with plenty of natural sadness. 

The (shall we say it?) slightly funky inclusion, “Ain’t Your Momma,” finds Funk sounding strong and resistant toward the child’s play of one youthful suitor. On a woman with plenty of life experience can sing its lyrics. It’s been said that some men look for a woman much like their mothers when seeking a suitable mate. However, Funk is dead set on finding a real man, not this momma’s boy. She sings it very much like a mature country woman. She has the sort of forcefulness one has come to expect from Reba McEntire. There are girl singers, and then there are grown women. Funk clearly sets herself apart as one of the latter. 

“I Could Get Used To This” is a much more relationship-positive song. It’s also a rocking country song, driven by some nicely aggressive fiddle work. “I know I shouldn’t/But I could get used to this,” Funk sings at one point. Yes, she has her reservations about entering into this relationship, but she just can’t resist. Some romances are just too darn irresistible. 

With “More Than A Table,” Funk performs a warm, heartfelt country story song about a man with carpentry skills. It’s one of those songs that details how even something as simple as furniture can symbolize long-lasting love. Like that hand-built table, this woman is also not perfect. However, she’s a sturdy woman, and that table means more to her than merely something to serve meals on.

Funk reveals the rougher edges of her singing voice on “Liar, Liar,” a song about a man that severely lacks truthfulness. She nearly screams its chorus, which shouts out the accusation, “Liar, liar, tongues on fire.” On it, Funk’s is the faithful one, while she catches this man in the web of his own lies.

The album closes with a song about romance conspicuously set in the South. She namedrops Kentucky and its fine bourbon, as evidence. This one once again features Joe Spivey’s outstanding fiddling. Whenever he plays fiddle on this album, his skills simply jump out of the speakers. It’s like a sudden extra jolt of energy, whenever he jumps into this song’s mix. 

No, Rhonda Funk doesn’t bring the funk to Ain’t Your Momma, but she sure enough brings a powerful dose of wonderful country music. Please Lord, let there be room at the mainstream country radio table for Rhonda Funk, because this girl’s the real deal.

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Music Reviewer - Dan MacIntosh

 

Dan MacIntosh - Dan MacIntosh has been a professional music journalist for 30 years and his work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including Inland Empire Weekly, CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, Stereo Subversion, Indie-Music, Soul–Audio, Roughstock.com, Country Standard Time and Spin.com. 

To Read All of Dan's Reviews, Click Here

 

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