Born in New Orleans but currently living here in England, Rhonda Merrick - having decided that becoming a musician was something she really wanted to do - made it her mission to record a song everyday throughout 2011 and as a result has given herself several hours of material to sort, review, critique, and possibly rerecord to a standard suitable for broadcast. Given the nature of her undertaking, the often improv-style of her writing, and the raw setup of her own home-studio the quality of those daily musical moments varies in both the audio and the content, but there's no denying her motivation and commitment, and her thousands of fans appreciated her perseverance and frankness when watching her go through the whole process.
Her music is bluesy, soulful, jazzy, and she lists many of the greats as her musical inspiration: Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye. When it comes to what she writes about Rhonda is sparked by everything around her from news reports, celebrities, and self-harm to natural-disasters, sexuality and throwaway messages online. The song that struck a chord with many of her listeners and has since been rerecorded with a video to accompany it, is '27 Club': a song written on the night Amy Winehouse died.
Of the few tunes that I have made my way through so far, the one that I have particularly enjoyed is 'They Said Bon Jovi Died Today'. A song written following a false online report, it speaks of the lies within a relationship and the positivity in moving on, and was the 354th song for that year. I like the Jovi reference, I love Rhonda's soulful vocals, and it feels more substantial and complete that some of her other work.
As far as I am aware, 'They Said Bon Jovi Died Today' has yet to be rerecorded or shared anywhere else except on Rhonda' own website. The link below directs you to the page featuring the audio player and lyrics for the song, though I must sadly warn you that the website isn't the easiest to view or navigate. However, it is well worth ignoring the site's aesthetics and instead just take notice of the music whilst remembering that it is just a demo so the audio is a little rough at times.
'They Said Bon Jovi Died Today' : http://rhondassongs.com/song354.html
I hope to hear more from Rhonda Merrick as she continues to write, perform and release music.
"Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable" - Janis Joplin