Julie Rhodes has earned her reputation as one of New England's richest vocal deliveries and she's done it all with live performances.

Genres: Americana / Blues
Album/EP: Bound to Meet the Devil
Years active: 2015–present


Boston Music Awards: Where were you when you found out you were nominated for New Artist of the Year and who was the first person you told?

Julie Rhodes: It’s kind of funny, actually. At the time, I had been working at a company in downtown Boston. One of my bosses was Dave Martineau of (BMA nominees) Bearstronaut. He came over to my desk and said “Congratulations, Rhodes!” It was just after I had finished solving a Rubik’s Cube for the first time, so I thought he was talking about that. He said “You don’t even know yet, do you?” and told me to check the BMA website. Then he’s all “By the way, we’re up against each other.” Sounded like a challenge 😉

The first people I told were the guys in my band.

BMA: ‘Bound To Meet The Devil’ is nominated for Album/EP of the Year, congratulations by the way, where did the name come from?

JR: Thanks! The name Bound to Meet the Devil comes from a lyric in one of the songs on the record called “Holes.” It’s a song I wrote when I was working at an ice cream shop. The line is “You keep working that shovel and you’re bound to meet the devil.” The concept of ‘digging’, which appears a bunch on the record, started as a metaphor for scooping ice cream, but is supposed to symbolize the constant grind of our working class — That catch 22 of having to work so hard to survive that you’re sort of digging your own grave in the process.

BMA: We know this is tough, your one song that you’d want would-be new fans to listen to first?

JR: It differs live vs. album, but I’d probably have to say “In Your Garden”. It seems to be the song that people remember the most and sing along to.

BMA: So… when you’re selling out stadiums on your world tour — list the 5 things that would be on your rider?

JR: Oh man! Well, I like to think I’m a pretty low maintenance person, so as long as there’s coffee and whiskey, I am GOOD. However, the band had some other ideas including:

A float tank, kombucha, a life sized statue of Steve Buschemi, a full scale reproduction of the bat mobile, a series of autographed photos of Whoopi Goldberg. 750 kinds of hot sauce (and not 749 or 751…) and a hologram version of the Golden Girls.

BMA: Who is the one artist nominated for a Boston Music Award this year that you’d most like to perform/collaborate with?

JR: Well, first I gotta say, it is amazing to see so many friends on the list of nominees. I’ve already had the pleasure of playing / collaborating with a lot of them — These Wild Plains, Tigerman WOAH, The Silks, etc. But I think in terms of artists that I haven’t really gotten to play with yet, I’d have to say Matthew Stubbs & the Antiguas. Those guys are just incredible!

BMA: What’s next for Julie Rhodes?

JR: We just released a new single on a compilation that was put together by The Record Co. which features a whole bunch of amazing Boston artists, including 11 BMA nominees, so there is quite a bit going on with that. We’ve been playing and touring a lot this year, so we’ll probably wind down just a little bit for the colder months and focus more on writing new tunes for the next record. We do have some great shows to look forward to in town in the next couple months. We’re excited to play the BMA’s (of course) and we’re also looking forward to opening up Girls Guns & Glory’s album release show at Sinclair on 1/14. Then we hit the road in the spring, with tours lined up for Southern US and Europe!



Julie Rhodes: "In Your Garden" (NPR's Tiny Desk Contest)


Song Premiere: “Collector Man” – Paste Magazine

“The arrival of a significant new Americana/blues talent.” – Pop Matters

“There aren’t many unknown artists who get to record their debut albums partially at Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios with legends such as keyboardist Spooner Oldham, guitarist Greg Leisz and fiddler Sara Watkins sitting in. But, there aren’t many new singers as impressive as Julie Rhodes either.” – American Songwriter

“Part of ‘Bound to Meet the Devil’s’ charms come from the production and the players, but Rhodes’ songwriting completes the spell. Her songs seem to rise from the ghosts of ’50s blues and ’60s soul greats.” – Boston Herald

“Rhodes has a voice that already compares to some of the best in the business, from Janis Joplin, Etta James, and Bonnie Raitt to Joan Osborne and Beth Hart. Recorded at the renowned FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, her 11-song Bound to Meet the Devil is bound to be a good one…” – The BluesPowR Blog

“Julie Rhodes has earned her reputation as one of New England’s richest vocal deliveries and she’s done it all with live performances.” – Ryan’s Smashing Life

“Every so often a voice comes along that moves you. […] there is something that just clicks and gives you chills, the ones where your legs kind of lock up and your shoulders tremble. Julie Rhodes commands a voice like this and she gets me every single time.” – Red Line Roots

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