New Sounds: Julie Rhodes masters an Etta James classic in ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’


Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

Along with being an amazing blues vocalist, Julie Rhodes also has the ability to master a cover song better than a lot of her contemporaries. The Boston artist has been making waves all over New England and beyond ever since her February 2016 debut Bound To Meet The Devil, and today she’s releasing a new single and music video for her rendition of the legendary Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”. There’s a somber tone courtesy of Danny Roaman’s stellar licks on guitar; it complements the environment of the old, dilapidated house where the music video was filmed.

“About a year and a half ago, Danny [Roaman] and I were recording a session with a friend of ours”, Rhodes writes to Vanyaland in an email. “With the ‘tape’ still rolling, Danny started playing the chords to ‘I’d Rather Go Blind,’ so we ended up recording the song for fun. It eventually worked its way into our live set, and before long, became sort of a staple of our shows. Etta James is far and away my favorite singer, so it seemed only fitting to do a proper recording of one of her songs. We recorded it with the amazing folks at Converse Rubber Tracks.”

On the making of the video, Rhodes continues by writing: “We filmed the video in an old run down house in the backyard of this sweet record store and vintage boutique called Fond Object, in Nashville, Tennessee. We met up with our director and videographer, Josh Shoemaker, that afternoon and the first thing he says to me is ‘We’re gonna set you up the bathroom!’ Hah! When he told us his idea for how the video should be shot, we were so excited. The band spread out in different rooms of the house as the camera rotated from the center. What he was able to accomplish in just one shot is just amazing!”

Rhodes’ next show is at The Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River on April 29 with fellow Massachusetts artist The Suitcase Junket. Until then, check out the music video and listen to the song on Spotify.