With a voice that lies somewhere between Edith Piaf and Joan Baez and an ability to move effortlessly through a range of musical styles, this is a voice that is both easily recognisible and one you are not likely to forget in a hurry.
Born and raised in New Zealand to an English mother and Kiwi father it is not surprising that her own life has been one of constant travel. This is no more apparent than in her album ‘Journeys’, which takes the listener through a myriad of landscapes – from the deep maori myths of ‘Pania’, across the celtic oceans to new places where ‘sailors’ and ‘settlers’ landed on untouched landscapes and begin to carve out their their new lives.
The ‘silent’ stories of the women are often the subject of many of these songs and within this physical “difference” in landscape these stories seem all too familiar – tales of loss, love, struggle, and ultimately strength. Tales drawn directly from her own experiences and her encounters with women from places as diverse as the mountains of Nepal (where she lived for two years) to the streets of Glasgow where she currently resides.
Her latest album entitled “Ed’s Bar and Grill” sees a shift away from the more ‘folk’ based music towards a new love of country/blues and very much as if she has found her ‘true’ home.
This journey of musical ‘discovery’ emerged after moving to Glasgow in 2007 and attending a range of songwriting retreats . In that same year Rachel was awarded a Scottish Arts Council Grant to attend the Chris Difford songwriting week in Perugia, Italy. That time saw her begin a whole raft of new collaborative pieces with writers such as Kenton Hall (Ist) and Riley Briggs (Aberfeldy), moving her own songwriting into new directions.
In 2008 after another songwriting retreat in Italy Rachel made her first musical trip to the States and fell in love with the Colorado mountains and the formed a deep love of blues and country. It was this trip that enabled Rachel to recognise her own emerging voice and begin a whole new journey that felt more at home than anything previously before….perhaps the voice of a more mature writer and singer?
The journey to ‘Ed’s Bar and Grill’ has been a long one but when you have come across to the other side of the world on your own and less than five years later recording with some of the finest musicians and producers in the UK you can’t help but think that this was the right journey to take.