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FROM THE MORGAN HOTEL IN TEMPLE BAR
By the age of seven, Rachel Austin had already recorded three full-length cassette tapes of her own music. She’d also handwritten a book of short stories and created portraits of townful of characters that she and her siblings played with instead of dolls. Was it the home schooling in the Blue Ridge Mountain hollow that enabled her imagination to remain playful and free? For that describes Rachel’s music, too.
Rachel’s music was born in Virginia and has taken her around the USA and Europe. Because of her musical friendships in these places — including her current hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland — she’s been blessed with a rotating band of international musicians. This gives her live concerts a different flavour wherever she performs.
As for influences, the first were probably the constant flowing of Naked Creek outside her open window, the hush of summer nights gazing at stars, the transcendence of church worship. She is currently inspired by Regina Spektor, Wovenhand, David Bazan, and her friend, Devon Sproule.
He took that stale old crusty bread,
and he remembered the rusty nails in their box,
and those shoes that don’t fit, that bell that won’t ring,
yeah, he took them, when he took everything.
In any given song, Rachel may sound like she’s yelling or whispering, sound like a rock n’ roll singer or a jazz vocalist. Her simple guitar songs grow and evolve, picking up other sounds along the way, like the cello, violin, viola or double bass, a piano and charango, drums, cajon or djembe, more guitars of all persuasions. Oh, and she loves wailing away on the harmonica. All to the end of expressing the emotion and message of her song. All to the end of saying, “Listen.” And she never fails to touch the hearts of listeners.
In 2008, she released ‘hello, my uglies,’ a full-length album. In 2010 Rachel released ‘Age of Wisdom,’ the first EP in the Age Trilogy, which was welcomed by Irish media North and South, followed by the release of ‘Age of Love’ in April 2011. She has made appearances on various national and local TV and radio shows in the UK, Ireland, France, and the USA, including BBC Radio 1 & Radio Ulster, RTE 1, NPR, and Radio Libertaire, amongst others.
Tune in again tomorrow!!!