Artist Spotlight: Rachel Austin
My words simply cannot do justice to describe the beautiful voice of singer-songwriter Rachel Austin. Her music seems to be from another time when the world was a little simpler, and life moved at a naturally stimulated pace. Originally from Virginia, Austin has been making waves in the Belfast, Northern Ireland music scene for the past seven years. If your lucky, music will bring her journey to a venue near you.
Rachel Austin is a singer from Virginia, who has been living for seven years in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her ability to weld poetry and original melodies together in song sets her music apart.
Rachel has been writing prose and songs all her life. She has been influenced by a whole range of people: Bill Mallonee, Billie Holliday, Bjork, Martha Wainwright and Carla Bruni. Her style shows leanings toward the genres she loves so well: jazz and indie rock. Raised by New Yorkers, she grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where, she says, ‘The music from the neighbours’ porches, yards and tent meetings used to echo throughout the hollow. At night, some used to stay up playing fiddle, bass and banjo; I fell asleep with music drifting in my window.’
In 1996, Rachel opened for POD. She also performed at Cornerstone Music Festival in Bushnell, Illinois, in 1998, and has played solo and with others in numerous coffee houses and clubs in both the US and the UK. Her former band, Jack Ruby, received favourable reviews from HM Magazine. In December 2005, Rachel made her jazz debut with double bassist Nicky Scott. More recently, she has performed at various venues across Northern Ireland, including support slots for Iain Archer, Steve Forbert, Eric Taylor, Brian Houston, Juliet Turner, The Believers and live on BBC Radio Ulster, U105 and NVTV.
Rachel Austin – voice, guitar, reed organ
Steve McKnight – acoustic & Spanish guitars
Pete Bankhead – guitar & mandolin
Lizzy Donaghy – cello
Claire Devine – viola
hello, my uglies – May 2008 release
EP – December 2005 release
Demo – 1997 release