Originally from New Zealand, Rachel has spent the last nine years playing at festivals and clubs across NZ and the UK originally as part of an all female blues/Celtic trio “Ruby Blue”. In the UK Rachel performed as a solo artist, as a duo with the fabulous Nick Lewis and as a band with Roy Dodds, Kevin McGuire, Andy May and Nick Lewis. The launch of her Country Blues Album Ed’s Bar and Grill released at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2009 (with Pat McGarvey and Wil Molleson) saw a move from the more reflective and ‘worldly folk’ influenced album Journeys released in 2008, to a definite country groove - “a bit bluesy, a bit western swing, a bit Marlene Dietrich” with songs that possess a “world-weary feeling to them – as if they were recorded in black and white” (Bluesbunny Review 2009).
At the end of 2010, Rachel returned to New Zealand after 8 years in the UK developing her songwriting to develop a project researching women’s lives in the 1800′s. With some initial finding from Creative NZ she searched and collected the stories of the women and began turning those into songs. These songs now form the coming album The Boundary Riders, a double album including the full show album and the album of the musical tracks due for release in NZ on September 19th 2014 to celebrate NZ Women’s Vote Day in 1893. Alongside the album, Rachel was requested to write a book that included some of the research behind the songs; the show script including the lyrics, historical images and tales of the road. This 52-page book is a full colour visual feast, carefully designed to match the whole Victorian period. A special pre-release tour took place with Jon Sanders across New Zealand from April – June 2013 with over 30 gigs up and down the country.
Prior to this tour Rachel joined Eoin Duignan (Ireland) and Jon Sanders (NZ/UK) on their New Zealand tour as guest singer over January and February 2013, performing over 24 gigs up and down the country.
2010 and 2011 were an equally busy time with two collaborative songs released in Greece with EMI (“Peeling Apples” Athena Andreadis – release 2011 in the UK) and the UK (“Somewhere to Jump” Aberfeldy) as well as the completion of her MA in Songwriting at Bathspa University, a course that has given her the skills to take on a project such as The Boundary Riders.