Rachel will be performing material from her widely lauded back catalogue, interspersed with selections from her new covers set I Wish I Was In Austin, which will only be available on CD during the tour – a digital release will follow later in the year – and previewing songs from her much anticipated Hush The Wild Horses album, which Rachel is currently working on and is due for release in summer 2019,.
Homesteading. That’s what Rachel Harrington’s been up to since the release of her last solo album, Celilo Falls, in 2011. Once touted by Maverick magazine as “the hardest working woman in Americana” due to her relentless touring schedule, Harrington decided to take a year-long sabbatical.
“Just needed time to re-charge. I figured a year would do it. But one year snowballed into many. I got a job, bought a home, bought horses, settled down near my family. Once those kinds of roots have been laid, it’s hard to decide to pull up stakes again.”
Hush The Wild Horses, Rachel’s 5th full-length studio album of original songs, is due out 2019. In the meantime, she’s releasing I Wish I was in Austin, a CD of covers by some of her favourite songwriters. An homage of sorts, it’s a solo acoustic album that harkens back to her debut demo from 2004. That debut, Halloween Leaves, garnered the young Harrington a good deal of praise for her unique interpretations of tunes from the Americana canon. The new covers album has tracks written by Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, and Neil Young, among others. “I wanted an album that took me back in time to where I started. Where I was just a girl in love with a guitar and in search of the perfect song.” A girl in love with a guitar. Is there any better place to start?
RACHEL HARRINGTON · OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 UK TOUR
Thu 4 Penzance Acorn Theatre
Sat 6 Poole Lighthouse
Sun 7 Maidenhead Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Tue 9 Cockermouth, Cumbria Wild Zucchinis
Wed 10 Dunfermline Dunfermline Folk Club, The Glen Tavern
Thu 11 Dunoon Dunoon Burgh Hall
Thu 18 Montrose Montrose Folk Club, The Links Hotel
Wed 24 London Green Note
Thu 25 Newbury Arlington Arts Centre
Fri 26 Bishop Wilton, East Yorkshire Bishop Wilton Hall
Sat 27 Leeds Seven Arts
Sun 28 Nottingham The Running Horse
Mon 29 Birmingham Kitchen Garden Café
Tue 30 Sheffield Greystones
Fri 2 Durham Old Cinema Launderette
Sat 3 Scarborough Woodend Gallery
Sun 4 Cottingham, East Yorkshire The Back Room
Praise for Rachel Harrington
The Bootlegger’s Daughter (2007)
“I am absolutely enchanted with this record! A brilliant debut.” Bob Harris
“This self-assured debut is almost a primer in Americana.” Mojo
“This album is like tuning into some obscure backwoods American radio station from sepia-tinted days of yore. There is an innocence, a willingness, an awkwardness and an honesty that shines through…her music inhabits that fertile space between folk, bluegrass and country.” The Irish Times
City Of Refuge (2008)
“…an inspiringly original album.” Q (4 stars)
“A classic Americana album.” Maverick (4 stars)
“Ghost town sound; plain, pretty voice, stark banjo – Harrington, like early Gillian Welch, sounds like she stepped out of the old, sepia photo on the CD sleeve. The Oregonian’s second album is stuffed with characters from the old West, singing about hard times and old-time religion. Beguiling.” Mojo (4 stars)
Celilo Falls (2011)
“an album that reaches deep into the soul” Country Music People (4 Stars)
“…this is fine, haunted, gothic Americana.” Daily Mirror (4 Stars)
“an album of incredible maturity” R2 Magazine (4 Stars)
“A compelling blend of twang and swing drawn from bluegrass and country & western stylings infuse the lyrical narratives with the appropriate ramshackle, hardscrabble, Wild West atmosphere.” Songlines (4 Stars)
Reared among the Pentecostal pines of Oregon, Rachel Harrington has been doing things in the wrong order for quite some time. She’d had extensive radio play before performing her first live show, and she was opening for Grammy winners before releasing her first record.
From families of Danish dairymen and Irish lumberjacks, Rachel’s only exposure to music as a young child was gospel – that, and her father’s secret Stax/Motown collection he’d amassed since his return from serving in Vietnam. She especially loved the black gospel groups and the secular Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.
“I remember being a little girl, 8 or 9 years old, and my folks would leave to go to church in the evenings and I’d beg to stay behind at home. When they left I’d turn out all the lights and put on the Otis Redding records and stand in front of the big window in the living room, singing into this broken little microphone I’d gotten somewhere.”
At the age of 12, after a stay with family in Montana, she fell in love with horses and began to ride in rodeo events. Out on the ranch one day, she met an old cowboy named Dutch who spent many hours giving the novice rider lessons – during which he listened to his favourite radio station that described itself as “stone country.” This provided critical exposure to the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Loretta Lynn, and George Jones.
“Hearing Loretta Lynn changed my life. Finally, I had someone I could actually sing like. And it was then I also realized the connection between country and soul. First time I heard Hank Williams I knew he was coming from the same place as Ray Charles – I could just hear it.”
As a sixth generation Oregonian, Harrington feels a strong connection to place and to creating music that captures some of the stories and heritage of The West. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pacific Northwest Bioregional Studies from Fairhaven College at WWU in Bellingham, Washington, and a Master’s in Environmental Conflict Resolution at NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona. During her college years, Rachel also studied creative writing with critically acclaimed author Ann Cummins. “If anything, I think I’m actually a short story writer. The story always comes first.”