Rachel Ries, of South Dakota via Brooklyn, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked hearted. With a clear voice and steady hand, she pulls the listener into her world of city grit, country dirt, and her open-eyed search for redemption and reason. Whether performing with her band, solo or as a sideman, Rachel brings a curious grace and arresting voice to the stage.
Marrying sophisticated and at times vintage musicality to smart lyrics, Rachel plays the electric guitar, piano and the occasional drumkit or violin. Ms. Ries has an adventurous ear for melody and a voice flexible enough to accomplish it. With a self-taught guitar style reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt and vocals that recall both Regina Spektor and early Maria Muldaur, her songs range from the romantic simplicity of jazz standards to the distilled intensity of poet Anne Sexton.
Since her last official 2008 release, Ries ("reese") has recorded and toured extensively with Anaïs Mitchell and, with Mitchell, toured with Bon Iver. Rachel was granted a Chicago Arts award, worked in the Chicago theater scene, toured Europe and the states, learned how to repair Wurlitzers and (kind of) play the drums.
Rachel is currently finishing up Ghost of a Gardener, her first album in five years, recorded in Chicago at Pieholden Suite Sounds, studio of the late Jay Bennett. Co-produced by Rachel and David Vandervelde, the album features Emmett Kelley (Cairo Gang, Bonnie “Prince” Billy), Gregory Alan Isakov, Ariel Bolles, members of NYC’s Cuddle Magic and Evan Bivins (Cary Ann Hearst, Jump Little Children), to name just a few. Expected release for Ghost is early 2014.www.rachelries.com
"The Wisconsin troubadour has a penchant for playfulness when it comes to her music; however, when she gets serious, few craft a better folk song," praises the Huffington Post. Anna Vogelzang's latest full-length venture, Canary in a Coal Mine, was created through fan-funding. A fully crafted folk-pop album complete with poetic ballads, plucky banjos, shimmering strings and Vogelzang’s warm yet commanding voice, Canary in a Coal Mine has been met with warm reviews since its release in February of 2012.
Wading in with a 9 out of 10 review, Pop Matters praised the “the exquisite lyrical craftsmanship on Canary in a Coal Mine,” which “is matched by Vogelzang’s incredible vocal range, evoking everyone from Regina Spektor to Ani DiFranco, shifting between delicate lilt and evocative howl at will.” Performer Magazinedescribes the album as “varied and jubilant,” showcasing a “voice that can knock down a listener, clashing from a sweet, nearly conversational tone into a confident country-girl howl.”
Canary In A Coal Mine was recorded with producer James Frazee (Blondie, Betty Lavette) and features the talents of a wide cast of professional musicians, including Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco), Franz Nicolay (former Hold Steady), Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls), and Emily Hope Price (Pearl & the Beard).
A Boston area native, Vogelzang recently transplanted herself to the Midwest, landing in Madison, WI where she’s embraced the local music community, receiving multiple Madison Area Music Awards and even taking a teaching role at Madison's Girls Rock Camp. The area has proven to be a fruitful home base - the past few years have seen Vogelzang primarily on the road, self-booking tours with a determined approach that has landed her on the same stage as artists including Sarah Bareilles, Laura Gibson, Mirah, Wye Oak, Anais Mitchell, & Amanda Palmer, as well as garnering invitations to the Rocky Mountain Folks, Falcon Ridge, & National Women's Music Festivals' Emerging Stages. Since Canary’s release in February of 2012, Vogelzang has tirelessly toured the U.S, including appearances at this year’s South By Southwest Festival and International Folk Alliance Conference.