NXNE 2014 Artist Profile: Rachel Ries

Rachel RiesName: Rachel Ries

NXNE Show: The Rivoli – Saturday, June 21 @ 9pm

Hometown: Freeman, South Dakota

Music Genre: Singer / Songwriter

Year it all began: The year I was 4 and wanted to be Karen Carpenter.

Quick Introduction: I saved this question for last but now I see I’ve fully answered it in all the questions below! So read on…

What got you into music? Music was an unending part of my upbringing – from hymns and Congolese spirituals to Paul Simon and the Carpenters. Even though there’ve been times I’ve fought it tooth & nail, I’ve never really known another way. Music it is and music it shall be!

What are your sources of inspiration? Living is quite enough! My work is rather autobiographical and I’m forever drawn to messy humanness. I’m steadily trying to puzzle out faith & faithfulness, urban living, doubt, aging, bad decisions, passion, forgiveness… Y’know – all the real shit. (And often the funny shit if you’re willing to look at it right).

Dream gig? I played in a friend’s band at Radio City Music Hall once. At the end of the night I snuck out one of the RCMH glasses from the after-party. Last week when I reached up to take the glass from off the shelf the clear determined thought arose: You’re gonna play there again – this time as you. So I guess there you go! A dream to dream and do.

Your thoughts about NXNE? I’m delighted! This’ll be my first time and I’m not too sure what I’m in for but a) Toronto is a stupendous city, b) my band, comprised of Charlotte Cornfield & Jason Ball, is beautiful and c) if I get to see Zeus, even just from afar, I shall be ever so happy.

Interesting points others don’t know about you? From South Dakota (where you’ve never been). Was a missionary kid in Zaire (where you’ve also never been). Used to be a farmhand. Used to live in a commune. I was raised a Mennonite. Moved to Vermont last fall in search of not-new-york-city. Every time I paint my nails red I’m sad I didn’t paint them orange. So I’m gonna paint them orange now. Thanks, bye! -r