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ANYTHING WORTH DOING
Rachel Sumner may be best known as the former guitarist and one of two primary songwriters and singers in the band Twisted Pine, but her musical interests and curiosity extend beyond even the most progressive approach to traditional string-band instrumentation. Her debut solo EP, Anything Worth Doing, will better acquaint listeners with the breadth of her songwriting and production capabilities. With co-producer Daniel Radin, Rachel’s textural experimentation led her to sounds both familiar and new: drawing on her classical training as a woodwind player, arranging and performing parts for flute and clarinet; calling on former Twisted Pine bandmate Kathleen Parks for lush string arrangements; utilizing instruments typically associated with country music, such as pedal steel, harmonica, and electric guitar, without leaning on genre cliches; and accentuating the shifting tempos and time signatures of her songs with the inclusion of drums, played by Honeysuckle’s Benjamin Burns. In addition to Radin (Future Teens, The Novel Ideas), Parks, and Burns, the album’s credits boast a veritable who’s-who of the Boston folk scene, with contributions from longtime musical partners Sam Moss and Michael Siegel (Sumner & Moss); Deni Hlavinka (The Western Den); Danny Hoshino (The Novel Ideas); Icelandic harmonica wiz Thorleif Davidsson (Kaleo); and the distinguished folk singer-songwriter Ian Fitzgerald. At the center of all of these moving parts, pulling them together into a cohesive and beautiful work, is Rachel’s voice: both in her performance as a musician and in her songwriting, which is stronger than ever.
SING ME AN OLD TUNE
PROJECTS & COLLABORATIONS
Rachel's frequent collaborations have taken shape in the form of full & part-time bands, as well as one-offs and semi-annual projects. Click on each photo to learn more about each venture.
Ian Fitzgerald & Rachel Sumner are each decorated songwriters in their own right, so it seemed only natural the two would meet and want to create together. Sing Me An Old Tune marks their first collaborative effort, setting their own originals by the side of timeless covers. Recorded by candlelight in a single room at National Sound Studios in Cranston, RI, the album includes only live takes with no edits or overdubs. Sumner & Fitzgerald create a warm space using two acoustic guitars and invite listeners with their tender, intimate harmonies reminiscent of celebrated duos Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings. Sing Me An Old Tune is available now.
Until recently, Rachel spent the majority of her time as one of the lead singers and songwriters for acclaimed folk-pop band, Twisted Pine. They released their debut eponymous album on Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Crooked Still, Josh Ritter), and released their album of whimsical covers, Dreams, in the summer of 2018. On their self-titled album, her songwriting can be heard in the emotionally charged "Easton" and the country-cabaret lilt of love & deceit, “Lose My Love.” Her song, "Bank Man Blues," beautifully recalls a true, heart-wrenching tale of her family's eviction during the housing market crisis. Collaboration with mandolin player Dan Bui on the opening track "Hold On Me" earned a nod from NPR's Heavy Rotation:The Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing segment while the fire-filled, "When I Called Your Name," continues to be featured on prominent Spotify roots playlists. Buy the album here.