On the North York Moors

Rachel Harrington and Zak Borden

Sat 20 October 2007

Rachel Harrington

A great double bill: Grammy nominated artist

"a brilliant debut, 5 Stars" - and now put forward for the first stages of a Grammy nomination 2007. "humble songs that ain't got no fancy words."

This show is very highly recommended - Rachel has just been asked to put her new album forward for a Grammy, which also received a 4 star review by Maverick this week.

The Bootlegger's Daughter:

"FIVE STARS! Absolutely brilliant! The best debut since Gillian [Welch's] '96 'Revival'."

Already a contender for 2007 album of the year, The Bootlegger's Daughter is a top drawer Americana debut from Seattle's Rachel Harrington.

Deep and haunting, this album explores traditional American folk and bluegrass themes through Rachel's evocative vocals and gifted songwriting.

There are country gospel tones in the quietly understated musicianship, and Harrington's lyrics are literate and heartbreaking in equal measure. Other than a reading of Laura Veirs' Up The River and a take on John Hurt's Louis Collins, the songs are all from the pen of Rachel herself, and her exquisite and timeless lyrics evoke a genuine feel of the heritage of this form of music. An astonishing feat for a songwriter so young.

Rachel Harrington has opened for luminaries such as Shawn Colvin and Todd Snider, and she is gaining national airplay alongside a lot of support from European stations, including the BBC where she comes with the highest of recommendations from the legendary Bob Harris.

She is joined by multi-instrumentalist Zak Borden on vocals, mandolin, guitar and various other weapons of mass destruction. A solid songwriter in his own right, Zak has toured extensively throughout the US and UK having worked with, among many others, Casey Neill, The Watson Twins, and his platinum selling cousin Willy Mason.


Zak Borden

"American roots, dirty granges, flatpicking, big vocal ranges, evil grooves, tight harmonies... lots and lots of lonley little birds and humble songs that ain't got no fancy words."

Zak's Indie debut "Whistles & Steam" features a wide variety of roots music inspired by bluegrass, delta blues and songwriters in the tradition of Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt.

Zak Borden is a picker, songwriter and singer of American roots music. He has clocked tens of thousands of road miles in the US and Europe and worked with leading purveyors of traditional and contemporary acoustic music.

He has proved his versatility having toured, recorded with and co-produced roots-rocker Casey Neill, worked with Indie darling Willy Mason, Bluegrass Grammy nominee Kate MacKenzie, folk diva Tracy Grammer, trad. celtic artists Martin Hayes, Hanz Araki and the late Johnny Cunningham and has collaborated closely with first call Jazz/classical bass god Buell Neidlinger (Cecil Taylor, David Grisman). In the last year, Zak has nearly doubled his discography as a sideman and could be seen sitting in with The Watson Twins (Jenny Lewis) and British rockers The Magic Numbers.

His deep passion as a backing musician has served as a rock solid foundation for his work as songwriter and frontman. On the strength of his own material, he steps to center stage. His songs are the lonesome, longing kind...the sort that comes from the fertile ground somewhere between homesteading and highway travel. Zak's voice dips from high tenor to a rich low baritone and is driven by a dynamic guitar style.

Zak was born amidst the folk music scare in Cambridge, Mass where he was exposed to all kinds of roots music. His uncle played in New Mexico's Last Mile Ramblers (with Junior Brown). His sister plays banjo, a cousin that tours the world rockin', His grandfather built guitars and fiddles and his songwriting aunt worked and played at the renowned Longview Recording Studios. But things became critical at 16, when one midnight in July he witnessed two members of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys playing on the street....in other words...Zak had no choice.


Rachel Harrington and Zak Borden website

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