After receiving industry acclaim in the form of Clear Channel’s “New” program and earning top honors in the 2006 “Song of the Year” competition, Rachel VanSlyke landed into a worldwide recording and publishing contract. In the summer of 2007 she recorded her debut album, “so I begin” at Stanley Recording Studios in Santa Monica, CA. In the spring of 2008, this adventurous music maker then set out on a 26 plus-city tour sprawling from the coast of South Florida, to Montreal, Canada on a bicycle! This pedal powered journey was both to promote the new album, and raise awareness on sustainability and environmental issues. VanSlyke’s unique combination of accessible, highly listenable tunes with no holds barred lyrics and a refusal to be bound by conventional genres have garnered her a following who are at once enamored and empowered by her bold songwriting and gutsy performances. Succeeding on her own terms, her songs emotionally resonate with fans across the spectrum based upon their edgy intensity and genuine intimacy. Raised in Upstate New York on little more than a love of family and music, she first took to the guitar at age 14. The past decade she’s spent honing her talents by beating the odds and claiming a newfound comfort in crowds. She also plays piano and a little tenor sax, thanks to her family’s penchant for all- night jam sessions, but the energetic artist feels compelled to pick up and play pretty much anything that makes a sound. Of course, the construction worker turned waitress turned Venice Boardwalk acoustic vagabond has a habit of defying expectations. And “so i begin,” her first release by TSR Records is no exception.
Combining elements of rock, pop and classic country, everyone from teens to the adult alternative crowd are getting off on the unapologetic sensuality of Rachel VanSlyke’s storytelling and her raw, expressive and explosive talents. Still reluctant to set up house in anybody else’s camp, the modest twenty-six year-old does acknowledge and appreciate comparisons made to Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, and Nirvana. Rock? Sure, just so long as your definition includes ample room for the truthy twangs of Johnny Cash. Pop? Yes, but when’s the last time hooks like this have been matched with R&B grit – better put a little more rum in that Coke. Folk? Of course, the influence is there, but are you sure Folk is supposed to stomp? This ain’t your Momma’s Mamas. And there’s nothing the playful soul likes better than surprising fans by following up one song – just when they think they’ve got her pegged – with something completely different.