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“A Breath of Fresh Air. Makes My Heart Feel Good.”
Set aside old thinking and expectations to really listen to Rahel's music. Once you start you can't stop listening to it and thinking about it. A gifted, soulful songwriter, Rahel has a lot to say, and she says it well with a beautiful, diverse, collection of songs that are well-crafted, intelligent and musically sophisticated.
“I am not afraid when life turns me around”, sings Rahel in Where I'm Bound, and that is the sentiment that reflects the tone of her whole collection of songs. Many express a sense of wandering lost, yet there is an ever-present underlying courage and hope that the journey is purposeful and worthwhile despite the trials. The songs share a common spirit, as if Rahel was on the cusp of a sad ending and a hopeful new beginning. I can hear the empowerment of a woman starting over. Time Passes By and Hey Love highlight powerful harmonies and sparkling guitar; Rahel uses an unusual strumming pattern to punctuate the beat in Hey Love - wow, what a song of joy!
Clearly Rahel is a woman of great faith, and she can cover many emotional bases through the language of music alone. The beautiful chord progressions and quiet vocals in Babylon, a well-known verse from the Psalms that Rahel sings in the original Hebrew,tenderly express hope rising out of sorrow. Rahel's singing style is like Suzanne Vega's in that she sounds like she's speaking in tones. There is a wonderful quiet softness of her singing in Pierrot (a lovely song) and hard-drivin' vocals and harmonies in Straight in the Eye.
“Golden sun, rainbow colored skies surround you as you go. Move forward arms open wide, you've nothing to do but grow”: That's Rahel's joyful philosophy of life, in 3/4 time from Whenever You're You. A gifted, soulful songwriter, Rahel has a lot to say, and she says it well with a beautiful, diverse, collection of songs.
Rahel got her musical start on the piano at the tender age of six and at age ten attended the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. The 1960's proved to be an exciting time in musical history. Rahel had already experienced the new beat of the Beatles while living in Ireland at age nine. No doubt that’s why she took up the guitar as a teen. Private guitar studies using the Berklee College of Music guitar method gave her a solid foundation as a guitarist. She was able to pick up the finger styles of James Taylor and Paul Simon just by listening to the LP vinyls. The perfect vocal synchronicity of Peter, Paul & Mary wowed Rahel while the complex yet simplistic three-chord commentary of Bob Dylan proved that music could inspire the masses and take the lead in changing lives. Woodstock was the peak event and pivotal moment that launched a new generation of musicians. They would continue to influence Rahel as well as entire generations to come. The exquisite vocal harmonies and creative acoustic meanderings of Crosby, Stills & Nash held Rahel spellbound. The open guitar tunings of Joni Mitchell and Mary McCaslin intrigued and captivated Rahel’s musical imagination. Then the ‘70's blew in like a storm. The freestyle energy of Jimi Hendrix, the power of rock bands including Led Zeppelin, Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire, the feminist movement that showcased women singers and songwriters including Janis Joplin, Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Wendy Waldman, Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega, Nanci Griffith, Hazel and Alice and more recently the Indigo Girls lit a fire to Rahel’s pure folk soul. In 1976, following a few years of travels, Rahel landed in Israel. Her musical ears were opened up to exotic new sounds boasting a fusion of ancient, traditional, and contemporary world music found only in the region. Intrigued, Rahel continued to study music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Eurhythmics at Levinsky College in Tel Aviv, and guitar with Eitan Zahavi, Avner Strauss andVictor Azus.
Rahel’s musical career was launched in 1980 with her original song, Whisper by the Sea, which appears on the debut album of Israel’s first and leading all-woman band, Tofa’ah, and on Rahel's CD, Hinay Ma Tov. She is a two-time winner of the English Songwriting Competition sponsored by the Israel Association of Canadians & Americans placing second for two consecutive years in 1996 and 1997. She was given the Shem Tov Award in 2003for her dedication and commitment to strengthening the New Hampshire Jewish community. Rahel is a juried artist at the NH Council on the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts (N.E.F.A), New England State Touring Artist (N.E.S.T), In the Presence of Positive Women (IPPW) and member of the New Hampshire Jewish Artist Connection and Sound Healers Association. Her numerous recordings include original music for children and adults alike.