"Though Sumner has roots in both the bluegrass and classical worlds, this is true-blue singer-songwriter folk through and through, too: achingly clear, and wide open to the world, with twang and tenderness enough to carry us through the fire of an unusually difficult year on its own" - Cover Lay Down
Rachel Sumner may be best known as the former guitarist and singer-songwriter from bluegrass string phenom Twisted Pine, but it is in her recent venture as a solo artist that we are beginning to fully recognize her dynamism as a writer and performer. Whether she’s fronting her new stringband, Traveling Light, or appearing with only a guitar, you’ll be mesmerized by her elegantly intricate arrangements and captivated by the delivery of each and every word. Now, you may be getting the idea that all of her songs are delicate, crystalline confessionals; they are most certainly not. Rachel is both a Willie Nelson and a Patsy Cline of indie-folk - writing the heartfelt but catchy songs and conveying their emotional complexity with candor and an achingly beautiful yodel. And it is her diverse love of pop, classical, country and everything in between that she draws upon to synthesize into her own unique sound.
In 2011, Rachel relocated from the west coast to Boston as a classical flutist, intending only to study Composition and Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music. She didn’t play any other instruments - she hadn’t even thought to strum a string on the guitar at that point. Rachel might have begun her formal training in wind ensembles and orchestras, but folk music was important to her family and had been fueling her musical passion from the very start. While at school, she eventually found herself making friends with bluegrass musicians (some of whom would become her future band mates and collaborators) who encouraged and taught her to play basic chords on the guitar and introduced her to the canon of traditional music. In the short time since, Rachel has become one of the most vital voices in Boston's thriving roots music scene; she has written award-winning songs, toured internationally, and recorded and released four albums. Rachel’s debut solo EP Anything Worth Doing was released in November 2018, and she has begun work on the follow-up to that, her debut full-length record due out in 2022.