Basic Folk: Rachel Sumner

California native and Boston resident Rachel Sumner had an early interest in classical music that lead her to pursuing a career in film orchestration. After switching gears at Berklee College of Music, Rachel became interested in bluegrass thanks to discovery the music of Hazel Dickens And Alice Gerrard. Eventually, she met her future bandmates of Twisted Pine at the Cantab Lounge’s bluegrass night.

On Basic Folk, Rachel talks about finding music when she was younger and learning that it was a way out of her “not so great environment.” Thanks to the support of her mom and grandmother, she worked incredibly hard and that drive continues to inform her as an adult and a musician. She shares the story of first discovering the music club Largo in Los Angeles. She went to see The Watkins Family Hour and literally could not speak the next day due to the experience. That was a very important moment in her deciding to pursue music.

Rachel’s solo career, this far, has one EP out; Anything Worth Doing that seems to effortlessly combine her interest in classical and folk music (love those woodwinds!). She also has just released a new project with her fiancé, Ian Fitzgerald called Sing Me an Old Tune. Thanks for listening! This is the first episode I’ve released while living in Somerville, MA (where Rachel lives, too!) and it was the last interview I recorded in my studio in Pittsburgh.

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