Raised in South Dakota by Mennonite missionaries, singer/songwriter Rachel Ries spent her formative years immersed in an unusual mix of Congolese spirituals, Mennonite hymns, and the popular Carpenters tunes of the day.
Now based in Vermont, Ries made her recording debut in 2005, releasing For You Only, a charming set of soulful acoustic country-inspired folk songs. Two years later, she worked with veteran engineer Kris Poulin in Chicago on her jazzy, self-produced follow-up, Without a Bird, released on her newly launched label SoDak Records. A split EP with folksinger Anaïs Mitchell called Country E.P. arrived in 2008 on Righteous Babe Records, after which Ries dedicated her time to touring with Mitchell, Bon Iver, and many other artists. Her involvement with the Chicago theater community led to a Chicago Arts Award in 2010 as she continued to expand her artistic endeavors. In 2012, she began recording her third LP, working with producer and Secretly Canadian recording artist David Vandervelde. Recorded in Chicago at the studio of late Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett and featuring a cast of well-respected guest players, Ghost of a Gardener was released in February 2014. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi