Rachelle van Zanten
Rock – Burns Lake, British Columbia
In between firing up her chainsaw to fill her woodshed, and fishing and canning to fill her pantry, and inspiring local youth to live it up outdoors on their mountain bikes or skis, award-winning musician RACHELLE VAN ZANTEN got busy this fall recording a northern BC six pack of original Christmas songs. Described by colleagues as a “bicycle- ridin’, songwritin’, guitar-playin’, badass bushmother”, Burns Lake-based van Zanten started writing these tunes two Christmases ago after multiple requests to record them. She booked the studio, put pen to paper, and was awarded a BC music grant to make it happen.
“Instead of the same old, same old, Rachelle brings new songs and ideas to the Christmas party,” says musician Randy Bachman. “The songs are very real and very touching in the heart. Really great stories, lyrics and mind pictures…it will grow on you, like it has on me.”
It’s Christmas in these Parts – 1 was released November 12, 2018 online via iTunes, CD Baby and van Zanten’s website – just in time to liven up our holiday playlists. It pays tribute to the free spirit of B.C.’s rural Northwest while capturing some of that childlike joy that comes with the season. Van Zanten combines her signature guitar stylings and carefully crafted lyrics with savvy contributions from fellow BC musicians, including her cover of a song by northern BC songwriter comrade Mark Perry. The six-song EP has something for everyone — from a bell-ringing countdown complete with Alex Cuba-directed northern choir, to a fun waltz infused with accordion from Spirit of the West’s Tobin Frank, to a Christmas-storied slide-guitar groove accented by the bass and drum beats of producer Joby Baker. It is part 1 of an anticipated full Christmas album, scheduled for 2019-20.
Listed by Bachman as one of Canada’s “best slide guitarists”, van Zanten has spent most of her life on the international “Rock n Roll Highway” and is an accomplished songwriter and recording/touring artist. She cut her professional teeth as a member of the 1990s award-winning Canadian female rock band Painting Daisies and began making headlines as a solo artist in 2005, recording four albums in her first 8 years– Back to Francois (2006), Where Your Garden Grows (2009), Oh Mother (2013), and her debut children’s album Little Spruce (2016). Known best as a Canadian roots rocker, van Zanten is renowned for her powerful live performances & soulful Canadiana grooves that capture the essence of her rural northern BC origins.
Van Zanten’s Christmas album project is her first foray releasing “digital first” and she joins the masses of independent recording artists in imploring people to “Buy it. Don’t stream it.”