Ries bares her soul on stage

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RACHEL Ries is a channel for the human condition. Her songs describe love, loss, tragedy everything which - in Rachel’s words - reflect the ‘tug and pull’ of everyday life.

Reared in North Dakota, Ries’ songs embody the tensions of a woman who’s left the country for the city (New York).

Ries plays electric guitar and fuses her playing with observant lyrics. Her playing is reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt and vocals recall those of Regina Spektor and early Maria Muldaur.

Ries has released two albums, two EPs though her touring experience spans years. Her latest release, Laurel Lake, is a limited-edition collection of songs Ries recorded whilst on retreat in Tennessee in 2012.

There’s a spiritual quality to Ries’ songs, which, perhaps, is owing to her background - her parents were Mennonite missionaries who spent time in Zaire, now the Congo. Ries - as a youngster - was no stranger to Congolese spirituals. Back at home, her mother would sing the Carpenters to her in bed.

This UK tour is Ries’ first. She’ll be playing material from her first four releases as well as her forthcoming album, Ghost of a Gardener. Ries appears as a guest a regular open mic night Sheffield Songwriters Live, at Delaneys Music Bar, Cemetery Road on Tuesday.