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The Spiritual and Lyrical Instrument that is Rachelle Ferrell
By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw, Contributing Writer
Published September 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.17.53 PM

(Courtesy photo)

If you ever have the opportunity to experience the live artistry of Rachelle Ferrell, run towards the light and goodness that is hallmark of a Ferrell performance. Making her first appearance at the Hyatt Regency Summer Concert series in Newport Beach (a fact which boggles the mind), Ferrell dazzled the crowd with her extraordinary vocal abilities and musicianship. But it was her soulful, self-penned, and eloquent lyrics that took center stage.

A masterful wordsmith, Ferrell fluidly moved between octaves as she invited the audience to really listen and experience each and every word.

“I consider myself a wordsmith. When I’m at my best, in perfect alignment, I have the gift to string words together like pearls in a necklace. A loose pearl is one thing but when you get the opportunity to see an exquisite pearl necklace, put together in proper order, the gradients of color, a work of art that you can live with and heal by,” Ferrell said.

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Described by many as a precious musical gift, Ferrell has the rare ability to draw and connect with audiences through her unique phrasings and vibrant lyrics that encourage openness to the Creator and the joys of life. Responding to the inevitable question of where do those wonderful lyrics come from, Ferrell said, “The words come from my soul, from the souls, minds, spirits of the people around me…my experiences…their experiences, stories that I hear….”

It is indeed Ferrell’s uncanny ability to use her being as the instrument through which stories flow that slays audiences around the world. Backed by musicians that are spiritually and musically in tune with Ferrell, it is their partnership that makes her show a divine evening of music that defies traditional labels of jazz or R&B; it simply does not matter at a Ferrell concert. “It is a collaboration where we are helping Rachelle to heal or minister through music. We come into this atmosphere as clear as possible so the people can be blessed,” said longtime Ferrell keyboardist and collaborator, Phil Davis.

Trained as a classical violinist, Ferrell can literally do it all. A prolific and poignant songwriter and singer, a pianist and self-taught guitarist, Ferrell cannot remember a time when music was not a part of her life. “Something exploded on the inside of me when I heard jazz. I went on a search for my true musical self. What you hear are the results of what’s living on the inside of me,” Ferrell said.

Being true to her art form was something Ferrell fought to do from the very beginning. “My facial expressions, and appearance were talked about in the beginning by music critics. They said I sang all over the place and didn’t have any respect for the melody,” said Ferrell. “But my greatest achievement and challenge is staying true to myself.”

And on that September night in Newport Beach, the audience loved that she is Rachelle, the instrument, the expressive lyricist, the celebrator of humanity, and the soul-stirring singer who invites you on a musical journey through the deep end of the ocean. “To watch her sing and interpret what’s on the inside of her is amazing, very few artists can do that. She shapes the notes according to what she hears in her head, it’s genius and we get to experience that gift,” said Ferrell guitarist, Billy Odum. “We are vessels, vehicles, and co-creators with the Creator. We have a tacit agreement to show up, be clear and open, ready to align ourselves with light and goodness,” Ferrell said. As the late George Duke, Ferrell’s friend and mentor said, “Rachelle is probably one of the most amazing singers around.”

For more information about Rachelle Ferrell, visit rachellefarrell.com

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Categories: Entertainment | Exclusive | Music
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