"Harrington's bleak, black strand of Americana makes Neko Case sound like Olivia Newton John."
"As cheerful as Leonard Cohen"
Le Cri du Coyote (France)
FOUR STARS: “Ancient-sounding country noir … Harrington is all about what’s left off her songs, and the skeletal arrangements leave the listener to fill in the unspoken terrors and tenderness that lie beneath”
Bury Me Close: #34 on Q’s 50 Essential Tracks To Download This Month
FOUR STARS: “Songs that conjure the ghosts of old America”
FOUR STARS: The Irish Times Top-10 Albums of the Year List includes cds by Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant and Neil Young. At #7, Rachel Harrington's Celilo Falls.
~The Irish Times
FOUR STARS: “A compelling blend of twang and swing … a sharply rendered sound portrait.”
“Some of the year's most heart warming tracks with its timeless, traditional take on American folk. An inspiring album indeed!”
~Neon Filler (UK)
# 6 Album Of The Year
"Seattle has no shortage of lady country crooners: Ballard Avenue is littered with half-assed Emmylou wannabes, but Rachel Harrington ain't one of 'em. Harrington is both fresh and referential, with a songwriting style very reminiscent of the premier honky-tonk honeys of yesterday, namely Loretta and Dolly. Her stellar track 'Wedding Ring Vacation' will certainly rank as one of the year's best among the 'swingin' doors' set."
#1 True Country Album of the Year (Makin' Our House A Honkytonk)
~Roots Music Report
FOUR ½ STARS: “Drawn from traditional American folk, shades of bluegrass, country and a rural soul, it is music which transcends its own influences (Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, the Carter Family and all the way down those Smithsonian Folkways) before being realised as a wonderfully authentic sound”
“Harrington returns to the alt-country fore with another melancholic slice of beautifully doomful Americana … an album stripped back to beautiful basics with a raw beauty and solitary campfire pathos”
“Rachel Harrington belongs at the top of Americana today, on equal altitude with Gillian Welch or Emmylou Harris”
“There's an old saying that ‘the third time's a charm.’ Well, Rachel's third CD release, Celilo Falls, is more than just charming; it's another top notch release by a first-rate artist and songwriter.”
~Dennis Brunnenmeyer, DJ, Nevada City Limits, KVMR-FM
“Conjuring Emmylou … could have come from the Louvins’ catalogue … [Harrington is an] angel on earth.”
FOUR STARS: “Haunted, gothic Americana”
~The Daily Mirror (UK)
“Harrington is one of those artists Brits get before she registers with her fellow Americans. Listen up, America!”
“I don't think we'll have a better folk record this year.”
~Dani Heyvaert, DJ
“It has fallen straight into my top CD of the year slot and hasn’t been out of my CD player since it arrived … Celilo Falls will find its place among the best material out there.”
“A first rate songwriter and performer, with a collection of highly personal songs that pull no punches.”
“Personal heartaches, break-ups, dissatisfaction, the inevitability of death and loss in general. It's a brave move - but a rewarding one ….With deep, heartfelt lyrics and exemplary musicianship, Celilo Falls is a very welcome and worthy addition to Harrington’s growing and impressive body of work.”
“It is beyond words. It moved me so much (it is a fact that I cried listening to the beauty of your album) ... this Cd is a musical gem!”
~Mike Penard, DJ (Europe)
“Winning formula … the American folk of pre-electric country … an accomplished and engaging musician and singer …Harrington's honest unaffected voice injects that essential leavening of 'truth' into her songs."
“Superb country-folk songs.”
~Alt Country NL
“[These 13 tracks] score Harrington thirteen homeruns … a cd that stands beside the best of Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin and Lucinda Williams.”
~CTRL. ALT. COUNTRY
Spotlight: CD of the Week
“Harrington is a rescuer of lost souls … urgently recommended!”
~Hooked On Music
“One to watch!”
“Like turning the clock back a century … each and every note is audible, and counts …haunting and plaintive vocals …the whole album demands serious listening”
~Get Ready To Rock
FIVE STARS, Album of the Month: “Americana as a musical genre is too often a catchall term for singer songwriters wishing to hide the fact that they are singer songwriters. But there are times when you find a performer who not just fits but also seems to define the genre. With her third album Celilo Falls, Rachel Harrington shows us her true calibre.”
Feature Spotlight: “Eagerly anticipated third album...”
~M Is For Music
“Harrington’s voice is extraordinary, her songwriting consistently strong.”
“As evocative as ever.”
~Folk and Roots
“An album of short stories that’ll take you back in time.”
“Superb material … Harrington’s a class act, for sure!”
~Bristol Evening Post
“Evokes images of worn guitars, wooden porches and passion within … Harrington is turning stories into songs.”
FOUR STARS: “An album that reaches deep into the soul.”
~Country Music People
“Harrington’s scope is positively cinematic – an immense and awe-inspiring soundtrack.”
~Taplas Magazine (Wales)
FOUR STARS: “A beautiful sounding record packed full of inspirational and stirring Americana that stands her apart from many of her contemporaries. Harrington deserves to be mentioned alongside the likes of Nanci Griffith, Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris and this album will make sure she is.”
~The Music Critic
"Best known to UK audiences as a cult live performer, including acclaimed performances with Lindisfarne’s Rod Clements, Oregon-born Rachel Harrington’s third LP Celilo Falls, [has] rustic country charm imbued with bluegrass flourishes and gospel melodies. … unfailingly tasteful … wonderful lewd … desperately pretty and sad.”
~Wears The Trousers
“A voice from an [older] generation … angelic … twangy.”
“Even though many of her songs are set in the here and now they have the feel of timelessness that lasting music should have.”
FOUR STARS: “An album of incredible maturity … marvelous!”
~Rock and Reel
“Sounding at once from a bygone age and as fresh and comforting as home-baked bread.”
~The Sunday Herald (Scotland)
"City of Refuge, her second album, is a compelling and soulful update of traditional folk. Harrington's voice is strong and thin, like the young Emmylou Harris'. She has a knack, like Gillian Welch, for writing new tunes for the Carter Family songbook."
FOUR STARS: "Connecting with the ghosts of American folk music."
~ Americana UK
FOUR STARS: "Ghost town sound; plain, pretty voice, stark banjo - Harrington, like early Gillian Welch, sounds like she stepped out of the old, sepia photo on the cd sleeve ... Beguiling."
"Her last album The Bootlegger's Daughter received a lot of praise (from Bob Harris in particular) and her follow up is likely to do so also ... she again manages to evoke an earlier era ... City Of Refuge is the kind of place, as displayed here, where many would like to spend some time getting acquainted with the residents."
"Harrington's music often sounds like it could date from the 1850s ... a rough-hewn country voice songs with a rural setting that touch on love and death. Some are traditional, some original, but the old-timey feel remains constant. The playing is stellar, and Harrington convincingly re-creates the sound of a mountain singer."
FOUR STARS: "Rachel Harrington has a gift of making the old new again ..."
~Kim Ruehl - Sound Northwest Magazine
"It's been a great year for old-timey artist Rachel Harrington. Her sophomore release, City of Refuge, hit No. 1 on the Euro-Americana radio chart and had a good showing in the States as well. City [of Refuge] features fresh arrangements of traditional tunes ... But it's Harrington's own songs ... that will steal your heart [and] send chills down your spine."
~Mare Wakefield, Performing Songwriter
FOUR STARS: "Scary bluegrass ... Gothic tracks on an inspiringly original album ... Q recommends!"
"A brilliant example of old-time country ... you’ll feel like you are listening to a collection of songs cut in the Depression era. Rachel, on this album at least, seems more determined than [Gillian] Welch to not let any other genre intrude in her vision. She is making music that belongs to another time and place"
~Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music
"Those (me) who worry that Gillian Welch is going to nod off mid-song and wish she’d pick it up a half step will find much to enjoy with Harrington’s new disc. It’s dusty, rustic and a decade or two out of time and in its own way, just in time. Bittersweet folk steeped in sepia makes this perfect for a winters day of listening."
FOUR STARS: "On this second album she's penned some enthralling stories ... subtly adorned in old-timey acoustic arrangements ... [City of Refuge is] a classic American album!"
"The singer-songwriter who is captivating the hearts of Britain and Europe ... an ancient resonance combined with a modern feel"
~Michael Hingston, Country Music People
FOUR STARS: "Rachel Harrington's The Bootlegger's Daughter was one of the more impressive albums of 2007 and certainly among the best debuts; City of Refuge moves the Oregon-bred singer-songwriter to a new level."
~The Irish Times
"City of Refuge casts an almost hypnotic spell ... Harrington sings plaintively, the simplicity of her delivery driving an utterly persuasive summoning of spiritual courage, as a small string band saws away behind her. Together she and it address the uneasy coexistence of the temporal and the eternal. You don't have to be a believer to believe her ... Harrington's approach serves to translate Appalachian folk forms into a universal language only passingly linked to any particular time or space. Harrington is as much a literary artist as a musical one."
~Jerome Clark, Rambles
"This is old time country ... from a by-gone era ... the mood of the album is sombre, and in her own way she is singing the blues ... highly recommended."
~Steve O., Leicester Bangs
"Harrington's latest collection of sepia-tinted Americana ... doesn't immediately reveal its treasures. Instead, it's a slower altogether more satisfying process as, gradually, with repeated play, the subtle quality and understated nature of the performances begin to resonate powerfully. O'Brien's fiddle embroiders the bulk of the material with as fine a stitch as could be, while dobro, mandolin and upright serve the songs well. Harrington is in fine voice ... delightfully evocative original material."
~Dave White, Rock n' Reel
"In Rachel Harrington’s second album City Of Refuge, Portland, Oregon has produced yet another utterly absorbing musical experience ... compelling sepia-hued yarns ... spotlessly soulful country vocal."
~Free Music Friday feature, Wears The Trousers (Nov 21, 2008)
"City of Refuge sounds like it came off a John Lomax recording from the Appalachian area during the FDR era ... a heavy reliance on banjo and fiddle, giving this an even sweeter sound, completely complementing Rachel’s exquisite voice."
~Robert Barry Francos, Jersey Beat
9/10 STARS! "As good an example of traditional Americana as you’ll find anywhere ... a great storyteller ...It’s been a good year for Americana already, and Harrington has just made it a lot better."
~Steve Harnell, Crackerjack, as well as Bristol Evening Post
"It's a thrill to discover a new performer who really does have a new slant on all things Alt.Country-related, which Oregon native Rachel Harrington surely has ... Fascinatingly grainy ... dips even deeper into Americana's bulging burlap sack and emerges with some arcane, but wonderfully fatalistic treasures which are all well worth coveting."
~Tim Peacock, Whisperin and Hollerin
FIVE STARS! "... traditional style, she opens with her golden voice ... Although she doesn’t have to prove anything anymore, Rachel Harrington brings us once again 10 terrific tunes and makes sure that everyone understands she is a great artist."
~Mr. Blue Boogie, BillyBop
"Mixing country, folk, bluegrass, and old-time, Rachel Harrington is a treasure waiting to be discovered!"
~Stewart Fenwick, Country Music And Dance In Scotland Magazine
"Rachel's blessed with a really attractive (and suitably ballsy) voice and ... totally convinces with the sheer directness and clarity of her lyrical expression and ... the pure unadorned beauty and gritty confidence of her vocal tone ... an abundantly fine new set from this enchanting chanteuse."
"Doordat City of Refuge de luchtigheid van Harringtons eerste cd mist, is deze 'moeilijke tweede' eigenlijk alleen interessant voor de doorgewinterde liefhebber van stokoude countrymuziek en geschiedenisleraren, die vast en zeker smullen van Harringtons verhalen over cowboys en indianen."
~Maurice Dielemans, KindaMuzik
"Un disco imperdibile per chi ama la musica acustica, i brani tradizionali anglossassoni, il folk di classe. Rachel Harrington proviene dall'Oregon dove ha vissuto con la famiglia all'interno di una comunità evangelica e dove i primi passi musicali avevano il suono del gospel. Bellissima la versione di Old Time Religion. Consigliamo di monitorare internet per sapere se, come e quando il disco arriverà anche da noi."
~Michele Manzotti, il Popolodel Blues
"She does it with taste and personality, passion and genuine talent, and this 'City Of Refuge' deserves careful listening to those who appreciate the American tradition."
~Scritto da Remo Ricaldone, Planet Country (Italy)
"A most consummate album. Rachel Harrington is brilliant both as a singer and a songwriter, it is very easy to disappear into her voice... a top-ten-list placement for the year."
~Johan Annetorp (Translated by Hans Malm), Rootsy Magazine (Sweden)
"Ähnlich wie auf ihrem Debut arbeitet Harrington erneut mit tadellosen und einfühlsamen Musikern, die sich auf ein akustisches, traditionelles Instrumentarium beschränken und sich niemals mit überflüssigen Tönen aufhalten, sondern auf reduzierte, tief empfundene Transparenz setzen. Ich hoffe "City Of Refuge" erscheint auch als Vinylausgabe."
~Frank Ipach, Hooked on Music
"'The Bootlegger's Daughter' was één van de beste Americana-albums van vorig jaar. 'City Of Refuge' straalt niet alleen het rustieke uit van de schilderij van de cover maar is zowel letterlijk als figuurlijk ook een echte droomplaat!"
"What popular music at the beginning of the last century must've sounded like - when it wasn't folk music anymore but before mass production and electrification became viable, back when jazz music was still a toddler. Once you've gotten used to this, sound there's a lot of worthy stuff to be found in Harrington's music: tremendously sad blues-themes, a beautiful singing voice, ..."
"City of Refuge, Rachel Harrington's second major CD release in less than two years, is another outstanding production and a perfect sequel to Bootlegger's Daughter. The choice of songs, the compositions, the engineering and even the packaging of the CD is good as it gets. But the real magic begins when Rachel sings. This CD will definitely be on my small list of top selections for 2008."
~Dennis Brunnenmeyer, DJ, KVMR-FM Radio, Nevada City, CA
FOUR STARS! "A primer in Americana."
"Makes easy bedfellows of both old and new country" 3 out of 5 stars
"Recommended! An impressive collection ... 4.5 stars!"
~The Sun (UK)
FOUR STARS: "Harrington is at the top of her form."
~Rock n' Reel
FOUR STARS: "Like tuning into some obscure backwoods American radio station from sepia-tinted days of yore."
The Irish Times
"An absolutely brilliant debut ... I've been getting tremendous listener response ... [The Bootlegger's Daughter] is already a contender for Album of the Year in my opinion."
Bob Harris - BBC Radio
"Just the right combination of temerity and twang .. leaving enough space for listeners to want more from this Bootlegger's still."
~Mare Wakefield - Performing Songwriter
END OF YEAR LISTS FOR BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER:
* #9, John Sincock - DJ, KBCS
* #1, Francois Braeken - music critic, RootsVille
* #5, Nico Druijf, Euro-Americana DJ
* Top 30 Best Seller for 2007, Miles of Music
* #31 Best of 2007, No Depression readers poll
* Best releases of 2007, Tom Funk, DJ, KGLP
* #73 - US folk radio in 2007, based on 162420 airplays from 197 different DJs
* #2 Best Debut of 2007: Third Coast Music
* Top 10 of '07, FolkRoots (CBC)
"An ideal vehicle showcasing [Rachel's] multiple talents ... a significant landmark."
"Harrington most favorably represents a new generation of singer-songwriters ... carefully crafted songs ... a tasty mix ... an assured voice ... songwriting that truly shines."
~R. Warren - Sing Out!
"A musical story into the roots of Americana ... 100% top class music."
~Billy Bop Review
"A beautiful moving voice that makes you forget everything. 'The Bootlegger's Daughter' is currently topping the EuroAmericana Chart, a monthly hit parade composed by DJs, journalists and other folks working in the Americana genre ... She fits very well into the ranks of neo-traditionalists like Gillian Welch and Diana Jones. And if Rachel plays the Blue Highways festival next year, she should be able to take their place."
~Maurice Dielemans, KindaMuzik
"IT'S A CRACKER! The challenge is finding only one outstanding area to highlight ... bittersweet and mournful voice, her melancholy story telling ... exemplary musicianship ... are all competing for top billing ... a terrific, intimate folk/bluegrass record."
~Jeff Weiss, Miles of Music
"Already a contender for 2007 album of the year ... evocative vocals and gifted songwriting ... lyrics are literate and heartbreaking in equal measure ... gaining national airplay alongside a lot of support from European stations, including the BBC where she comes with the highest of recommendations from the legendary Bob Harris."
~Smart Choice Music (UK)
FOUR STARS "Back with one hell of a bang."
FOUR STARS "Eleven remarkable songs ... an album that really tugs on the heartstrings."
~Northern Sky (UK)
"Intimate ... unflinching ... lyrically wrenching ... musically compelling ... Hush The Wild Horses represents the fiercely honest and thoroughly engaging expression of authentic country music."
"Harrington continues to deliver good song material without a hitch ... [Hush The Wild Horse] is a compete package that leaves little to be desired."
~Hooked On Music (Germany)
“Stark beauty … Americana in its purest form … these songs conjure up cinematic imagery in a way we associate with filmmakers as disparate as John Ford and David Lynch.”
~The Rocking Magpie (UK)
“[Get Out While You Still Can] sounds like a farewell letter, as she sings, ‘The best songs made have all been played/Ain’t nothing left to say.’ This album is clear evidence that neither is the case.”
“A superb collection of tunes … a marvelous album.”
~Maximum Volume Music (UK)
“The lyrical content, melodies and arrangements have raised the bar to a giddy height ... As good and as deep as country music can get, and no doubt will be not just a 2019 favourite but a decade favourite for many.”
“Intimate and penetrating … Listen and weep.”
“Sensitive country like freshly cut corn, raised like a glass of Southern Comfort … a great album.”
~Paris Move (FR)
“Rachel Harrington is completely back!”
“Crystalline country beauty … a deep and beautiful album.”
“A damn strong album.”
~Johnny’s Garden (NL)
“A bruising affair honestly delivered.”
~Americana UK (UK)
“An album that you can dip into ten years from now and it will still feel relevant.”
~Dancing About Architecture (UK)
“A wonderful and urgent album … A highlight in the Americana genre and certainly a candidate for the album of the year.”
~The Next Gig (NL)
Bootlegger's Daughter made it onto the following lists for 2007:
Top 30 Best Seller for 2007, Miles of Music
#31 Best of 2007, No Depression readers poll
#73 - Most played songs of 2007 on US folk radio, based on 162420 airplays from 197 different DJs
#2 Best Debut of 2007: Third Coast Music
Top 10 of 2007, FolkRoots (CBC)
#9, Best of 2007, John Sincock - DJ, KBCS
#1, Best of 2007, Francois Braeken - music critic, RootsVille
#5, Best of 2007, Nico Druijf, Euro-Americana DJ
Best releases of 2007, Tom Funk, DJ, KGLP
REVIEWS FOR “MAKIN' OUR HOUSE A HONKYTONK”:
"1960's pre-countrypolitan Nashville ... the closest thing you'll hear to a new Loretta Lynn album since Loretta was a 29 year old grandmother"
FOUR STARS: "It is albums such as this that Gram Parsons was referring to when putting down ‘country rock,’ instead preferring the more coverall term ‘Cosmic American Music' ... he would have loved this superb recording!"
~American Roots UK
"Harrington has made a raunchy country album that one could imagine the likes of Loretta Lynn might produce if she were 50 years younger."
~Blabber n' Smoke
FOUR STARS: "Remember that nice Rachel Harrington and her quiet, contemplative country music from the Oregon hills? Well, you should hear her now that she’s fallen in with the honkytonk crowd. What a mouth!"
~The Irish Times
"An album of pure, unbridled honky-tonk Country music. Sure there are some echoes of garage rock, some soul leanings and a smattering of Phil Spector-ish doo-wop, but at its heart this is pure Country and all the better for it."
"The boot-stompin' world of backwoods country, like [they used to do it] back before the big Nashville names sanded off all the edges."
"Sassy and colourful. High-octane, Burritos-style garage-roots."
~Whisperin and Hollerin
"Powerhouse lead vocals ... her delivery is spot on making this a must have for lovers of that classic country sound, a sound that is fresh, alive and beating. One that could scare Country Radio right out of its trainers."
"Honky-tonkin’, footstompin’, heartbreakin’, heartbreakin’ countryfication ... she’s made the album that Dolly should be making ... as country as country gets."
~Maverick Magazine (UK)