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Rachel Ries, Sweet Opening for Anais Mitchell

Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland ME ~ November 30, 2012 ~

Jan 4, 2013
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Rachel Ries (pronounced ‘rice’) was tall, wearing a flowered dress. She seemed to like the color red. Her tights were red, her guitar was red, and she wore a red sweater. A young man with curly hair, clothed in as much yellow as she was in red, sang and played with her. His name was Ben Davis, and they both are part of Anais Mitchell’s Young Man Band. They made me think of ketchup and mustard with their outfits, but they played some sincere songs, sang well in harmony, and played their instruments like champs.

Rachel Ries told us that she was raised as a Mennonite in North Dakota. It wasn't really surprising. She had an atmosphere of purity that evoked a feeling of the prairie grass and the plains, the bitter winters and broad summer sun. She shone when she spoke and sang, and looked trustworthy. She looked kind, like a friend.

Her set was short but heartfelt. She sang love songs about her new husband, Adrian. She made us laugh when she asked for help re-titling a song that was called, “With or Without You”.  Something in her imagery and originality reminded me of Emily Dickinson. I looked forward to hearing them play with Anais Mitchell. At the end of her set she made a plug for her CDs, which were being sold in hand-sewn cases! You don’t see that everyday. Plus she had jars of homemade plum jam for sale too. Wow! Visit her website at

Press photo by Carli Davidson

For music lovers visiting Portland, Maine, I highly recommend
One Longfellow Square ~ "Portland's Premier Arts Venue"
Check them out at

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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