Musician of the week

Rachel Vogelzang is ready to rock Market Days - page fulm

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Rachel Vogelzang
Singer/songwriter.

Vogelzang will be performing as part of Market Days. Her first performance begins Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in Eagle Square.

How long have you been performing?

About three years, locally, but I've been playing instruments since I was 5. I started playing the piano when I was 5 and started playing the guitar when I was 15, but I didn't get serious about the guitar until about three years ago. I got started at the Green Martini open mic nights.

What kind of musical training do you have?

I took piano lessons all the way through high school, but on the guitar I'm pretty much self-taught. I know a lot of really good guitar players, so I learned a lot from friends.

How did you get started playing and performing?

I wanted to get out and meet more musicians. I'd heard about the Green Martini, and pretty quickly became part of that crowd. It was great to get to meet new people who were local musicians and just spend some time practicing songs together. It was a really cool thing to get up and do a song with a friend that we had worked on that week.

What do you love most about performing live?

The energy from the crowd has to be number one. Getting to see people sing along, especially to an original song I've done, or having people come up after and say how much a song moved them or touched something in them.

I remember I was taking a pretty heavy-duty (non-music) class in grad school and the professor asked us "What's the one thing that makes your soul happy?" For me it's playing live. It's the energy, the connection.

You also work at Dos Amigos: does that mean we can expect some spicy salsa music at Market Days?

I do have a tune, called "Words," that's got a bit of a Latin feel.

Has your work with burritos influenced your music career?

Not the burrito part specifically, but working at a local establishment like that definitely helps. And the people there are super supportive. It' s just being part of the whole Concord thing. Everybody is connected, and working there keeps me linked into that. And there are a lot of other musicians who work there. We're actually going to do a Dos stage at Market Days, I think from 11-1 and 5-7 a couple of days.

You've played Market Days before. What was that like?

I played last year on the Homegrown Stage. It was pretty cool; I was five months pregnant, and I could feel my daughter kicking around in there. I love playing Bicentennial Square during Market Days because of all the kids running around. A lot of them stop and listen or just check out what's going on. But I'm really excited about this year because this will be the first year my daughter will be there.

What artists have been the biggest influences on you?

As a teenager of the '90s, a lot of the female singer/songwriters like Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. Ella Fitzgerald is probably my favorite vocalist of all time.

What is the most memorable gig you've ever played?

It was a show I played as a member of the band Go Tell Her on Thanksgiving eve at the Green Martini in 2010. That was the coolest show I ever played. I was on keyboard and singing and it was probably the most fun I've ever had at a gig. Everybody was dancing and singing along. That's always been my favorite.

If you could play with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Tori Amos, probably. But I'm also a really huge fan of Rage Against the Machine and System of a Down, also Maynard James Keenan from Tool and A Perfect Circle - that dude is awesome! If I had the voice or the talent for it, I'd love to play with a hard rock band.

What do you have in store for the Market Days crowd this year?

A bunch of originals, a couple of covers. I'll be playing the guitar and singing, and I have one or two new originals for people who are familiar with me already. I've also got a couple of new covers, like a new Johnny Cash cover I've been working on. I'll bring my biggest tunes out for people.

Hidden talent?

I'm fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and can read biblical Hebrew and Greek.

Guilty pleasure?

I love to play video games. I've spent at least 40 or 50 hours playing Skyrim over the last couple of months.

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