Monday, December 15, 2014

Hitzone's Swing Thing hits the Hard Rock Casino Show Theatre

Last weekend the 5pc Hitzone core was joined by a horn section and the lovely Saffron Henderson for a Swing Revue that rocked the house. Alongside all of our current and favorite Hitz that keep guests dancing we sprinkled in some Roaring 20's Swing Tunes and got everyone doing the Charleston! What a night, we kept them dancing till the wee hours~! 

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, Show Theatre! 

Hitzone is your one stop party stop, we make the music that makes your guests dance!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

killers don't come from good villages....

lots going on in this world
I sit with fingers poised over keyboards, daily
 ready to voice my thoughts
then I erase them
who am I?
what do I know?
someone is bound to challenge me
and then I will have to go deeper than I ever intended
in effort to find common ground and understanding
I don't always have the energy for that
since it has no use in the end anyhow...
besides blowing off steam

some people never find common ground in the first place
some people are broken
at home
or by us,
usually both
for instance the people who walk into schools and parliament buildings
and shoot to kill
something failed them
and we are a part of that,
like it or not
because killers
don't come from good villages

on the one hand the result of a rampage is more hatred
people are angry and they want heads
so they do and spew the very hatred
which pushed the lonely and misguided killer
down the darkest path they could find  in the first place

and so grows the divide
on every level

be careful
screams of injustice also give the lawmakers
plenty of freedom to put us all in chains
so that you can feel momentarily safe standing behind them
calling out your hatred
fueling their fire

unwitting accomplices....

because the problem we face on this continent
still is not inherent extremeism
the problem is with individuals
they are bullied
they feel isolated
they have metal issues
they fell through the net

see, I don't believe we have an extremeist problem in this country
most of us who live here are good people
most of us  hope the world is good
most of us don't care who's god you have faith in or if you don't
we know we all want the same basic things
for us, for our children
and no matter what or for whom
people who feel free to love others run towards a problem to eradicate it
and we all resonate more deeply when we see it
we call them heros
we feel the power of it because we do want the good
we want the peace
we want the freedom
we want to feel safe
but we will have no peace, freedom or safety anywhere
if people are hating others and someone is suffering somewhere

so fix your village
look around you
see what you can do
make sure no one is suffering
make sure you are not hating
others nor yourself
this is a wound that would fester and poison us all
if we let it
we don't want to let the government
chain us all up for our own safety
we must fix it within
and be the ones who run towards the problem
every single one of us
has the power
to not hate
and do something good
take your power and run with it

rachael  xo

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

three special songs

Last Sunday was an incredibly busy, well attended farmers market in Ladner Village. It was such a warm and appreciative crowd and I really enjoyed myself (and it was remarkably profitable to boot). As always there were many powerful and interesting interactions with the crowds of families but the most profound moment came while I was singing Fly at Night by Chilliwack. Suddenly out of nowhere appeared a man in a Canucks tshirt, he wasn't tall, was perhaps in his 20's and was seemingly  a person with Down Syndrome. He was standing right in front of me and I watched him for a while....his lip movements were a little compromised but for a second it looked he?........yes I think he is... he is singing along with the song. I smiled and turned my focus exclusively to him to confirm my observation and soon enough I became sure that he was mouthing the words along with me. At the end of the song I told him I was impressed with his singing and I asked if he was a Chilliwack fan? He said yes. So I told him I would sing another song for him and then I quickly explained to the crowd that I had recorded this song and used it to talk about bullying, then I began to play Baby Blue. Sure enough, every word I sang, he was singing along as well
, this time he was singing out loud. He stood right in front of me and I sang the entire song to him my eyes locked on his, his locked on mine (except to look back and beam once in a while towards his caregiver). I kept thinking how great it was that he had such great taste in music and I was vaguely aware that the crowd had started to notice this 'moment' too and were watching us. I was glad. I wanted them to see him, to see how beautiful he was, how freespirited, how powerfully he felt the music. I could see it, I wanted them to as well. After I finished the song we were beaming at each other and I told him I was impressed with his love of music. Then I dedicated "I Believe" to him and we sang that together too. My eyes never left him and again, word for word he matched my vocals. The crowd saw it and I could feel the love, it seemed as if we all recognized each others souls for a moment, human souls talking in a language that transcends everything. At the end of the song I put my hand out and high fived the young man. We smiled at each other, the smile on his face unmistakable, it was clear he is a music lover. He may very well forget me soon enough, I'm just a girl singing and strumming at the market but I myself am pretty sure I will never forget singing those three songs with him.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

solo acoustic, live music sample, Rachael Chatoor at the Vancouver WebFestival

Rachael Chatoor LIVE at the Vancouver Web Fest by VanWebFest Hello friends, here are some snippets from my solo show. I can be hired for any event large or small, I can also add musicians as needed. Rachael

Sunday, August 24, 2014

it's been a blast!

To all friends and fans of Barracuda, I wanted to tell you all personally how proufoundly my life has changed because you all love Heart music so much and show your love and appreciation to us. I have had experiences which I will carry with me forever and I thank you all so much for loving what we do. I assure you that every moment of music we play up there is truly delivered with heart, and I appreciate that you as an audience recognize that. I assure you, we feel it.

Which is why it saddens me (but only a little bit) to have to tell you that I have decided to step down in my position as Nancy Wilson in Barracuda.

I am a Mother of two children and when I set out on this wonderful journey I did not anticipate that the travel would take me away from my kids as much as it does. Since my kids are entering their teen years, I feel like I might miss everything if I am on the road.

And with the bookings coming in strong and steady next year already I know that Barracuda is poised to go to distant and wonderful places ....and so they should. My singing sister for the last two years, Donna Caruk, is truly the closest voice to Ann Wilson that I have ever heard and playing with her is like playing along to the record. I know that you all know it too because you all love to sing along with her just like I do and that is one of the most precious things that I will get to remember and carry with me always.

When Donna asked me to play this part a couple of years ago, my first words to her (after I realized that she was asking me to play Nancy and not Ann) were: "Don`t you know Taylor James?" I asked her this because:

Taylor has been my soul friend for the last 20 or so years. We were roomates back when she got her first electric guitar. I was learning rhythm at the time and we would sit on the living room floor and practice together till we fell asleep strumming.

Taylor carried on playing music in her life and I eventually put down my guitar, got married and had children. It is only recently that I returned to music. The reason I am telling you this is because I have seen Taylors dream as it's been built and I know how authentic it is.....and if I have to leave Barracuda and give my seat up, I couldn't think of a more perfect fit for the job than my soul sister, Taylor James.

Just as Donna is like "little Ann" Taylor is truly like "little Nancy" in all sorts of senses of the word.....I have known her for over 20 years now and I know in MY heart that she was meant to do this part. She will also bring a missing piece of the puzzle together for the line-up by bringing greater proficiency, which is the silver lining for Barracuda (so don't be sad, my sister D xoxoxox) ..and for YOU the audience, you will be blown away!

Which makes me so happy, because it will only get better. And that is why I am only a little bit sad about leaving because I am thrilled to be leaving you in very capable hands....

I am also taking with me many magnificent onstage experiences, new friendships, new skills, unexpected treasures and a newfound independence built on the knowledge that I can do anything I set my heart to. I have no doubt these gifts will arm, inspire and protect me throughout the next chapters that await. I have no fears about the challenges that I will face. So thank you all for that gift...... I have learned that I am comfortable writing my own book. I encourage you all to do the same.

And Taylor, she knows how much I've loved this gig, she told me that she wouldn't do this gig without my absolute blessing and so this is how I am telling her as well as ALL of you, that she not only has my blessing, but it is my hope and WISH that she takes the part! For I know she deserves the gifts that I have had the pleasure of opening. I can't help but look back on those nights we spent sitting on the living room floor playing guitar together and think that this is some sort of weird and wonderful, cosmic connection that has just come full circle...

So, my friends, when the time comes and you get to meet Taylor with Barracuda, please welcome my dear lifelong friend to the family with open arms, I absolutely know you are going to love her!!! xoxoxo

Thursday, July 31, 2014

But there IS work for musicians....

A lot of folks are complaining lately about this idea that there is no longer any work for musicians.  Many others however would agree that the problem is not that there is no work, it's that there  is a different landscape and it is harder to maintain steady work. Which means of course, we have to adapt and diversify and make ourselves valuable to a client.  

Mostly, today's musician has to wear several hats and do many projects if they want to call this a job. 
I currently play in 5 different projects with five different set lists and am available to substitute in a number of  other bands. 
My jobs are a broad spectrum dichotomy from one other. They run the gamut from full on band (complete with costumes) performing for several thousand people, to small, intimate and solo. It has been hard work to get that much material show worthy but I wanted this job, so I have been dedicated to the point where I feel sure that I can deliver on each show I commit to. With that comes an experience that I think has been invaluable, learning to understand my audience.

Audiences are just as diverse as the work itself and it pays to understand them.  At a festival for instance people are there for  the music so you get rapt attention and cheers before during and after your performance. It is profoundly heady and if you are in it for the glory the festivals are the bomb.

But I want to talk about something else here, because not all gigs are festivals or theatres and not all audiences are there for specifically you, you are there for them and it's nothing to do with you. In the instance where  it is your job to add vibe to the environment, you don't always want to put a big flashy sign over your head and insist on attention. If you don't get this about your audience or your venue you won't like this job because you will take it personally, you have to face it, sometimes it is thankless job.....or can appear to be.

I am going to reveal some secrets here...I don't mind being background music, specifically, I love the solo gig that most musicians say they hate...the one where no one 'seems' to pay attention. I am really good at this kind of job in fact  because I accept that the audience came to eat, that they didn't come to see me do a show. So I happily let go of it and get into my music. And that...... is when the people get me. They also appreciate that I release them from the obligation to clap. I don't do it obviously I just am obviously comfortable letting them be.

  Lets face it, for most of us meal time often revolves around conversation and connection and people are busy when they are eating, their hands are busy with utensils and they are there to talk to friends or family. as an artist I add nothing to the room if I dial it up so loud that no one can converse or if I say something that shames them into clapping (yes I have seen artists do this).

Expecting applause can become uncomfortable for people whereas releasing them of the burden just makes it all the more enjoyable for everyone. I would rather just do a good job, enjoy it and be patient since inevitably I will be thanked over and over and over and over in the end.  That is the truth of it and knowing this, means you can let go and settle in and give your clients what they bought, a nice atmosphere. Part of fostering that atmosphere is knowing that you have to let folks be.

 Which.... leaves you  free..... and that is the beautiful thing, there is something very soothing about being allowed to just do your thing. If you do your job right you will have fun weaving music in and throughout the room according to the flow of it. For instance, in a soft quiet dining lounge when the audience energy goes up so does the volume....believe it or not, that is exactly when I pull down and play and sing quieter, I give the room it's energy rather than try to compete with it. I leave space with my my guitar by dropping a beat and I can hear the buzz. All the while I can see people mouthing the words to my backround songs or tapping their glass or foot, I know they are with me. When the time is right I might dial it up a little, never do I overpower.

I look at my demographic and I pick a song for each table as I go around the room...I try to play something from their era that they will know. I reach everyone. Sometimes a room can be silent after songs for half an hour and then for some reason some song will resonate with someone and they will forget and put their hands together as I finish and the whole room will suddenly explode with applause, its almost like they were waiting for someone else to start. I just smile at them and say thank-you and I carry on, indicating that there is still no pressure.

As people leave however it goes from apparent ignorathon to intense gratitude, guests most often step out of their way towards me to say thank you, sometimes they give me money, often they ask for cards, always they tell me the music was fabulous and that they love my song list. At the end of the night the owners tell me they had nothing but massive compliments, they loved the vibe and at first they will even apologize for the lack of applause. I release the owners of this burden as well, likening myself to the plates and utensils and letting them know I prefer it whichever way the crowd drives it and I assure them that I  know they are with me regardless, sometimes just a happy vibe means everything is working.

 I'm in it because it is a job, (and a great job, in fact I feel almost guilty for just sitting there playing and singing while everyone else in the room working there is busting their tails....) and when I release myself and the room of the pressure, then the applause that I do get is rarely forced or polite, it is  real and somehow the crowd and I appreciate each other for it.

Which is why I so love the solo gig just as much as the big glorified ones, even though I can go from the spotlight to background music in a heartbeat, I am still channelling energy and communicating in the language I most deeply understand.  This bit of independance is  just as challenging and enjoyable for me and I am forever grateful that I can do it as a job.

Which is why I bring up the process of understanding your audience and reading your room, it's one element that is important to understand if you want to get or make work for yourself. ....because  if you can do that well and bring something to the table to enhance your audiences experience, then the work will be there. I played last night because a customer specially requested me. She had seen me at the venue before and appreciated that I would bring something to her party  without taking away from it.  The importance of this can not be ignored...

There are a lot of people out there complaining that there is no work for musicians but I don't buy that because here I am, singing and strumming once a week and doing special events in a venue that never even intended to have live music.   You have to remember what they hire you for and it 's not always to be a rockstar, sometimes you get to run the campfire.

                                      Rachael Chatoor at Sheila's Bistro  most Thursday nights!

To see my solo show click the video! Thanks to the Vancouver Web Festival!

Rachael Chatoor LIVE at the Vancouver Web Fest by VanWebFest At the Vancouver Web Fest!

later loves! xoxo


Sunday, July 6, 2014

it's worse than pitchforks.

So today I read an article written by someone in the the elusive 1%. Finally, we hear from someone from camp special who might actually have a soul, someone who sees how clunky the economic engine is getting and whom is open minded enough to noting some of the reasons why. Cool. Thank you   for your first step. You have our ears and our attention, now lets see you turn your brothers.

And before you say anything let me offer another thought. The pitchfork thing is an interesting analogy and even possibly correct but it is also  incomplete because there is another possibility.........tell your friends that we are not all barbarians and that we don't want to come with pitchforks.......In fact tell them it's worse, we are losing interest and in these days of information revolution, we are learning. We are learning about ourselves, about each other and also we are figuring out what is truly valuable about living and for the first time in history we have the means to spread that information, organically. We are learning that we don't really even need pitchforks. We are learning to speak with our wallets, by not opening them to you and instead, by opening them to each other. 

Yesterday, for instance I went to paint my sons room. We used Google to find a local garage saler who was selling paint supplies and I filled up for $10. All I had to buy from a store was new paint. That's $50 which is not going into some big corporations till. Admittedly it's a drop to them but it's a fortune to me. You see one thing  I've learned lately,  is that while I am not against you corporations making some money for your efforts, my own dollar goes farther when you aren't involved and so sometimes,  I have  to make a choice to get creative.

I  do it to survive but also to bring more palpable good to my community. I know my money is going back  into my 'local' economy and that painter Joe and his wife down the street can pay their heating bills. Meanwhile that corporation  is probably paying $42,000 for an ice sculpture to be designed for one executive dinner and it makes me feel great that my money is not going to pay for that.

At the same time, I don't begrudge you people your yachts, in fact some of you have spent good money to have me play music on them and for that I am grateful. (I did put one boat to sleep once but I digress). So, I do love it when the wheels of economy are turning. When you rich people invest in the live-arts it beautifies the environment and it connects people on a universal level and for a moment we all feel happy. Personally, you treat us very favorably and I appreciate that. It allows some of us starving musicians to stay afloat...... but just barely, since even the arts have lost their value.

Like many musicians, I am self employed and live  under the poverty line. But here is the rub and its why, despite our percieved  poverty you rich folks also often look towards us with wonder.......we are happy. Deeply, soulfully, happy.....some of you have everything material that we could never have yet you see us onstage, happy. What you see is what you can't buy......freedom of the soul and joy in the heart for doing something that comes from the inside, something that  is intended to connect and communicate. It's magic and you can't buy it.

 And I, along with legions of other inherently happy people, am  naturally inclined towards  motivating other people on how to find the same inner joy, to remind people of its value despite all of your media attempts to imply  that true happiness is found in the things they buy. Happiness can not be found in any 'thing' if you can't afford it. You are doing no one any favors by focusing on making money off of us or enslaving us in debt in order to be like Mr Jones next door. So it's a multi level battle we are dealing with here. But we are succeeding.


Already a new value system is gaining ground.  I know about it because I live it and because  in a time when the internet allows us to reach out to more people than ever, I have the blessing of being able to share my successes with people who happen to be listening.  I am just a regular girl like everyone else and people see that happiness is achievable through self motivation, caring and creativity, something we all are capable of, money or no.... maybe that is why some people listen.

For instance; I posted about our painting/garage sale savings yesterday on facebook and now several people I know have told me they will do the same thing the next time they have a project. So lets times that by six and now next week we have $300 that is not going into your till. The week after that, even more people try out the idea and save more money which also now circulates more effectively, locally (and also outside of your radar). It feels better to us and we find good reasons to leave you, our once trusted brands.............we used to care because you used to care.... but now we don't, because you don't.

Having said all that, would I support the company who puts its money where it's mouth is and delivers something deeper than merely slave wages? Absolutely, and I do, both the big and small ones.  

Anyhow, these are a few tiny moments that they might want  to know about  up there in 1% land so if you could please pass on the message that would be great. I agree with your post and think that the system can not be built on broken backs, you want strong ones and the 1%  need to know that the strong ones are leaving. When you  rich folks cheap out you choke society, you yourselves are  forcing us to clog the system, forcing us to find other ways that don't include you.  

And I do like the system, when it's not choked. I think it can work. I'm not against someone having the reins I just need to trust they know how to drive. I like contributing and having and enjoying things and experiences but not at the expense of happiness, or health. Mine or anyone elses.   

If you 1% ers get conscious, not for the sake of the buck but for the sake of something more elusive and valuable, happiness......and reward people so they can do more than just survive....then people will work hard for it, they will work hard for you. Imagine being THAT innovative..... Its time to make "good values" the hero again for real, not just for on the package.

And if you don't make that change up there in 1% land, it will happen down here anyhow (because we have no choice). I know it sounds crazy. But if you ask me, a revolution is already happening and it's happening through information. And society is buying it.  We are starting to 'get it' and its only a matter of time before we all get it and find a new way without you. There is a small army already assembled and we are getting skilled at hitting you where it hurts most, your bottom line.

I thank you for sharing your insights and I will gladly support a modern 1% er like yourself if you are putting your money where your mouth is....I'd like to see something come of this so I am now following you on Twitter. I hope you have seen a little bit more of us, from what I have shared, we are the ones without pitchforks and we should be even more scary to you.

And so I ask,  how do we take this new understanding of  each other and build a collective army that will build a richer society?  Maybe the way to speak to your 1% brothers is in their own language.  Reassure them that no one really wants to take their power away, tell them that  the more you 1% ers  empower and inspire the masses, the more chance the masses will put their 'hearts' into the game and support you back. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, so fire us up........for that is where you will see the most return on your investments.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

new songs released in my super exclusive, boutique dollar store

hello friends........ just a note:  two new songs have hit my boutique dollar store 

PS, is the rough draft of everything breaks.....

These tunes drop out of me pretty simply and I record them onto video so that I can remember them....and then later  they hit the studio and get all polished up which is  how they become so divine and exclusive!

Vocals and background vocals....ME!

Production/engineering and most of the instruments for recorded songs thanks to:
Mick Dalla Vee at  Millennia Sound Design 

Thanks to my friends and guests Russell Marsland for bringing his electric guitar magic and adding it to both songs, to  Shawn Soucy for keeping the drum beats on Everything Breaks and also to Kirsten Nash who played sax and bg vox on Everything Breaks.

You, my friends, Rock!

Monday, April 21, 2014

the most guitarious mug set in the entire universe~

Seriously, they are gorgeous right? Not to mention unique! These are based on my own original guitar artwork, all of which are acrylic on canvas. You can also get tote bags, iphone covers, pillows, clocks etc....this is such a cool way to support your favorite artist! So if you are you ready to order the most guitarious mug set EVER for your morning cuppa java?


Friday, March 7, 2014

Rachael Chatoor, live acoustic, cover songs compilation

Available for private and corporate functions, 
 samples of solo covers. 

Breathe (anna Nallk)
Drops of Jupiter Dont Dream it's Over (crowded House)
Everything I Own (Bread)
Ironic (alanis Morrisette)
Kissed a Girl
X Rolling in the Deep
Hurts so Good
X Torn (natalie imbruglia)
 In the Air Tonight
Everybody Hurts
Wild Horses
Weather with You (crowded house)
Listen to the Music
Try (pink)
 Heart of Gold
Edge of 17
Just the Two of us
Missing (everything but the girl)
Proud Mary
Baby Blue
Fly at Night (Chilliwack)
Band on the Run
The Letter
 Make it With You
Killing me Softly
Space Oddity
Time After Time
Black Horse Cherry Tree
No Rain
Never Tear us Apart (inxs)
Bring Me some Water
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
What's Up
Thank you
Sandman (america)
Everything I own (America)
 Dont Stop believing
Crazy on You
Don't Stop Thinking about tomorrow
 Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Sheppard)
Clocks What's going on? hey ye ye ye ya (4nonblondes)
What's Going On, mother, mother (Marvin Gaye)
Angel From Montgomery
 Hey Soul sister
Walkaway Joe
Old Man
Don't cross the River
 Dont Mess around with Jim
Take it to the Limit
Pumped up Kicks
Moves like Jagger
Forget you
Where do the Children Play
With or without you
Time of the Season
Like a Rock
Make it with You