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Rachael & Vilray, feat. Lake Street Dive’s Rachael Price, play the VPAC Feb. 2

Date: January 16, 2024
Author: Cat Hayes
Rachael and Vilray bring friendship, beautiful harmonies to the VPAC

The mantra may be “no friends on a powder day,” but friends onstage and off? That’s more than acceptable. In the case of Rachael Price and Vilray Blair Bolles, it’s been a match made in music heaven.

Rachael, vocalist and founding member of the soul-inspired rock band Lake Street Dive, and Vilray, a New York-based singer-songwriter-guitar player, have been performing together for the past seven years, garnering accolades and encores and delighting audiences with their unique sound.

The duo’s songs draw on standards from the ‘30s and ‘40s, incorporating jazz and swing into new music composed by Vilray, who calls Rachael’s voice “the most rewarding instrument to write for.” Their live performances are cozy, sophisticated, and perfectly suited for the intimate Vilar Performing Arts Center, where they’ll perform live on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

Friends and musical partners Rachael Price and Vilray Blair Bolles perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Feb. 2, 2024
Friends and musical partners Rachael Price and Vilray Blair Bolles perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Feb. 2, 2024

On stage, Rachael and Vilray share an old 1930s-era RCA ribbon microphone, singing to each other, telling stories about how their original songs transpired, and relating their new music to the many old love songs “they love to love.”

“Rachael & Vilray channel the intimate humor and melodic warmth of classic jazz,” said VPAC Artistic Director Owen Hutchinson. “Their vintage sound, which channels the witty songsmiths of Tin Pan Alley, swings along with vocal acrobatics and lush harmonies.”

Rachael and Vilray met over two decades ago as students at the New England Conservatory of Music. Rachael approached Vilray in 2015 after hearing him play a set of covers and the two began performing together shortly thereafter. The release of a self-titled album followed in 2020, growing their dedicated following.

Rachael & Vilray draw their sound from legends like Johnny Mercer, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee, though they each have their own distinctive voices. Still, their harmonies recall the style of a bygone era of jazz. Vilray loves the “clever use of slant rhymes and dense consonant combinations to propel the rhythm of music by three-in-one singer-lyricist-composers, like Johnny Mercer or Peggy Lee.”

“As the lead singer of the folk-soul band Lake Street Dive, Rachael’s voice is now iconic, recognized as one of the great vocalists of our time,” Hutchinson added. “Vilray’s jazz guitar chops are understated, and entirely profound. There is so much to appreciate about this important duo.”

For more information about VPAC’s schedule and to purchase tickets, visit vilarpac.org or call 970-845-8497.

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