RACHELLE van Zanten is appearing in Terrace May 24.

Rachelle van Zanten is appearing in Terrace

Slide guitarist, back after a break, has her mojo back again


SMITHERS – After a two-year break following a 13-year binge on touring, Rachelle van Zanten is refreshed and back on tour with her slide guitar in support of her new CD “Oh Mother.”

“There’s really a true joy in delivering a really good live show,” van Zanten said. “I’m starting to feel that excitement again. I’ve got my mojo back.”

The renewed excitement about performing live, van Zanten said, is in part thanks to playing with a fresh set of musicians who add to the creativity of the songwriting process.

“They’re an incredible band from all over the globe,” she said.

Oh Mother and the songs on the CD are, van Zanten said, a tribute to her mother who passed away, the joy of experiencing motherhood for the first time and an homage to Mother Earth.

Van Zanten took up the slide guitar when she was 17 after she saw Lester Quitzau perform at the Midsummer Music Festival. “It just enthralled me, it moved me, it reached the core of my being,” van Zanten said of Quitzau’s skill on slide guitar.

She squirrelled up enough courage and asked Quitzau how to play slide guitar.

Quitzau graciously gave her a steel slide and showed her the basics.

“I’ve been unstoppable ever since,” van Zanten said.

When she’s in writing mode, van Zanten said the music typically comes first as she plays on her guitar.

“Usually a motif or a line will stick and I just keep going for it,” she explained. “The whole mood of the music will evoke the lyrical content of the song.”

The mood underlying many of van Zanten’s songs, including some on Oh Mother, shine light on the plight of the environment and people crying for help and the stories people from around the world share with her.

The messages in her songs have led some media to refer to van Zanten as a social activist, a label she admits to wearing proudly.

“It makes me feel good standing up for people and their belief system,” she said.

“A lot of people are overwhelmed with all this development coming in.”

Her most famous song, My Country, is precisely one of those songs.

“That’s one of those songs I needed to work out because I felt it was a very important message,” she said referring to the plight of Tahltan women protecting their land and the Sacred Headwaters against coal bed methane extraction by Shell Canada.

For fans wondering if she will play My Country, van Zanten was emphatic.

“Oh yes, that’s my Stompin’ Tom Connors’ Good ol Hockey Game,” she said. “I’ve got to do that one.”

Van Zanten hits the stage at Gators in Terrace, May 24, with special guests The Racket opening the show.

Just Posted

Board of Education hires independent consultant to review SD82 reassignments

Review will not change recent decisions but will gather input, says board chair

Nisga’a mortuary pole unveiled in Prince Rupert cemetery on Father’s Day weekend

First-ever pole raised in the Fairview Cemetery was in honour of renowned carver, Robert Tait

Terrace Special Olympics host first annual Sports Day

Many carnival-style games took place

Terrace students hold city accountable for safer bike lanes

Skeena Middle School students biked to city hall to present their report

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read