Rachael McShane is a cellist, fiddle player and singer based in the North East of England.Rachael McShane is a singer, cellist, fiddle and viola player based in the North East of England. Best known as an original member of folk big band Bellowhead, Rachael toured internationally with them as well as making several TV appearances. Bellowhead recorded 5 studio albums, and won a total of 8 BBC Folk Awards in their 12 years together. Rachael has more recently been singing the role of Susannah Holmes in a new adaptation of The Transports alongside The Young’uns, Faustus, Nancy Kerr, Greg Russell and Matthew Crampton.
Rachael is now working on a new solo project, Rachael McShane & The Cartographers, reworking traditional songs with a brand new band, featuring guitarist Matthew Ord (Assembly Lane), melodeon player Julian Sutton (Kathryn Tickell, Sting) and Dan Rogers (The Unthanks) on double bass. Rachael is heading into the studio later this year and will be releasing her new album in 2018. Rachael’s brand new band is now booking for next year! Watch this space for more details and music soon.
Rachael’s solo album ‘No Man’s Fool’ was released on Navigator Records in 2009. You can read a few reviews of the album on the Reviews page and it’s available to buy here. Rachael’s band for the album was made up of musicians from outside the folk genre but featured entirely traditional material.
Rachael is also a full-time member of RJ Thompson‘s band. It’s not folk music folks…but you might just like it! He’s a great songwriter and performer, who you might have encountered supporting Jools Holland on tour recently. You can find out more about him and hear some music here.As well as performing, Rachael is also a teacher and workshop leader, working in schools teaching violin/fiddle, cello and running string ensembles and choirs. She has also been a part of educational projects with organisations such as Aldeburgh Young Musicians and the National Youth Orchestra.