Strongly influenced by the playing of her grandfather, Clarence Long, Baddeck native Rachel Davis has been a student of the fiddle since she was twelve. She fondly recalls sitting in a corner of her grandfather’s barber shop, squeaking away at tunes under his careful guidance. Those first efforts lead to more teachers (including Karen Beaton, Kyle MacNeil and Stan Chapman) and great progress, as she has developed into a dynamic player with great timing and a great lift to her music.
Now considered one of the best young Cape Breton style players currently on the go, she was fortunate enough to be the recipient of the 2009 Frank “Big Sampy” Sampson Award, which is sponsored by the Celtic Colours Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association, and Lakewind Sound Studios, giving financial aid for a Cape Breton artist to record their first CD. Her self-titled debut album was released during the Celtic Colours Festival that October, with a CD release party held at the late night Festival Club. Her CD has received rave reviews, with articles in the Cape Breton Post, Rambles.net, fRoots magazine, and Penguin Eggs Magazine. Cuts from Rachel’s debut album have been featured on promotional CDs for Lakewind Sound Studios and Cape Breton University.
She has also been honoured as the winner of the 2007 Tic Butler Memorial Award, given each year to a young performer for outstanding contribution to Cape Breton culture. And this past year, Rachel was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the Young Performer of the Year category.
This recognition, and her strongly based talents, means that Rachel has become a regular on stages around Cape Breton. She has also spread her wings across Canada, performing at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival in Prince Edward Island, the Glengarry Highland Games in Ontario, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax, and to Scotland in the summer of 2008 with the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association. She also took part in an exchange program with the Fiddlers, where she and several other young Cape Breton musicians traveled to British Columbia to play with their counterparts in the Victoria area.
Along with her solo work Rachel is also in demand to share the stage with people such as singer-songwriters Buddy MacDonald, Carmel Mikol and Donnie Campbell, and she has made guest appearances with groups such as The Cottars. She has also showcased at the East Coast music Awards and has become a regular at the Celtic Colours International Festival.
In April 2013 she released her much anticipated second album, "Turns", featuring both fiddling and vocals in English and Gaelic.