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Rachel Rivero - California Country: Big Valley
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Californian Rachel Rivero has released, (on her own label, Gitana Music) an extended play of five self-written tunes. For this single mom of five, the EP is the reward of years of effort and ambition.

Born in San Francisco, only to live in Venezuela for a few childhood years before returning, Rivero started her fascination with words early. We learn from her website, as a child she’d write poetry. That poetry soon was turned into songs. And her songwriting has been an ongoing passion that has seen her claim early praise from critics and fans regarding her Big Valley release.

When asked to describe her voice and music, the talented singer and composer modestly tells us the music is lyrically rich and California style country music, rippling towards Americana, Latina, Rock and Blues. It’s a broad-brush stroke, but one that covers the versatile range of a performer with a diversity that claims varied influences.

The album opens with “Big Valley”. More a travelogue than a toe tapper, the song extols the virtues and color of living in place where cows are common place and kids still play barefoot.

On an album more Faith than Gretchen, Rivero, in true country style, wears her Hispanic heart on her sleeve. “Fine Sands”, a moody and melodic heartache, is a telling tune of uneasy love, while “I Loved You How” carries a similar message across a tune that comes flavored with a part spoken and part sung message that reveals metaphorically: “Spanish moss won’t leave a tree where it has clung for life, the same as waves never cease crashing…” 

As a songwriter Rivero can carry the load, but it’s in her vocal style she comes alive. Confident with the words she’s written, she can pound the message home, only to soften the sentiment when it’s needed. Rivero has been enjoying the neon glow of club performances since 1990, and across this mini album she shows the lessons learned.

The breakout hope, “Kisses Day And Night”, is a radio single doing the rounds to some pocketed acceptance. With its modern liberated theme of women’s’ independence, where the heroine tells she doesn’t want a man for fathering children or a guy to be the wedded beau, rather, she just wants the trappings of romance – kisses in the day and the night. Given the reluctance of commitment and failing and falling marriages, the song could claim a wide and ready audience. (Tongue firmly in cheek). 

The album rounds and winds down, beautifully, with “Sweet Lovin’ Man”. The fiddle-licked tune is a slow winding search for a man, part dream and part reality, a Friday night guy trekked after in high heels and a responsive heart.

As a debut, this is a warming entrée to the talents of Rachel Rivero. The lady can write, sing and perform, all with a claiming passion that is sure to grab fans; if radio is kind.

Track Listing:


Click on the CD cover 
to order yours!

1. Big Valley 
2. Fine Sands
3. I Loved You How
4. Kisses Day and Night
5. Sweet Lovin' Man

Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace  

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Real People Reviews

I loved it. Rachel is a friend and very kind hearted person. She writes and sings from the heart. Her passion for life, her music and her family are reflected in her songs.
~ Bob G.

Good stuff, good people! That’s Rachel and her CD. “Big Valley” is my favorite. Rachel pays rightful homage to the agricultural Mecca of California.
~ Amy C.

Bought the album. Then called my dad who bought three. Bought another to give to my mom. The highest praise I can give is that the tunes are catchy and my kids are singing the songs. It has become a favorite in the house. Kisses Day and NIght is the kids favorite. I think Fine Sands is wonderful! The melody is haunting and the singing, great! I can't wait to see what else comes from this artist! 
~ Jeff G.

I love Rachel Rivero’s music. The lyrics are intelligent, and the music touches your soul. Her voice is strong, I think she’s going to shoot like a rocket. We’ve got a cross between Faith HIll and Martina McBride in this young TALENT. I can’t wait to see her reach the top. Her talent is more than deserving. 
~ Teresa E.

 

 

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