Rachel Crafton, violinist, fiddler & singer

I started playing violin as a 7-year-old after my parents surprised me with a violin on Christmas after countless comments on how much I loved the sound of the violin. My parents probably didn’t realize what a life-long gift that would become, and it’s probably the best gift I’ve ever received.

I starting learning classical music and played sacred music in my church as I grew up. I learned to read music in my music lessons, but loved to play by ear on my own. I stopped taking lessons in high school and really didn’t do much with it in college, although I never let it collect too much dust. It wasn’t until I was 26 and pregnant with my first son that I had the chance to sit down with a bluegrass band to see what they were all about, and a new love emerged. I was adopted on the spot as a new and clueless member of the Eight Mile River Band - what an awesome group of guys! I was kind of thrown into the mix with no prior knowledge of anything bluegrass other than the memories of my Grandpa listening to it when I visited him as a little kid. I always had an ear to harmonize and the close harmonies bluegrass are what really stood out to me!

I have no formal training in voice, which is probably obvious, but I do love to sing. I grew up singing all day long as a child. I grew up on a farm and would sing at the top of my lungs during my farm chores, and the milking parlor had the BEST acoustics when everyone had gone home for the day. I remember singing on the big metal gate to the cows and they would gather around and listen. Singing to people was another story. I have a bit of a shy streak, but Tom Vernon, who heads up the Eight Mile River Band, and who has also become a close friend and an “Uncle” to my 3 boys, has gently pushed me to sing, and I appreciate the nudge and the vote of confidence he has given me - it has gone a really long way. Don’t be afraid to gently nudge someone out of their comfort zone. I’ve been nudged many times and I’ve never regretted moving forward.

So that’s my background - now that I have an official spot waiting for me to upload a variety of music, I will do my best to record! Maybe not studio quality, but enough to enjoy a piece of music without background noise. 😊

Also, I have always liked to write, and I have always loved music…one day I hope to put the two together and write some songs of my own. My babies come first, but there will be time for that in the near future, I hope.

I now play a variety of music, from bluegrass fiddling and vocals in the Eight Mile River Band, to new pop songs and traditional old songs appropriate for weddings or other events. I am available for hire as a single musician, with piano accompaniment, or with the Eight Mile River Band. Please contact me with any questions.

Take a listen to Rachel Crafton, along with the following musicians:

Tom Vernon, guitar, mandolin

Marsh Dubaldo, mandolin

Bink Cooper, dobro

Don Urbanic, banjo