Rachelle van Zanten is on the trail of a big wheel with her single and video Kelli Likes To Ride — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Deftly toeing the line between blues, rock and folk, the B.C. singer-songwriter and slide-guitar heroine’s nimble number combines a muscular blues riff with neck-running fretwork — all topped with lighthearted vocals that celebrate veteran Canadian mountain biker Kelli Sherbinin. Fittingly, the cinematic accompanying video, shot by filmmaker Karen Duthie in British Columbia’s spectacular mountain forests, features plenty of chances to see both Sherbinin and van Zanten in action. An avid mountain biker herself, van Zanten was driven to share her passion for the sport, which has surged in popularity since the Covid-19 crisis began. She was actually in the studio recording the song with producer/engineer Joby Baker when the worldwide pandemic broke out.
The downtime has been a rare break for van Zanten, who has spent most of her life on the international rock ‘n’ roll highway, paving the way for the next generation of female rock musicians. Her fretboard skills prompted none other than Randy Bachman to dub her “one of Canada’s best slide guitarists,” while her gritty musical approach has been describe as “Lucinda Williams meets Led Zeppelin.” van Zanten co-fronted the notable all-female rock band Painting Daisies until 2005. She has performed with Feist, Blue Rodeo, Clarence “Gatemouth Brown” and Sue Foley, and has opened for Indigo Girls, Eagle Eye Cherry and Dar Williams. She has a growing and loyal fan base from her years of touring Canada, the U.K., Europe, India and Nepal. Currently, van Zanten is combining her music career with her new self-defined role as “badass northern B.C. bush mother,” raising kids and chickens and teaching indigenous youth to to ski and ride the trails in her rural hometown.