River Arkansas’ Rachel Sliker on Mile High Stash
When she’s not touring with artists such as Nathaniel Rateliff or Gregory Alan Isakov, violinist Rachel Sliker teaches violin and viola, plays in bluegrass/Americana band River Arkansas, and performs as a member of the Fort Collins Symphony.
“I think the music comes off as being so much fun because we have so much fun together,” Sliker tells Adam Perry during a recent interview for his Mile High Stash podcast.
During their conversation, the multitalented Sliker talks about growing up in Colorado Springs, learning the Suzuki method of violin from a young age, and being sheltered from MTV and pop radio until she attended college at CU Boulder (“my mind kinda got blown”).
She also shares stories about appearing with Nathaniel Rateliff on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and touring with Rateliff as well as Isakov – not to mention her experience with her own bands Princess Music and River Arkansas.
Music she heard as a kid:
“I was only allowed to watch PBS, so I didn’t get MTV and I didn’t really branch out of classical until I was a teenager. It’s embarrassing stuff, but I got into the boy bands like NSYNC and Blink 182 and Weezer. I dove into really embarrassing stuff. I feel like I didn’t necessarily love music when I was younger. Nobody had turned me on to stuff where I was, like, ‘Oh my God, this is it.’ It wasn’t until college, when I was getting introduced to Radiohead and Bjork because my friends listened to it, that my mind kinda got blown a little bit.”
On the River Arkansas being a family band with an inviting energy for the crowd:
“I love those guys so much and we love hanging out. We have the best time. We go on these long car rides on tour and we get so deep. Everyone’s so funny. They’re just a joy to hang out with and I think the music comes off as being so much fun because we have so much fun together.”
Playing on Colbert:
“That was so interesting. We did a live taping of Colbert, which isn’t what they normally do, but I think there was a debate and so they do live tapings so that they can make jokes about the election right after it airs. We didn’t play until like 12:40am – that’s what time we got on and played our one song. It was a really long day for a three-minute performance that went by really quickly, and I had to catch a flight at 6am the next morning. But I got to shake his hand and say, ‘Hi.’”
Hear the full Rachel Sliker interview on Mile High Stash or on your favorite streaming service.
Visit the Mile High Stash website for past episodes and more information on the show and host Adam Perry.