If I die while I’m sleeping tonight, I’ll have witnessed Rachelle Ferrell perform live four times in my history. Twice at the Arena Theater in Houston, TX, once at Discovery Green and last Sunday at the Verizon Theater. Her voice is a gift of nature, unlike any other songtress I’ve heard. She takes improvisation to another level. More than that, she has the power to make you believe her lyrics down to the syllable. She opened her show speaking calmly, yet matter-of-factly, “This moment will never come again.” Then she repeated her words, the next time with melody, and I rejoiced in the sacredness of that thought. Behind her words was the message, “This moment has weight — significance — because we’re giving attention to it. (And, in hope, we’ll cherish it.)
I’ve heard artists say “I love you” to people in the audience plenty of times, but Rachelle said, “I love you too, and I’m going to show you through the energy I put into this music tonight. I hope you will receive it. Will you?” A resounding yes in reply.
Then she said, “There is something here greater than you and I.” I knew she meant the Divine, and I believed in her testimony because of how she said it, evidence to me that genuine music can convert in the way that the most charismatic preacher or priestess can not. I agree with her when she says music connects us. It is a language in and of itself that requires no translation.
Rachelle’s sound is hard to box in one particular genre, but it is definitely eclectic and electrifying. Her sound envelops your ears, reaches your heart, stirs your soul and tickles your spirit. I’m blessed to have been in the presence of her gift four times thus far. When I’m old and gray, maybe I’ll say I’ve seen her at least 100 times.