As current winners of the EFDSS Graeme Miles Bursary, This Newcastle based quartet are firmly establishing themselves in the English Folk scene as a band that are not afraid to reinterpret traditional music in the North East. Fronted by Rachel Hamer, an emotive singer from Whitley bay and no stranger to a sing around, this ensemble draws on the creative experience of each individual member to hone their sound - from Border guitarist/singer Graeme Armstrong, Teesside fiddle player/clog dancer Grace Smith and High Peak flautist Sam Partridge. Having all met at Newcastle University on the Folk Degree in 2011, The Rachel Hamer Band have been gaining an audience in folk clubs the length and breadth of the country, they have also performed at well-known folk festivals such as Towersey, Beverley, Chippenham and Whitby. Since receiving the Graeme Miles Bursary in January they have been seen performing alongside such well known acts as, The Unthanks, The Young 'Uns and the Wilsons. Also, the bursary has helped fund their debut album, 'Hard Ground' which will be released early next year.
"The Rachel Hamer Band is not just a group of superb instrumentalists, it is an organic team that expands to fill every nook and cranny that a tune allows – and not always with sound. They sometimes do it with well-placed silences and almost inaudible lines on a fiddle or a flute, or a sparsely struck single guitar string. They don’t just play a tune or a song – they play with it, they taunt it and mould it into an almost visual manifestation. They coax images out of your brain. I found it impossible to work out who is the brains behind the band’s arrangements. Sometimes I think it is Sam, sometimes I think it is Graeme who pulls the strings. Or Rachel herself. Or was it Grace? This is not a band to analyse, it is a band to savour."- George Papavgeris
"Rachel Hamer Band .... one of the most exciting bands we have had at the club in a long time! They played to a packed club. A great variety of material, oodles of talent and Rachel's winning personality had our audience captivated."-Derek and Mary Droscher - Organisers, Banbury Folk Club
"The Rachel Hamer Band gave us a great night at the Redbourn Folk Club. In Rachel they have an excellent "front woman" who not only has a fine voice but also has a warm and easy manner with her audience.Graeme , Grace and Sam are superb instrumentalists (how did they get to be so good so young?) and each of them had chances to shine. This was one democratic and evenly balanced band! Equally impressive was their choice of material - "Wreck of the Dandenong" and "Waters of Clyde" on the same night" - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! We'll be booking them again without a doubt." - Malcolm Hobbs, Redbourn Folk Club
"The magic of Rachel Hamer’s singing goes beyond her naturally beautiful voice - it lies in what she does with it, and the passion with which she loads every syllable. Her delivery cannot be improved upon, it already is perfect." - George Papavgeris