Rachael Beck

Rachael Beck, aka Rachael Plays Guitar, does more than just play guitar. She also sings, writes songs, co-directs her own music videos and has produced her new album, “Bitter Songs That Sound Sweet.”

Rachael Plays Guitar is performing at the Elks Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, with bassist Darryl Iccard, drummer and rhythm guitarist Nick Canuel, lead guitarist Adam Harr, horn player Steph Griffin, keyboardist Killamaus, and drummer Brandon Downs. Beck spoke with Across the Street ahead of the upcoming performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

Tell me about your writing process?

The process for writing this album was me sitting with an acoustic guitar and just kind of having a theme. I wanted the songs to have that kind of cheery vibe, but also be able to get into deeper topics with it. I would sit down and start writing something like kind of cheery, happy, jazzy chords and then just dive into whatever I was feeling that day. Then what I would do is, I would most times take it to Nick, bounce ideas off of him, and we’d jump in the studio. Then, we’d get it over to Steph, who plays horn. She always has such great ideas when it comes to harmonies and that sort of thing. So then she would do that, or the songs that I played with Brandon, I would send it to him and then we would jump in the studio real quick. For a lot of them, I didn’t have fully fleshed ideas before I went into the studio. It was kind of our process of like, “Okay, this is fresh in my head. I want to get it down.”

How did you get started playing music?

I grew up playing basketball. I grew up playing sports. I actually played at Yavapai College, too. I played at Bradshaw and then I played at Yavapai, I actually got my associates from there, and then went on to play Division 2 ball over in Oklahoma. Sports was my life. I loved music. I played middle school band for a couple of years, but I just got better at sports quicker, so I kind of leaned in that direction. But when I was done with college, it was kind of like, my knees were shot, my body was just kind of done. I was like, “Well, what am I going to do now?” I thought this was it for me. I thought you lived to 22 and that was it. But I was like, “Well, what would I do if I wasn’t afraid that I would fail at something?” My heart was always in music. My uncle had a guitar and I walked into his work-study one time and I saw his guitar and I decided that I was going to learn that and I was going to be good at it. So, the rest is history.

For more information about Rachael Plays Guitar, visit www.facebook.com/Rachaelplaysguitar.

For tickets and more information, call 928-777-1370 or visit www.prescottelkstheatre.org.

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