"In scorching form" (UK Telegraph), Northern California's own Rita Hosking sings of forest fires, culture clash, demolition derbies, the working class and hope. From NPR's Weekend Edition to Bob Harris's BBC show, Rita is moving audiences around the globe with her stories in song and doubly sweet and sinewy voice, "a captivating performer," (R2 Magazine.)
Rita's style of country-folk has been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances praised for capturing the audience. Honors include winner of the 2008 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the 2009 Telluride Music Festival Troubadour Contest, and honors in the International Songwriting Contest and West Coast Songwriters Association. "This California girl comes by her mountain-music sensibility with true authenticity, with original songs deeply rooted in her family's frontier experience," (Dan Ruby, FestivalPreview.com) and Rita's fans call her "the real deal". A descendant of Cornish miners who sang in the mines, Rita grew up with deep regard for folk music and the power of the voice.
While working to support herself, Rita earned a B.A. degree in Religious Studies with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Davis. Coursework focused on world religions, culture, psychology, and creative writing. She then earned a CA teaching credential in Social Studies from Sacramento State University, and honed her storytelling and organizational skills with over ten years of eighth grade U.S. History students. While music always remained an interest, Rita gained perspective on the human psyche from an intellectual standpoint that would later be integrated with her own story. The music she produces today is an amalgamation of her university studies, teaching experience, motherhood, and the humanity that has moved her since her childhood in the hard-hitting mountains of Northern California. In returning to her early love of singing and songwriting, Rita found a natural and accessible way to share this embracing of spirit.
Rita began recording and publishing in 2005 with Are You Ready?, and followed in 2007 with Silver Stream. Come Sunrise, Rita's 2009 record, won Best Country Album Vox Pop in the 2010 Independent Music Awards. Burn, from 2011, was placed in the top 10 "Young Female Artist releases for 2011" by No Depression magazine, and listed as a "Hidden Gem of 2011" by the UK's Observer. Both Come Sunrise and Burn were produced by Rich Brotherton--producer, engineer, and guitar player in the Robert Earl Keen Band. Rich's studio in Austin, Texas, Ace Recording, is where Rita recorded her most recent album as well. Like Come Sunrise and Burn, Rita's latest 2013 release, Little Boat, was made at Ace Recording, and was selected by the UK Telegraph as one of the "Top 10 Country Albums of 2013."
In live performance, Rita will play solo but most often appears as a duo with Sean Feder on Dobro and banjo, or as "The Rita Hosking Trio" with Bill Dakin added on upright bass. Another option is a quartet dubbed "Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack"-- in sum, Sean Feder (Dobro/banjo), Andy Lentz (fiddle), and Bill Dakin (upright bass). Of recent, Rita's daughter, Kora Feder, has begun recording and performing with Rita as well. For more information on the accompanying musicians, please see the "musicians" page.
background photo by Rik Keller Photography