Rising Country Music Stars: Raquel & The Wildflowers

Band leader and songwriter Raquel de Souza’s first single already hit #32 on country music charts.


In just over a year, Raquel & The Wildflowers has made a big splash on the country music scene. The Hudson Valley band, which officially made its public debut in May with a name release party, has been honing its craft in area shows.

Singer-songwriter Raquel de Souza already has a few original songs under her belt, including her first single, “Run Towards the Highway,” which hit #32 on country music charts. She built the band from the ground up (starting with an ad seeking a band) and has gained a loyal fan following by sticking to the basics: writing new material, performing, and recording.

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With the addition of a bass player this summer, the band’s lineup is now complete. They have been in the studios working on new songs to be released next year, scoring area gigs (and a national festival) and are in talks to do a music video. For more information visit www.raquelwildflowers.com.

How long have you been playing together?

Raquel de Souza:  Lucas will just start playing but we have been playing together about a year and have great chemistry. We officially announced our new band name in May.

What’s been happening for the band the last few months?

We had a very successful summer. We opened up for Andy Grammer, we performed at multiple music festivals and at NashSkill Music Festival in Peekskill. That’s a huge country music festival here in the Hudson Valley. And we just recently booked the biggest country music festival in Wisconsin next June, CountryFest 2020.

What are you most looking forward to about CountryFest 2020?

I’ve never been on tour. It’s just so crazy how fast everything is happening. I always thought the first time I was going to be on the road, I would be so excited. I am but I’m nervous too. I’m just excited about being in places I’ve never been before, to leave home and do what I love, meet new people and try new things.

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Raquel & the wildflowers
Photo by Daniel Chambers

Where is everyone in the band from?

I grew up in New Rochelle and still live in the Hudson Valley. Luis Cruz (lead guitar/vocals) is from Queens; Catherine Lines (fiddle, electric violin, vocals) came out here for school but is from Texas; Matthew Bauer (drums/percussion) is from New Hartford and Lucas Carillo (bass) just joined the band in October and is from New Paltz.

We live all over the Hudson Valley and meet in Purchase to rehearse. We are going to have Tommy Carlucci join us on drums for Country Fest and he will be subbing on drums throughout the year too. Matt is a part of another band that will be on tour most of next year, We don’t want people to think Matt is no longer with us but also feel it is important for our fans to know Tommy!

You all have roots in different places. What’s it like when the band members come together as a whole?

That’s the meaning behind the band name! We are all from different places and we are all different. When our band comes together, though, we make something beautiful, just like wildflowers.

Do you have a favorite place to go when writing songs?

That’s the struggle I’ve been dealing with this year when I hit writer’s block. I don’t know what the answer to that is because usually songs come from a random inspiration or a feeling, it’s always different. Sometimes I write in my room, sometimes I’m walking outside.

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What was the inspiration behind ‘Run Towards the Highway’?

That was a song I wrote from a relationship that really made me grow up, It’s a song about struggling to leave a relationship you should not be in. I wrote that as a song to myself and anyone going through this or who has gone through that just to know you are not alone. Sometimes people are not just meant to be together.

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