Rachel Bissex, 48, of Burlington, Vt. died Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005, at her home.
She was born Dec. 27, 1956, in Boston, Mass., the daughter of Harriet Abeel Bissex and Henry S. Bissex.
She graduated from Newton South High School in Massachusetts, and then from Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt. in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts in performing arts.
On Sept. 28, 1985, she married Stephen Goldberg in Plainfield.
Ms. Bissex was self-employed as a singer, songwriter and an author. She enjoyed music, theater and community work.
Survivors include her husband, Stephen Goldberg, of Burlington; a daughter, Emma Goldberg, also of Burlington; two sons, Matthew Cosgrove of Bloomington, Ind., and Jonas Goldberg of Maplewood, NJ; four brothers, Donald Bissex of Melrose, Mass., Karl Bissex of Plainfield, Vt., Paul Bissex of Northampton, Mass., and Walter Bissex of Huntington, N.Y.
A scholarship fund for her children has been established.
"On her appropriately titled and long-awaited follow-up to the 1995 Don't Look Down, Bissex turns her naturally sweet voice into an expressive instrument of irony and occasional rage. On "What's Right," she brings a knowing wink to an erotic dancer's defiant defense of her lifestyle, Stacy Starkweather's trebly bass carrying melody in the style of Jaco Pastorius, and Gabe Jarrett's lively and innovative percussion intelligently accenting the vocals. This instrumental approach is also effective on "In the Middle," a simple and remarkably upbeat song about death, loss, and acceptance, and "In the Magazines," an exploration of the development of a young woman's self image amidst a torrent of media images. The gentleness of Bissex's trademark a cappella performances on "For Florence" and "December Moon" render the bitter gush of resentment in "Passion" all the more shockingly credible, the offhand despair of "Angel" all the more harrowing."
Jim Foley, Crossroads and KXCI newsletter, Tucson, AZ
For more information about Rachel see her web site. She's been featured in Rolling Stone, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post along with other regional papers wherever she travels.