There Are So Many Amazing Female Musicians!
Hey everyone. I know it’s not news that there are a lot of amazing female musicians out there but lately, I’ve been really inspired by my many wonderful female students.
I teach women of all ages and walks of life to play guitar, bass, and ukulele. As the husband and father of two amazing female musicians and the teacher of so many more, it makes me happy to see that women are not buying into the crusty, old idea that rock and roll (or pop, or whatever genre you love) is a boys club.
With that in mind, I’d like to share some of my favorite female musicians with you. I hope you enjoy their music as much as I do. Let’s get started, shall we?
Annie Clark of St. Vincent
Annie Clark of St. Vincent is the real deal. She’s an amazing songwriter, an inspiring performer, and one hell of a guitarist. Digital Witness is one of my favorite tracks of hers, but there are so many great ones. Here, her guitar work takes a supporting role, but the arrangement is stellar, and the songwriting is top-notch. Great stuff!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Over the years, there’s been plenty of controversy over who the father of rock and roll truly was. But many people say it wasn’t a father, but a mother who brought rock and roll into this world. Sister Rosetta Tharpe broke all the rules, playing hopped up blues through distorted amps long before rock and roll was even a thing. Check out that solo!
Debbie Harry of Blondie
Debbie Harry was such a charismatic performer during Blondie’s heyday. She was certainly photogenic, but her appeal was about more than smiling for the camera. In addition to being an amazing singer, there was something electric and dangerous about her presence. I’ve always loved that nearly every one of Blondie’s songs contains some element of surprise – an unexpected twist or turn that turns everything on its head.
I was recently introduced to Jane Weaver’s work by my wonderful wife, whose own music shares certain stylistic similarities with Weaver’s. I love the textures of the analog synthesizers on this track, the Casio beats, and those gorgeous vocal harmonies. So cool!
I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last, but there’s just something magical about Stevie Nicks. Her stage presence, her delivery, and that amazingly powerful voice are almost an embarrassment of riches for any one performer. The rest of the band is great, but as soon as Nicks takes the mic, all eyes and ears are on her. Spellbinding.
Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond
This woman is amazing. I’ve been fortunate enough to see her play live here in Portland, and she did not disappoint. On Pressure, she mixes avant-garde rock, marching band percussion, and minimalism, and somehow makes it swing like crazy. Pretty sure she’s an alien.
Kazu Makinu of Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead is one of my all-time favorite bands, and vocalist Kazu Makinu is a big part of why I love them. Her voice is at once bracing and silky and her lyrics are mysterious and wordy, and the band’s arrangements are always delightful. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t miss it. They’re even better in person.
Bjork is a high priestess of the church of strangeness, and I love her for it. Throughout her career, she has experimented with so many different styles, but her authentic self always shines through. Her songs and the videos that accompany them are true works of art. It takes courage to be so vulnerable in one’s art, and Bjork has it in spades.
Kim Deal of The Breeders
I still remember when the video for “Cannonball” came out. I’m not ashamed to say teenage me had a huge crush on Kim Deal. And when my wife and I got married, “Divine Hammer” was the song we played for the garter toss. Confession: I like the Breeders more than Pixies. Controversial? Perhaps. But the Breeders rule!
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and listening.
Oh, and whether you’re a lady, a dude, or fall somewhere else on the gender spectrum, if you’re looking for Portland guitar lessons, I’d love to be your guitar teacher. I offer lessons designed to help you reach your musical goals.