Where Are The Women?

15 Apr

My recent post (Who’s Going to Newport) got me thinking about women artists and their lack of presence at the festival this year. Perhaps that is why I was a bit underwhelmed with the line-up announcement. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Gillian Welch fan and am thrilled to get to see her perform this summer (especially since we went on the “other” day the last two times she graced the Fort Adams stage.) And I know that Mavis Staples is a “legend”, but she is not too folky….more gospel if you ask me. In addition, both of these women were just recently (2009) included the festival line-up. I had a wedding to go to on the day that they performed, so I saw Newport Folk Festival alums Judy Collins and Joan Baez. Last year, I got to see Sharon Jones (and the Dap Kings) and she was great, but again not much of a folk singer. So this got me pondering about women artists that I am fond of and wondering why they aren’t going to be at Newport this year.

I would have loved to see Lissie this summer. I think she would have been a great addition to the festival. There are lots of other fantastic female singers that I would have been thrilled to see perform at Fort Adams State Park. When I did a little digging, I discovered that many of these talented women have indeed performed at the festival in years past. In no particular order, here are twenty women singers (some are newer to the music scene than others) that I believe would be excellent additions to the festival….Tift Merrit (2009), Brandi Carlile (2010), Shawn Colvin (2000), Cowboy Junkies (2008), Lucinda Williams (2004), Bonnie Rait, Sarah McLachlan (1994), Neko Case (2009), Indigo Girls (1996/2006), Jonatha Brooke (2001), Rickie Lee Jones, Laura Viers, Lissie, Shelby Lynne, Sarah Jarosz (2010), Joni Mitchell (1969), Tracy Chapman, Yael Naim, Joan Armatrading (1996) and Sheryl Crow.

I did have the pleasure of seeing the Cowboy Junkies in 2008, Neko Case in 2009, the Indigo Girls in 2006 and Sarah McLachlan in 1994. I was either not there the day that Tift Merrit, Brandi Carlile and Sarah Jarosz performed or I was just unaware of their talent and didn’t go over to the smaller stage where they were most likely performing. I guess I should try to get ahead of the curve and start listening to Liz Queler and the Wailin’ Jennys so that I don’t miss out on a couple of up and coming female folksters.

For your listening enjoyment, I put together a 20 Wonderful Women playlist on 8tracks. Enjoy listening to it here: http://8tracks.com/mixes/283903/player_v3

And since I’m always on the look-out for new music, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite female artists. C’mon people…don’t be shy!

Last thing….don’t forget to sign up for an email subscription to my blog. A CD with these fabulous women (or music from a completely genre) could be yours just for signing up. Tell me the genre you are interested in (or a few favorite artists), and I’ll make you your very own CD. Already subscribed? Get a friend to subscribe and I’ll make you both CDs!

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