Wintery days, snowed and iced bound indoors creates cabin fever. What better way to handle cabin fever than listening and studying the blues, while doing my graduate school homework ;)
The Nov/Dec issue of Blues Revue, The Worlds Blues Magazine is a fantastic issue featuring a cover story entitled, “Powerful Women Play the Blues”. If you are looking to discover invigorating musicians carrying the blues tradition forward you want to get this magazine to read about what these women are accomplishing.
If you scratch my rock and roll heart you will find at its core the blues. The discoveries I have made through the blues have been some of the most enriching experiences of my life. It’s important to fortify and deepen one’s trusted experiences by gaining a better appreciation for women in the blues.
1. Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor produces that gutsy sounding blues you’ve come to respect from respected blues artists. Her raspy vocals match her tough guitar playing. I didn’t find her blues style immediate, but as I listened further to Diamonds in the Dirt, a natural intensity took hold. It was like lighting a candle that burns bright with an ever-increasing flickering flame.
I especially love this quote about Joanne Shaw Taylor :), “Last year I heard something I thought I would never hear … a British white girl playing blues guitar so deep and passionately it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!” — Dave Stewart, Eurythmics
2. Debbie Davies
People have been singing the praises of Debbie Davies to me for years. I finally got around to reading more about Debbie Davies today. The more I read told me that I too am a fellow beatnik. I took the time today to listen to Debbie Davies’s latest recording, Holding Court. I love the tone of her blues guitar, she has the chops of Albert Collins, who she played with from 1988-1991 and so much more. I hear some of Michael Bloomfield in her style. Her command of the guitar is blues power pure as she plays with an effortless sincerity that will captivate your soul.
3. Eden Brent
I stumbled upon Eden Brent recently when I was looking at a list of blues artists playing on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. One of my fantasies is to take that cruise with Rosemary from some port of call in the future ;)
I then noticed that Eden Brent’s recording Ain’t Got No Troubles as #4 in Amazon’s Top 10 Best Blues Albums of 2010. (As is Joanne Shaw Taylor’s Diamond in the Dirt recording at #10). This intrigued me further. Next thing I know I am buying the latest Blues Revue on the newstand and there is a feature article on Eden Brent. Well I go with synchronicity when it strikes like that.
I really like Eden Brent’s recording. The Mississippi area of the US has always been a fertile source of blues music to draw upon. Eden Brent encompasses the boogie woogie piano playing and adds her velvety smooth vocals to that mix. Her interpretations are resonant as they collect your warm smile.
4. Cyndi Lauper
I just adore Cyndi Lauper. Her voice is emotionally poignant. I respect how Cyndi Lauper takes risks on creative levels through constant experimentation with her music. Memphis Blues establishes a defining chapter in the evolution of Cyndi’s ever-changing songbook.
We saw Cyndi Lauper open for Cher in 2003 at Mohegan Sun. She knocked us out with her magnetic aura, which was both intimate and charming in its appeal.