Mo’ Better Blues

A while back, I mentioned the apparent absence of female lead guitarists in rock music, and wondered why, when so many leading violinists (for example) are female, this was the case. It turned out I was looking in the wrong place. Through a circuitous route, starting by reading an article about current Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks, I discovered the blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Susan Tedeschi, and went from her to discover Sue Foley and blues-influenced but wide-ranging Serb Ana Popovic – all of whom I mentioned in my previous post, though these links are to different performances.

But wait, there’s more: Deborah Coleman, Debbie Davis, Kelly Richey, and from the unlikely blues stronghold of Finland, slide guitar queen Erja Lyytinen. I used to listen to a lot of 60s and 70s blues-rock, but had pretty much moved away from the genre of music in recent years. Now, via the combined magic of broadband and YouTube, I can see and hear so many great blues and blues-influenced musicians of the past and present that it has really sparked my interest again. Discovering these excellent female guitarists is a wonderful bonus on top of that. But why, oh why, aren’t they better known?

4 thoughts on “Mo’ Better Blues

  1. Nancy Wilson of Heart is probably the most famous. June Millington of the all female band Fanny is one of my favorites. I don’t know if you would count the two guitarist in The Bangles or not; they weren’t much into soloing. Over the years I have played with a number of non-famous female pickers who were really good.

  2. Thanks, kd and Lee. I was thinking of lead guitarists (a traditionally \”male\” role in a band) and blues or blues-rock guitarists in particular – and I guess PJ Harvey would qualify as all of those. I had heard of June Millington, but have never heard her music – I will check it out!I know there\’s much more to playing the guitar than soloing, but I\’ve got my head enough in the 60s and 70s that I really enjoy guitar solos – if they\’re good, and not just someone playing scales very quickly – and I have heard some very good ones, via listening to these women play, over the last week or so.

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