My significant other periodically reminds me that the guitar music landscape is pretty heavily gender biased. Very true indeed, but definitely not for a lack of female 6-string talent. So as this blog’s small contribution to feminism, I’m going to make a conscious effort to highlight women who tear it up with as much soul and technique as any man. I encourage readers to leave listening suggestions in the comments, as women in this business unfortunately often fly under the radar.
I discovered Carolyn Wonderland recently via Mountain Stage, and picked up her 2011 album Peace Meal. It’s a highly recommendable listen. Carolyn’s Joplin-esque voice and monster guitar chops are firmly rooted in the blues, but with elements of R&B, country, and folk thrown in for good measure. Check out her right-hand technique — that pickless pop and snap of the strings is totally old school, a la Skip James or Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. And note the monster tone coming out of that 15 watt Blues Jr — I bet the owner of the Marshall stack in the background is wondering why he bothers throwing out his back every damn gig.