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Women Guitar Players

Updated on September 4, 2015
Brian Moore, quilted, looks like I need to load a higher-resolution version...
Brian Moore, quilted, looks like I need to load a higher-resolution version... | Source

Dedicated to Women Guitar Players

Welcome! I have branched out to focus on some of my favorite guitar players, who happen to be women. This is in part due to the great response I've had from readers who enjoyed the articles devoted to women players on other sites (currently inactive). I'm starting by taking my first set of relevant modules from my other guitar sites and adding them here. Then, I'll continue to add new content. All styles and genres will be covered.

Photo Copyright © 2008, James K. Bashkin

Women Guitar Players

Some of my favorites

It is often said that guitars are instruments for guys. However, this is only said by people who don't know what they're talking about. In honor of women guitar players, I'll give capsule summaries about a few of my favorites here. This list is not comprehensive by any means, and the order is random. I'll add more on the subject at a later time.

Joni Mitchell. A master of altered tunings, hero of the singer-songwriter world, and simply a brilliant musician, Mitchell's folk music was never limited by stock song forms or harmonies. Live, her concerts included improvisation with jazz great Jaco Pastorius and many other top musicians. She was the leader, however. Mitchell has also let jazz come to the forefront on a number of albums, winning a Grammy for "best jazz vocal album" (2001) to go along with "Female Vocalist of the Year" in 1976. Her playing is a wonder to hear, and her vocals are just as outstanding. Check out Mingus, Hejira, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon and all the rest. Herbie Hancock received a Grammy for his interpretations of Joni's music on the new CD, River: the joni letters. Oh, and she paints, too!

Rory Block. Fingerstyle blues specialist Rory Block helps keep traditional Delta blues alive, and writes modern blues tunes of her own. A powerful performer, she is also captured well in the recording studio and has won 5 W C Handy awards for top blues albums. I have a number of signed CD's from a concert at The Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. Check out compilation Best Blues and Originals, live album Mama's Blues and all of the others. Block has also provided a number of instructional DVDs on Delta blues, including two on the guitar styles of Robert Johnson.

Emily Remler. Tragically lost at a young age, Emily Remler was a brilliant jazz guitarist as this New York Times feature will attest (you may need to register with the NYT for free to see the article). I still remember the bell-like clarity of her harmonics on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" that she played upstairs at The Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, now many years ago. Thanks to recordings, we have the benefit of Remler's instruction on Bebop and Swing and Advanced Jazz and Latin Improvisation, and well as her albums, of course. My favorites include This is Me and East to Wes, both of which I have on vinyl. Also check out Firefly.

Susan Tedeschi. A powerful, fiery electric blues player, Berklee School of Music-trained Tedeschi has received four Grammy nominations, the latest for contemporary blues album Hope and Desire, on Verve. Tedeschi played at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival with a horde of other top players. Her performance DVD and CD Live from Austin Texas is great.

Emmylou Harris. A singer-songwriter, her vocals have graced countless albums headlined by others. However, you want to make sure to listen to Harris' own albums/CDs: featuring her songwriting more and more, they are masterpieces of musical beauty. Give Red Dirt Girl a listen, for example, along with Stumble into Grace and Cowgirl's Prayer. From the latter album, "Prayer in Open D" is an all-time favorite.

Finally, check out the double CD compilation Blues Guitar Women to see yet a different view of women and the guitar.

Women blues guitar players

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Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Calvin111 6 years ago

    cool lens and very informative.

    best acoustic guitars reviews

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 6 years ago

    @efriedman: Thanks, e! She's a favorite of mine, too.

  • efriedman profile image

    efriedman 6 years ago

    Glad to see Bonnie Rait included. One of my favorites. Nice lens

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 7 years ago

    @LisaDH: Thanks very much, lisa!

  • LisaDH profile image

    LisaDH 7 years ago

    Great topic for a lens! I'm a big fan of women guitar players.

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 7 years ago

    @CrossCreations: Thanks so much! I already lensrolled your great Bonnie Raitt lens here. All the best!

  • CrossCreations profile image

    Carolan Ross 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Excellent tribute to guitar women, lensrolled to Bonnie Raitt.

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 7 years ago

    @norma-holt: Thanks so much! Best wishes.

  • norma-holt profile image

    norma-holt 7 years ago

    Great info and nicely crafted lens. Featured this on How to Make Good music.

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 7 years ago

    @theaxattic: Thanks very much, axeattic! I understand, I haven't written much in a while now. The lenses provide a nice "short form" of writing... Best, J

  • profile image

    theaxattic 7 years ago

    Another great read! Thanks for the kind comments also. It's hard to stay motivated enough to write my fiction and create for these two accounts I have here. I'm doing a heavy lensroll to several of my lenses here.

  • amyrussell profile image

    Amy 8 years ago from New England, USA

    Wonderful post! I told you I was coming here to read it lol!

  • profile image

    tdove 9 years ago

    Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 9 years ago

    [in reply to paperfacets] Excellent! I've been a fan of Joan's for a long time. Thanks!

  • paperfacets profile image

    Sherry Venegas 9 years ago from La Verne, CA

    Good lens. See Joan Armatrading UK performer playing the guitar on this lens.

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 9 years ago

    Thanks, Twmarsh! Best wishes, Jim

  • Twmarsh profile image

    Twmarsh 9 years ago

    Well done. I love thie topic. Very nice collection of vids you have amassed. 5 stars!

  • chemrat profile image

    chemrat 9 years ago

    WritingforYourWealth, Thanks for the kind feedback, Jim

  • WritingforYourW profile image

    WritingforYourW 9 years ago

    Cool, I'm moving from a condo to a house, and I feel I can finally take some music lessons without worrying about tormenting the neighbors. Guitar is on my wish list :)


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