11 March 2007

Guitar Heroines

So, in The New York Times today there is this story about women in indie-rock who are staking a claim to guitar virtuousity. I am not familiar with any of these musicians but hope to track some of them down (the smart young woman who is TA-ing for my undergraduate class this spring is a certified indie-snob and will surely be able to point me in the proper direction!). The person who immediately sprang to my mind while reading the story is Bonnie Raitt whom I've been listening to since my high school days. She can play a Stratocaster like nobody's business. Here is part of the intro to a recent interview with Raitt in Guitar Player magazine: "In a field dominated by men, men, and more men, Bonnie Raitt has managed to kick hellacious ass all over the brotherhood of guitar since her eponymous debut album unveiled her soulful slide playing and singing back in 1971."

The peculiar thing is that none of the women mentioned in The Times story (to say nothing of the reporter who penned it) mention Bonnie, or any other "elder" guitar heroines. The point? If there are folks who've come before you it is important to recognize them; otherwise you just re-invent the wheel and invite those who come after you to do the same.

PS: As an afterthought, I want to mention that here too I find an interesting confluence like one I mentioned recently, namely that Raitt is working with producers who also work with other musicians who I quite like. On her recent albums she has relied on Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom who not only constitute half of the Latin Playboys but who also have variously co-produced, provded technical/creative input, and played on a bunch of Los Lobos records over the years.

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Blogger Amanda said...

Bonnie is absolutely amazing! I find it funny using the word elderly to describe her.LOL! I really think the switch from Don Was to Mitchell and Tchad was a great idea.She's gone to new places in her music.

03 April, 2007 03:34  

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