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Guitar Heroines, Or Lack Thereof? - Riffs and Licks — LiveJournal
Guitar Heroines, Or Lack Thereof?
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steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: August 26th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two more folksingers with great guitar chops: Shawn Colvin and Patty Larkin, both of whom also illustrate another aspect of the problem: the pressure by record companies to conform to an established image/sound. When I first saw Shawn Colvin live (in 1991, with Richard Thompson) she kicked ass, sang very angry songs and played intense acoustic guitar. I bought her album the next day and was disappointed in the gentle Suzanne Vega sound. Slowly her live sound gentled out and the last show I saw of hers (in 1994 or so) was much less interesting. Meanwhile Larkin actually played electric guitar in a rock band for some years but didn't hit it big until she went out as a solo singer-songwriter. (One more sorta example: She's overshadowed by David Rawlings but Gillian Welch plays well; in Central Park last week she tore up the place on bass for a couple of songs.)

The weight problem never occurred to me, but you're right. I was floored (almost literally) the first time I picked up a Les Paul. But in retrospect, I don't know why I was surprised that a big chunk of hardwood would be heavy...
From: polytropia Date: August 27th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Patty Larkin is an amazing guitar player! There's a great song of hers on All Songs Considered that I listened to over and over for about a month.

The main problem for women in music is the pointed indifference when we are starting out. I'm reminded of a quote by Bella Abzug: Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. A woman in music who is obviously brilliant and talented will be encouraged -- granted, not as much as an equally-talented man, but encouraged nonetheless. However, real prodigies are rare, and the vast majority of musicians have to suck for a while before they can become any good. Only when women who suck are encouraged as much as men who suck, will we end up with an equal number of men and women who are good.

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