Living in Oakland California means a host of “happenings” that easily lead to a whirlwind of activity, but one of the most important thing going on here for Karen
and me is the endless opportunity to see and hear women musicians performing live! Women still have a tough challenge in the world of music, and access to their music, particularly women who are not making it on the top charts, is very difficult. For years, Ladyslipper Music has provided an important resource for those of us who want the music, and has been even more important for the women who perform.
What we experience here in the Bay Area is far from the “Michigan” experience (the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival), but as far as the music is concerned, we have the rare opportunity to indulge in the music 12 months of the year! I am a fan of all of them … but here are the groups that we are following most closely these days:
Average Dyke Band: 5 amazing women who have perfected their art and style as a rock cover band, giving us the most amazing live dance music imaginable! Plus, every time we go to one of their gigs, we see many of our friends, and now count among our friends the women of the band — Carrie Gerendasy on bass and vocals, Shari Kline on keyboard, Stephanie Teel on guitar and vocals, Rosa Koire on saxophone, and Robin Roth on drums. We see the ADB about once a month in Sausalito at a private club on a barge, but also we are going to Santa Rosa on Friday, April 22, and then again to Santa Cruz for a Pride celebration on May 7th. (Can you tell we qualify as groupies!)
Blame Sally now tours the world – literally! A few months ago they toured Germany for a month, and they will be in many cities in the US this summer. We are so fortunate to get to see them live here in the Bay Area more than once a year! They play original compositions — each of the four women are talented song-writers and performers, and while their music has a definite “Blame Sally” signature, each of the women’s music also has a characteristic, so that when they put it all together in a set list for the evening, what you have is a concert loaded with wonderful variety. The women, who all do vocals and play, are Monica Pasqual (keyboard, accordion), Jeri Jones (guitar) Renee Harcourt (guitar), and Pam Delgado (percussion). We are going to their new CD release party at the Great American Music Hall on April 29th! And of course we will come home with a CD!
The Graceland Girls are a newly formed 50’s rock band that is still getting
established, but promises to provide a singularly fun afternoon or evening of dancing and singing to the oldies that many in my generation have always loved! Led by J.Althea on keyboard and vocals, the women of Graceland Girls include Leslie Hassberg (bass and vocals), Danielle Hupp (vocals and schtick), Tsulin, keyboard and vocals, and Roberta Drake (percussion).
And of course any time we have an opportunity to see women at Yoshi’s, we are there! On May 12th we will be there to see Teresa Trull, Barbara Higbie, Linda Tillery, Nina Gerber — for those of you who know these women but live far away … I am so sorry you will miss it! If you are local and interested in this concert, here is the link to the information about the show on the Yoshi’s web site. Teresa is planning on moving to New Zealand, and this is a farewell concert … but we are hoping that as an enthusiastic audience we can help her change her mind! It has happened with others, after all!!
Stay tuned — I will of course give my personal reviews of these and many other events as this blog matures!