Hipster sister

Mavis Staples

We did a series of shows this March to celebrate International Women’s Month.

Where would our lives be without women?

The first show on March 9, Women of Funk, is about how subversive funk can be, particularly if it is made by women. Funk can appear masculine and tough. So lessons are to be learned from the women who dared venture there and still hold on to their femininity and gracefully render that fat beat.

The second show in the series on March 17 was titled Eclectic Ladies Land. We looked at the wide variety of alternative music that women are involved in. From Rosie Okae‘s art-song minimalistic folk to Little Ester‘s alternative country soul, to Errollyn Wallen‘s contemporary avant garde operas, this show has something for everyone.

March 23rd’s show looked at women in the Black Power movement. A fascinating topic still rarely investigated (except by the FBI). We focused on the Black Panthers who were the most media savvy of the many assorted socially active groups from the Sixties. So many of these women are still active. Including Elaine Brown who was also an interesting underground folk singer.

The final show took place on March 30th. For this show we concentrated on new releases. Our criteria for this playlist, was that the recordings were released in the last 12 months. We were excited to find that there was so much recent alternative music made by Black women to choose from! My personal favourite was the song that Valerie June wrote for the marvellous new Mavis Stables LP.

Where would my life be without Mavis Staples? Just her aura in a photo speaks to me, as does the breath between her words.

Hats off to International Women’s Month. We offer these four shows in gratitude to your loving lessons.

Listen to the shows
March 9, 2016 – Women of Funk
March 16, 2016 – Eclectic Ladies Land
March 23, 2016 – Women in The Black Power Movement
March 30, 2016 – Recent Releases By Women


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