5 Women Who Changed the Face of Rock and Roll

Here’s a guest post from Zac Green, editor-in-chief over at popular music blog ZingInstruments.com.

The stereotypical rock ‘n’ roller is often a long haired man, clad in leathers. However, as we’ll see in this article, women rockers have contributed just as much to the history of rock and roll music.

In this post we’ll showcase five women who have changed the face of rock and roll and shaped the landscape for those that would follow them. We will also provide a brief bio of each of these interesting and extremely talented female rockers, as well as some words detailing their rise to super stardom.

Pat Benatar

No list of women rockers would be complete without the name Pat Benatar. A former bank teller turned American rock star, Benatar is one of the first females to delve into the hard rock scene. Benatar’s success can be traced back to 1979, when she released her first album, In the Heat of the Night. This record was followed by her extremely successful Crimes of Passion LP and chart-topping mega-hit “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” which was regularly featured on MTV and won her the admiration of millions of fans on her rapid ascent to fame.

Joan Jett

An accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Joan Jett and her band the Balackhearts burst onto the music scene in 1981 with their hit album and single “I Love Rock and Roll.” The immense success she earned from this LP came after nearly a decade of performing with her former band the Runaways, with whom she established herself as a one-of-a-kind rocker, musician and vocalist.

Janis Joplin

With music that was borne out of the mostly-male dominated 1960s rock and folk music scene, Janis Joplin broke the mold with her raspy sound that endeared her to music fans around the world. Known mostly for her raw rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee” and the song “Mercedes Benz,” Joplin got her big break in 1967 when, backed by the band Big Brother and the Holding Company, she performed at the Monterey Pop Festival. Her success at this performance led to an invite to 1969’s Woodstock Festival in New York, where she wowed the mostly-hippie crowd with her original voice and lyrics. Addled by drug and alcohol problems, Joplin died tragically of a drug overdose in 1970.

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks, a major vocal star and songwriter extraordinaire, first found success as the lead singer for the band Fleetwood Mac, who she joined forces with in 1975. While she was still (an ostracized) member of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks launched what would later become a hugely successful solo career in 1981, performing songs like the enormously popular “Landslide.” Many of today’s most successful female rock and roll artists cite Stevie Nicks as one of their primary inspirations for pursuing a music career.

Deborah Harry

The lead singer for the popular band Blondie, Deborah Harry boasted one of the most recognizable sounds of any female rock and roll artist since Janis Joplin—a sound artfully demonstrated in the band’s mega-hit “One Way or Another.” Although Blondie was officially considered a New Wave band of the 1980s, Harry, with her wide and beautiful musical range, steered the band into many different musical genres, including rock and roll and an extremely early version of what would later become modern hip-hop.

 

Alternative Rock/Pop Singer TRISTN Announced Her New Album ‘January’ To Be Released September 8

By Myki Angeline

New York-based singer/songwriter TRISTN has recently released her single “Anywhere But Here” available on Soundcloud. This is the first track off her anticipated album January which is set for release September 8.

Listen to “Anywhere But Here” on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/tristnmusic

The album notes an impressive list of producers including the late Tom Coyne (Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Adele), on the single, “Now You Know,” Ted Jensen (Norah Jones, Muse, Green Day) for the single, “Nothing to Say (Nothin’),” and Christian Wright (Abbey Road Studios UK) and Steve Kupillas (Oak and Ash, Brand New) for the remaining songs, including “Anywhere But Here”.

TRISTN, who came into her own as both a solo artist/songwriter and producer, co-produced this album which depicts true events in her life through way of music. The single, “Anywhere But Here” is a conversational piece about gossip, exposing those who talk about others but are too afraid to speak face to face. RawRamp Magazine says, “This is pure, slippery and abrasive architectural happiness. With angular blocks of sound pushed against the sweet chirruping voice.”

Follow TRISTN on Facebook to purchase January and upcoming tour dates: facebook.com/tristnmusic/

Below is the video for her single, “Nothing To Say” – from the album January!

Front and Center: Songtradr Director of Creative Services, Erin Dillon

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Songtradr Director of Creative Services, Erin Dillon

By Leslie Buttonow

At any given time, an artist has finished a new music piece they’re looking to license. At the same time – whether across town, across the country, or across the world – any number of brands, apps, television or film studios are seeking just the right song for their new project. The missing piece of the puzzle for bringing both sides together is Songtradr, an all-in-one, global licensing platform that delivers an efficient way for buyers and sellers to connect. Their client list includes the likes of MTV, Netflix, FOX, Amazon, Microsoft, ABC, Disney, and more.

Erin Dillon is Songtradr’s director of creative services. She enthusiastically digs in to their catalogue of music to perfectly align hand-curated songs with high profile placements. Truly inspired by the music itself, Dillon shares how her background in music supervision and as a trained pianist has helped her to excel for her company and its clients, and what motivates her each day in her role at Songtradr.

To find out more, visit www.songtradr.com.

The WiMN: I see you’re a classically trained pianist. Growing up, did you always aspire to have some type of career in the music industry, or was that just a happy coincidence?

I think on some level I always knew I wanted to work in music; my path always seemed to lead there. As I grew up learning the piano, I also fell in love with movie soundtracks. That was what interested me in music supervision, initially. The idea of putting soundtracks together like a playlist seemed like the best thing in the world!

The WiMN: How did your background as a pianist prepare you for the various roles you’ve held in the industry over the years in music supervision and creative control? 

Knowing the language of music theory allowed a deeper connection in working with composers. I felt it made it easier to relate and mediate between the creative vision of a director versus the musicality a composer brings to a project. And with a trained ear you can give better notes and guidance. This is true not only with composers but when working with up-and-coming artists or new talent.

The WiMN: For young women exploring various careers in the music industry, can you share a little bit about your current position at Songtradr and what that type of job entails? 

At Songtradr, I’m the head of music curation, which is comprised of me bringing in new music as well as keeping up to date with everything currently on our site, which is a lot! I make curated playlists for clients looking for specific types of music, along with licensing and artist relations.

The WiMN: What are some things that motivate you each day in your job?

Hearing from the musicians on our site is always the best part of my day. I love building a rapport with the different people whose music I’m listening to every day. Their successes and difficulties are mine as well. Whenever I get to be the bearer of good news and tell someone their music is going to be licensed, it’s a great day. I also love being excited by music each day. It’s part of my job to keep finding diamonds in the rough and listening to new and unusual stuff. There’s still a spark for me when the challenge of a particular search request comes through and I get to be the one to dig and find it!

The WiMN: Many areas of the music industry are male-dominated. Is that the case for your area? Were there ever any challenges you’ve had to overcome in that regard?

It’s definitely a male-dominated industry overall, but I pride myself in being part of a generation that has come up alongside many women my age. I have many colleagues who inspire me and are truly positive, powerful women. The best part about it is, many of the women I’ve come up with, really have the best intentions for each other. We want to see each other succeed and I believe it’s genuine. I can’t speak to particular challenges, but I will say hard work speaks for itself. Once you’ve put in the work, don’t be afraid to use your voice. If you have an idea or a thought, throw it out there. Trust your gut — a woman’s intuition is one of the most powerful forces on earth!

The WiMN: Any advice for our readers who are musicians and may be exploring licensing their own original music?

The best advice I can give is educate yourself. Do your homework, utilize IMDB, speak to fellow musicians who are in your boat or have had licenses. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Decide what it is you really want to do with your music, then go after it. Celebrate the small victories that will inevitably lead to larger ones.

The WiMN: Are there any particularly exciting projects you’re working on (or recently completed) that you’d like to share?

Songtradr has worked closely with a women’s clothing company called Ardene in the last year. They’ve licensed some awesome music from us – like Bad Bad Hats and Esjay Jones – that really seems to speak to their brand.

Sennheiser Announces Job Openings In Consumer, Pro, Sales, and Marketing Departments

Sennheiser, one of the leading producers in high fidelity products, including microphones, headphones, and telephone accessories has announced several job openings within their company – women especially are encourage to apply!

Click the link below to learn more about the position you are interested in:

Founded in 1945 by Professor Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, this independent family business has been continuously setting trends in the audio industry. To learn more about the company visit their website: sennheiser.com

For any questions about the available positions, contact Dawn Birr, Channel Manager here: dawn.birr@sennheiser.com

Blondie Raises Awareness Of Our Declining Bee Population With Their #BEECONNECTED Campaign

By Myki Angeline

The newest buzz with iconic rock band Blondie centers around the release of their 11th studio album and bee campaign.

Yes, you read that right. Debbie Harry and Blondie are supporting pollinators with the launch of their ‘BEE Connected’ Campaign during the 10th Annual National Pollinator Week (June 19th-25th), working in collaboration with organizations such as Pollinator Partnership, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace to raise awareness of our decreasing bee population. Bees serve a critical function in the food chain, ecosystems, and biodiversity.  Says Harry, “Basically, my motives for supporting pollinators is survival; survival of us all, survival of the human race.”

Fans can purchase special limited edition “Pollinator/Save The Bees” t-shirts with the net proceeds going directly to the cause.  The band encourages everyone to learn more about getting involved in such ways as buying local, avoiding the use of pesticides, and planting bee-friendly gardens.

Learn how you can ‘BEE Connected’ on their website:  blondie.net/beeconnected/

Their new campaign comes right after the release of Pollinator, the 11th studio album for Blondie and is their most collaborative recording to date. Produced by BMG, the critically acclaimed release includes musical influences by a variety of artists as Sia, Dev Hynes, Charli XCX, Dave Sitek, Joan Jett, Nick Valensi, Johnny Marr, Adam Johnston, and The Gregory Brothers.

Blondie embarks on a North American co-headlining tour with Garbage in July. To purchase tickets visit:  blondie.net

Below is the official video for the single “Fun” from their new album, Pollinator!

International Singer-Songwriter Carla Bruni Announces Her Latest Album ‘French Touch’ To Be Released October 2017

(Photo credit: Matthieu Zazzo)

By Myki Angeline

French singer Carla Bruni announced in late May the release of her fifth studio album set for release October 6. French Touch is produced by legendary producer, composer, and musician, David Foster via Verve Records/Barclay/Universal Music France.  The album is her first collection of English-language cover songs that include Bruni’s interpretations of hits by ABBA, The Rolling Stones, and The Clash.

Her first single “Enjoy The Silence” is available on all digital and streaming services. The video has already received over 78k views on Youtube. Originally recorded by English band Depeche Mode back in 1990, Bruni’s version is stripped down from its former electric goth influence and brings about a beautiful, yet moody ballad that only she could deliver, “What I like very much about the song is the lyrics. It’s such a perfect song that it really didn’t need a cover. The lyrics are quite dark, but they’re made stronger because, nowadays, noise is everywhere. We need silence. Silence is healing.” says Bruni.

You can download “Enjoy The Silence” from her website: carlabruni.com

You can purchase Little French Songs on iTunes HERE.

Bruni, who is a former first lady of France, has been performing and writing since 1997 She released her first album Quelqu’un m’a dit (Someone Told Me) by 2002.
Since then she has had 3 more critically acclaimed releases, selling over 3 million albums worldwide, including 2007’s, No Promises, which set English poems to music, 2008’s Comme si de rien n’était (As If Nothing Happened), and 2013’s Little French Songs.

Below is Carla Bruni’s video for her cover of “Enjoy The Silence”!

 

Singer/Songwriter April Henry Wins Best R&B Video Of The Year At The IMC Awards

By Myki Angeline

Walking the red carpet at the 2017 IMC Awards. Photography by Gary Apodaca.

April Henry is one of those artists who knows no boundaries and lives to push the envelope. Besides having the ability to sing in English, Japanese, Bulgarian, Italian, French, Spanish and German – she is also an accomplished SAG actor and producer.

Her video for the single, “Symphony of Me” won for Best R&B Music Video of the Year at the 2017 Indie Music Channel awards which took place in Hollywood, California on April 23. The award-winning single is from her forthcoming EP, and getting airplay on both radio and TV.  Says Henry, “the song is about self-empowerment by exploring the many aspects of oneself. People try to put you in boxes, but the truth is we are many voices that we need to harmonize in the symphony of who we are.  You can be sexy, funny, real, and spiritual at the same time. Winning this award, was validating at a metaphysical level for me.”

Video music costume by CircX. Photography by Savannah

Henry draws her inspiration from her scholastic background – having studied art, media, science, and music at the New World School of the Arts Conservatory in Florida. Her music talents have been recognized by such iconic music legends like Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Adele, and Robert Smith.

Recently endorsed by Lewitt Microphones, the award-winning artist will embark on an East coast tour with fellow musician Thomas Claxton. To purchase her music and see a list of tour dates, visit her website at: aprilhenrymusic.com

Check out her award-winning video “Symphony of Me” below!

Front And Center: Co-Founder of Girls Rock Sacramento and Vocal Instructor, Larisa Bryski

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Co-Founder of Girls Rock Sacramento and Vocal Instructor, Larisa Bryski

By Myki Angeline

Larisa Bryski is a prime example of what having incredible talent, drive, and a hard work ethic can produce. She is a devoted wife and mother, accomplished musician, successful vocal instructor, Kaia fit coach, and co-founder of Sacramento’s first ever girls music movement, Girls Rock Sacramento. During her years fronting a band with her husband, guitarist/vocalist Willy Seltzer, she performed on bills with such renowned and diverse national artists as Bad Company, Journey, Oleander, Dishwalla, Berlin, Tommy Castro, John Waite, and Heart. In 2013, she had the honor of collaborating with good friend Terri Nunn of the band Berlin. Their album Animal features her song, “Stand Up,” written by Bryski and performed by Nunn.

Bryski’s work with youth in music includes ten years as the former Program Director for Stairway To Stardom; an 8 week Summer music program for young, non-professional musicians. Her recent accomplishment is a non-profit music program that gives young women, and those who identify as women empowerment and a voice in the Sacramento music community.

Girls Rock Sacramento, now in it’s second year, was founded by both Bryski and fellow female artist Emma Simpson. GRS has already completed two mini girl camps, and two Ladies Rock Camps with a faithful following of volunteers. In 2017, they plan to put on even more camps and will host their finale performances at their studio on June 24, and at the Ace of Spades venue in downtown Sacramento on August 5.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Larisa Bryski over the past 5 years, from interviewing her students, bookings live performances with her students, and volunteering with GRS. I sat down with her recently to learn more on how this dynamic, diverse, and talented woman in music continues to inspire so many.

Learn more about Girls Rock Sacramento at girlsrocksacramento.com.

Listen to my podcast interview at the first ever Girls Rock Sacramento performance HERE.

WiMN: What was your first introduction to music?

LB: I was born in the ’70s. Rock and roll music, folk music, R&B…it was all around me for as long as I can remember. The record player was the center of our universe. I can still see my mom’s brown speakers with the gold mesh on the front.

WiMN: What instrument(s) do you play and how long have you been playing?

LB: I sing and play piano. I also play a little harmonica, drums, and guitar. I started piano lessons at age eight. I began singing actively and with some pretty serious motivation at age five, and studying voice at age 11.

WiMN: Your husband is a singer and musician as well, and your daughter is currently taking lessons. What does having music in your family mean to you?

LB: It means we aren’t millionaires, but life is always fun and busy and ultra interesting. Our daughter isn’t yet a performer as she is only seven. She loves music though, and is taking drum and voice lessons. We’ll see where it goes. My husband Willy and I worked hard to get to be performers on stage. She knows she has to earn that too.

WiMN: When and why did you found Girls Rock Sacramento? How did this movement come about? Feel free to share your experience with GRS so far.

Founders Emma Simpson and Larisa Bryski of Girls Rock Sacramento. Photo Credit: Elle Jaye Photography

LB: It’s part of an alliance of other Girls Rock camps from all over the world. Girls Rock Sacramento is something that Emma Simpson and I founded together because Sacramento needed a safe place for girls and all youth who identify as girls to express their creativity through music without feeling judged or stifled or oppressed. We seek to bridge the gender gap and show that ANYONE can pick up a guitar and rock. The fact that the music industry is male-dominated (for the moment) should never deter a girl from feeling like plugging into an amp, grab a mic, or smack a snare drum. Playing in a band is empowering, collaborative, and FUN. Anyone, male/female/whatever, who wants to should have the chance to know what that feels like, whether they’ve played an instrument before or not.

GRS so far has been a gift in my life. I wake up every morning with a new purpose, and that’s saying a lot, because I’ve always felt like I’ve done purposeful work. And to be clear, I’m just a glorified volunteer with the glorified title of Executive Director. Girls Rock Sacramento belongs to the youth of Sacramento, not to me, or Emma, or any one person.

WiMN: How long have you been a vocal instructor? Has being an instructor changed the way you see the music industry? How did it impact your career as a singer/musician?

LB: I’ve been teaching voice for 20 years overall, but as my main occupation for the last 12. My work as a vocal coach hasn’t really impacted my view of the music industry as much as it has impacted the way I treat every singer I meet. Singing is a very personal, physical thing. Every singer is different. I work with people from all walks of life—from small children to retired adults, from touring rock singers to theatre performers, from lawyers to chefs—I meet interesting people who all share this love of singing, and it’s my job to help them bring out their best voice. People who learn to control their voices build confidence in the process. This confidence carries over to other parts of their lives. It’s very good stuff.

WiMN: Have you run into any obstacles related to being a woman during your career? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?

LB: All the time. Do you know how many “chick band” shows I’ve played in my career? There were periods of time when I’d only get booked on shows with other female-fronted bands, even if those bands were of a completely different genre. Or I’d get people telling me how to dress (“sexy it up”) or other tired, sexist bullshit. Having a chip on my shoulder was how I handled it for a long time before I realized that killing them with kindness and being ultra-professional was a better way to go.

Now I pride myself on being a good communicator, very organized (most of the time), and even-keeled. Nobody wants to work with you when you’re an asshole, no matter how talented you are. I try not to be an asshole, and I like to think that I have at least a little bit of talent. Because of that, over the years, I’ve made some wonderful and influential friends in the Sacramento scene who I trust and respect, and they return that trust and respect in kind. Every day, I work very hard to nurture and maintain those relationships.

WiMN: What have been some of the major highlights in your music career?

LB: Opening for Bad Company, opening for Heart, writing a song for the 2013 Berlin album and singing it with Terri Nunn (one of my idols who is now a dear friend) at a few of their shows, meeting Howard Jones (shut up, he’s amazing), opening for the Motels, Kings X, John Waite, Journey, Peter Frampton, Montrose… And sitting next to Ronnie Montrose on a plane to SXSW from Sacramento to Austin. He was an amazing man. I’ll never ever forget him and his impact on rock music.

WiMN: What do you have going on for the rest of 2017?

LB: Being a mom, teaching voice lessons, sweating with my Kaia sisters, helping to change lives with Girls Rock Sacramento, and playing more gigs, hopefully.

WiMN: Do you have any advice to women who are just getting started in the music industry?

LB: My very wise and wonderful friend Jenn makes amazing shirts that say, “BRAVE, not fearless,” which perfectly describes my best advice. Everyone has fears about stepping into the music industry. Those fears are totally normal and what make us human. But being a woman is harder. It just is, dammit. So be a BRAVE woman with that first step. Inhale deeply and then just fu**ing go for it. Be brave. Set your intention. Go.

Below is a video I created from the very first Girls Rock Sacramento Mini Camp in July 2016, with performances by Heart of The Storm (7-11 yrs old), Middle-Aged Xnchilla Farmerx (12-15 yrs old), and the GRS instructors!

Orianthi Debuted Her Customized PRS Guitar At Skyville Live In Nashville

By Myki Angeline

Orianthi debuted her custom PRS guitar on March 20th at an intimate show with Melissa Etheridge at Skyville Live in Nashville.

Australian solo artist and guitarist, Orianthi has much to celebrate lately.  Not only was she named one of 50 Sensational Female Guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine, she recently received a customized 24-fret guitar courtesy of PRS Guitars, to which Orianthi is proudly endorsed.

To read the PRS Blog click HERE.

Visit Orianthi’s Official Website HERE.

Orianthi, who is known for touring with Carrie Underwood, Alice Cooper, and was recruited as Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist on his This Is It tour before his untimely passing, gained popularity as a solo artist with her first hit “According To You” back in 2009. In 2013 she received the “Inspire” Award at The WiMN’s first ever She Rocks Awards, and would later co-host with founder Laura B. Whitmore at our 2015 She Rocks Awards.

Orianthi’s gorgeous, new guitar was inspired by a favorite writing pen, her logo design, and her favorite shade of purple nail polish.  The Private Stock team at PRS took her ideas and crafted a one of a kind design! The lotus flower from her favorite pen was inlaid on the fretboard, and her name logo was inlaid on the body.

Orianthi debuted her custom PRS guitar on March 20 at an intimate show with Melissa Etheridge at the Skyfall Live in Nashville, TN.  See her performing with it in her video below.

Orianthi performs her cover of “Pride and Joy”!

 

 

 

Front And Center: Blues Rock Guitarist, Samantha Fish

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Blues Rock Guitarist, Samantha Fish

By Laura B. Whitmore and Myki Angeline

Guitarist Samantha Fish, best known as a blues player, ventured into a different sound with the release of her fourth solo album, Chills & Fever (Ruf Records). The record was released on March 17.

Collaborating with members of the blues/punk band Detroit Cobras, and adding a New Orleans horn section, Fish puts a new spin on classic soul songs from the ’50s and ’60s including covers of “Hello Stranger” by The Capitols, and “Hurt’s All Gone” by Irma Thomas.

The album has already received rave reviews from The Huffington Post and more. Guitar World said, “Chock full of swampy guitars, New Orleans-style horns and fronted by Fish’s powerful, blues-tinged vocals, I can’t think of a better representation of this story of regret.”

We caught up with Fish to discuss her inspiration behind the album, and find out what it was like to move into this new direction. She also shares her experiences working as a woman in the music industry, and the steady rise of women in music.

You can purchase Chills & Fever on her website here.

WIMN: Let’s talk about your new album. What prompted you to move in this direction?

SF: To me, it was a logical evolution of the band. I have so many different influences that make me who I am as a musician, and right now in the trio, soul music has played such a big part of my vocal style. My favorite singers are soul singers – it’s the stuff I try to emulate when I am singing, so it made sense to me to pull more of that into an album. We had the opportunity to pick from really great songs!

WIMN: How did you select the songs for the new album?

SF: It was a mix of songs between me and the producer, Bobby Harlow. Bobby knew of all of these incredible ’50s and ’60s girl groups like the Ronettes, and he pulled together some really incredible material – obscure stuff that I hadn’t heard before. We sent music back and forth for months saying “check this out!” before whittling it down. I am a huge Nina Simone fan, so a Nina song got on the record. “Crow Jane” by Skip James is on there as well. I know that’s not soul, but to me It felt like a cool song that needed to be redone. Not to make it sound like we were rigid in our perimeters in picking material; we wanted great songs we could redo with a horn section and keys. We featured members of the Detroit Cobras, so the sound is like Detroit soul/punk rock band meets New Orleans horns, and whatever the hell I’m doing. It was just fun!

Not to make it sound like we were rigid in our perimeters in picking material, we just wanted great songs we could redo with a horn section and keys. We featured members of the Detroit Cobras, so the sound is like Detroit soul/punk rock band meets New Orleans horns, and whatever the hell I’m doing. It was just fun!

WIMN: Do you think there is a growing appreciation for this style of music?

SF: I think so. I definitely think people are digging back into the older class of music like this because it’s good, it’s timeless, and it doesn’t go out of style. Over time it seems like people end up going back to the things that are tried and true, so if there is another resurgence of that, it makes sense to me.

WIMN: Your guitar sounds amazing. Can you tell us a little about the gear you are playing with?

SF: I am in such a gear transition right now! I have so many cool guitars, but my main axe is the Delaney guitar, which is a custom build that I have been playing for years. I have also been playing a new model SG which I am really in love with. For my acoustic sets, I play with a Taylor guitar, and then of course I have my favorite cigar box guitars – they’re a mess! My favorite one I am holding together with duct tape. I have people come and give them to me all the time. It’s the coolest, sweetest thing, but I am so attached to the one that I play, that I just keep taping it back up. Right now I am looking at getting a Jaguar, and I am getting another Delaney custom made (a 335 or 339). This is the year I am expanding my guitar arsenal.

WIMN: Would you say your approach to what you are playing and your tone changed for this new album?

SF: We were doing it all on vintage gear for this album, like Supro amps and really crazy old tube amps I had never even heard of before. They had tiny wattage and we would just crank them up. We had a lot of fun using vintage amps. I used my guitars and just dialed them to different tones. I got a guitar tech last year, and I had never used pedals before, EVER. I just wasn’t a pedal person. I would just plug into a tuner, and then into a big amp.  It was just about the amp, and the guitar for me. Slowly but surely my new guitar tech would say things like, “oh, you should try this Octave pedal. It’s going to sound bad ass!”  I fell in love with it because it was fun. I used Tremelo and Octave pedals on this album too.

WIMN: Will you be touring with the Detroit Cobras? Are you trying to get your touring band together?

SF: We are piecing it together at the moment. Kenny Trudick, who played drums with them for a long time, and had played guitar for Kid Rock years ago, is joining my trio, which includes my bassist Steve Nawara. We are working on the horn section and the keys out of New Orleans.

WIMN: Do you see more girls coming out to your shows now than you have in the past?

SF: I do! I see more women and that makes me feel good. I am seeing diversity at our shows, especially with the blues crowds who are generally a little bit older. I am seeing the numbers of male and female evening out, which is great.

It’s really cool to see young girls at a show. We played in Columbia, Missouri and there was this 15-year-old girl who came out. I felt bad because I popped off with a couple of bad words, and she was right in the front. I didn’t realize at first and I was wondering what she was doing in a bar. But she had me sign her guitar! She was a fan of mine and it was cool to see a young woman excited about guitar and just music in general. I remember being 13 or so – that was when I first starting seeing other women playing guitar. It shocked me because I didn’t know that was a thing, which is really odd. It definitely has its challenges, but I like being a girl and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

WIMN: Have you experienced challenges as a woman in the Blues genre?

SF: I’d say yes, there are definitely challenges, but I think it is challenging to be a woman in any field of work. It’s a little tougher; it’s kind of a boy’s club in a lot of different ways. In many ways it has been challenging, but at the same time it has added a bit of interest to what I’m doing. People will say, “oh, a girl playing guitar?”, and I hate that because you have so much more you have to prove. You really have to work a lot harder to prove that you’re not just here because you’re a woman. It does pique people’s interest and I think it’s just because it is not the norm yet, it’s not something that people always see. There are so many things that a female artist has to worry about that a male artists doesn’t as much. The aesthetic is so ingrained in us to work a lot harder on that, and sometimes it is a bit distracting from the music. I just try to stay focused on writing and becoming a better singer, becoming a better guitar player…that is all you can really do.

Watch Samantha Fish’s new video from her latest album, Chills & Fever below!