Over the course of the last several years I have noticed a trend in my #NewMusicMonday posts, women are ruling the Americana genre of music. Even as I explore Indie or Alternative genres, they are now either led by a woman or one or more members of a band now consist of women.
You don't have to look deep in any field and realize that women are qualitatively front and center. One stat that I recently read was that nearly 60% of women attend a college or university, whereas men are at just over 40%. But, as usual, the flip side of that statistic is that it's also harder for women to get accepted into these same colleges, as admissions offices are aggressively looking for more men.
I'm not here to make this about bashing men. I've always had a large musical preference towards women musical artists that all started with Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmy Lou Harris in the 1970's. And, even though I'm not a big Beyoncé and Taylor Swift fan, They are currently at the very top of the music business.
All my big male rock 'n' roll heroes, like most of my friends, are over 70, or "almost 70" as my buddy Paul has been told.
For me, popular music in the 20th century was about making hits. As the young artists of the 70's, 80's and 90's grew older, their hits started dropping off at some point, but I didn't stop listening to them. As a maturing music listener, my music tastes have expanded to other genres, but more importantly, it's discovering the deep cuts, the one's that never get played on the radio, or late night television shows.
Recently, Rosanne Cash celebrated her 30th anniversary of the album, The Wheel as she and husband and collaborator John Leventhal remastered and released the album on their own new label, Rumble Strip. I think of Rosanne Cash as sort of a new pioneer who took her daddy's music with elements of folk and rock 'n' roll back to its roots, and moved it forward to the future.
I hear those roots and future in Sarah Jarosz and Madison Cunningham, and in new music by Brandy Clark and Dori Freeman this month. Not to fear, I have a new Mark Knopfler song, a couple of Real Estate and Bleachers songs, and new song from The Black Keys to create a little 80/20 women to men ratio here in the playlist this week. But whose counting?
Enjoy the playlist my friends.