Exposed: 10 Female Guitarists You Should Know, Part 2
Perhaps we misjudged you. When we introduced the first Exposed article last month, we were blown away by the overwhelming support and interest in these fine ladies and their guitar prowess.
So here we are again, presenting 10 more artists who share a passion for guitar. They are from different eras, genres and philosophies, but all know their way around a guitar -– be it acoustic, electric or classical.
Our goal with Exposed is to shine a spotlight on a variety of guitarists, many of whom may be new to you. If you have a suggestion for us on someone we should feature here, please share it in the comments below. And now, sit back, relax and prepare to be educated in a most delightful way.
Malina Moye is being touted as the female Jimi Hendrix, and it's no mystery why. Since 2004, Moye has been wowing audiences with her unique blend of rock 'n' roll, blues and soul. Like Hendrix, the left-handed Moye plays her Fender Strat upside down, and she channels her idol with screaming classic rock solos and blues riffs. She does a searing rendition of "Foxy Lady" –- renamed "Sexxy Man" –- and her song "Alone" landed at No. 11 on the Billboard R&B Hip Hop charts and No. 27 on the Hot 100. She was invited to play the National Anthem at a Vikings vs. Cowboys NFL game last year and was featured in the British documentary Stratmaster: The Greatest Guitar Story Ever Told. Visit malinamoye.com for more info.
Check out Moye’s red hot blues:
Anna Calvi lays down some eerily dark and driving guitar lines. The minimalist backing performed by multi-instrumentalist Mally Harpaz and drummer Daniel Maiden-Wood, along with the husky but sultry vocal delivered by Calvi, just add to the angst. We’re digging how she really puts that Tele through its paces, from flamenco-esque to surf-ish, to just plain riveting drama-infused rock. Hailing from jolly olde England, Calvi’s self-titled debut was released early this year and hit the British charts. Calvi jumped to the U.S. this July with a performance on Late Night with David Letterman. She’s one to keep your eye (and ear) on for sure, and she will be appearing in the U.S. toward the end of 2011. Visit annacalvi.com for more info.
Check out this video of Calvi live. Fast forward to around 3:00 to see where the guitar really heats up. Or watch the whole thing and just dig her "I wanna punish you" vibe:
Atlanta-born Michelle Malone is an avid student of the Delta blues. Her blazing blend of slide and amped up country twang is equal parts ZZ Top and Willie Nelson, and her band seems to fit on a huge stage at a European blues festival just as well as they do at a rundown honky tonk in Texas. She was a member of Georgia alt-rock band Drag The River, but most of her 20-year-and-counting career has been as a solo artist, having released 10 albums on her own and touring more than 150 days a year. Her credits include Grammy nominations for best Contemporary Blues and best American album for her last two albums, Debris and Sugarfoot, and her music has appeared in "True Blood," "Dawson's Creek" and "Felicity." Visit michellemalone.com for more info.
Here's Malone playing a blazing version of her song "Tighten Up The Springs" on TBS:
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a guitar player who built her own guitar. Yep, when she was 17, Egge’s astrology teacher, also an accomplished luthier, invited her to work on a guitar as his apprentice … and she still plays it to this day (Wait, they teach astrology in high school?). You can see a vignette about her guitar on MusicRadar here. Egge has toured and shared the stage with a stable of greats including Lucinda Williams, Ralph Stanley, Shawn Colvin, Joan Armatrading, Iris Dement, Richard Thompson, George Jones and many more. This North Dakota-raised songstress knows how to dish out some sadly sweet ballads. Her latest release, Bad Blood, came out August 23 on Ammal Records, produced by Steve Earle. Egge’s ethereal vocals spin above some sweet, chiming guitar tracks, complete with effective effects. Perfect for those full-pint-of-ice cream, melancholy rainy evenings. Visit anaegge.com for more info.
Here she is with the infamous self-made guitar:
Mia Coldheart of Crucified Barbara
Sweden has long been a faithful contributor to high-octane rock 'n' roll: The Hives, The Hellacopters and Sahara Hotnights all hail from the Scandinavian rock stronghold -– and the all-female metal band Crucified Barbara is no exception. Crucified Barbara formed in Stockholm in 1998 and has been slaying audiences all over Europe ever since with their Judas Priest-like brand of metal. Singer and lead guitarist Mia Coldheart arms herself with a black Gibson Flying V and belts out dark lyrics while cranking out classic, shrieking '80s metal riffs. She knows there's no need to reinvent the rock 'n' roll wheel; throbbing, classic '80s metal played by four stunning blond girls will always, always be awesome. Visit crucifiedbarbara.com for more info.
Check out Coldheart (center) showing her stuff at the Custom Bike Show in Sweden last year:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
No one can deny that Angus Young and his Gibson SG are a match made in rock 'n' roll heaven (Or is it hell?), and Brian Setzer's fancy fingerwork on his Gretsch hollowbodies is certainly a sight to behold, but it's hard to match the sheer brilliance of the videos of Sister Rosetta Tharpe going to town on her Gibson SG and Gretsch hollowbodies. Tharpe, born 1915 in Arkansas, got her start at age 4, singing and playing gospel music on guitar with her mother at Southern tent revivals. She later started playing a mix of gospel and secular music and began recording in the late '30s with Lucky Millinder's jazz orchestra. While her church-going fans were mostly horrified, she gained a huge fan base of secular music lovers. She died in 1973 following a stroke, but left behind an indelible musical legacy. Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Isaac Hayes have all cited her as an influence, and Little Richard got his start by opening up for her at a show in Macon, Georgia, in 1945.
Check out Tharpe preaching the blues gospel at a performance in France in 1960:
Because we haven’t covered enough women named Ana yet, here’s one more. With more than 1,000 live performances under her belt, guitar virtuoso Ana Vidović knows her way around the stage … and the classical guitar! Hailing from small town of Karlovac near Zagreb, Croatia, Vidović started playing guitar at the age of 5, and by 7 had given her first public performance. At the age of 11 she was performing internationally, and at 13 she became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb. Vidović has won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions all over the world. Before a recent concert, Vidović was given an Australian-made Redgate guitar and fell in love with it, immediately taking it on stage to use for the entire concert. “When I got it and began to play, I immediately knew this was the instrument that I want to be playing for a long time,” she shares. Sensitive, skilled and beautiful, Vidović’s grace and artistry take you to another mental realm entirely. Vidović is touring and presenting master classes across the U.S. this fall and winter. Visit anavidovic.com for more info.
Here’s an excerpt from Vidović's DVD, Ana Vidovic Guitar Artistry in Concert. Get swept away:
Tara McLeod of Kittie
Kittie is anything but soft and, well, kitten-like. As a matter of fact, as their band bio reports, “If you're looking for subtle, look somewhere else.” But really, if you wanted sweet and demure, you wouldn’t be reading anything on Guitar World, right? Guitarist Tara McLeod joined the band in 2005, after Kittie’s then-manager Dave Lander saw her play in a Canadian bar and invited her to audition. It didn’t take long to realize the chemistry was right, and McLeod has been rockin’ heavy ever since, appearing on the band’s full-length releases Funeral for Yesterday and In The Black (E1). Kittie’s new release, I’ve Failed You, joined the fray August 30, giving you another slap upside the head. Visit kittierocks.com for more info.
Check out this tasty tidbit from I’ve Failed You; it’s the official video for “Empires (Part 2)”:
Left-handed Cotten started playing at age 7, in the early 1900s, learning on her brother’s right-handed guitar, which she played upside down without restringing it. The result? A style known as "Cotten picking" where one's fingers are used to play the bass notes and the thumb plays the melody. She penned the folk hit "Freight Train" when she was just 12, later covered by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Devendra Banhart. In her teens, family life took precedence, and she didn’t pick up the guitar again until the late ‘50s, when she started working as a housekeeper for composers Ruth and Charles Seeger (Pete Seeger’s mother and stepfather). Their son Mike started recording Cotten in their home, which led to a renewed interest in her music. She was an active part of the folk revival of the late ‘60s, touring and recording well into her 80s and scoring a Grammy in ’84. She passed away in 1987 at age 92.
Cotten shows off her Cotten picking on the "Guitar, Guitar" TV show in 1969:
Blare N. Bitch of Betty Blowtorch, Psychostar and more
Blare N. Bitch? Gee, I was gonna name my daughter that! Bitch is formerly of the infamous and beloved band Betty Blowtorch, immortalized in the film Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures, directed by Antonia Scarpa. Following the tragic death of Betty Blowtorch singer/bassist Bianca “Butthole” Halstead, Bitch went on to join Psychostar. Both bands have a lighthearted approach to kicking your ass…in a rockin’ hard way, of course. But … where is she now? After unearthing her stint in the Blare Bitch Project I find … nothing! Anyone know what Ms. Bitch is up to?
See Betty Blowtorch perform “Hell on Wheels” off of their album Are You Man Enough. Now tell us that doesn’t make you wanna see more.
Laura B. Whitmore is a singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco Bay area. A veteran music industry marketer, she has spent over two decades doing marketing, PR and artist relations for several guitar-related brands including Marshall and VOX. Her company, Mad Sun Marketing, represents 65amps, Acoustic Bass Amps, Agile Partners, Guitar World and many more. Laura was instrumental in the launch of the Guitar World Lick of the Day app. She is the lead singer for the rock band Summer Music Project. More at mad-sun.com.
Anna Blumenthal is the advertising coordinator for Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado and Revolver. She’s been playing guitar and singing in rock 'n' roll bands for the past 12 years and currently fronts the New York City-based all-girl garage band Party Lights. More at facebook.com/partylightsband.
Malina Moye: the female Hendrix.
Britain-based Anna Calvi deftly delivers danger-laden drama-infused rock with an ‘I wanna punish you’ vibe.
Michelle Malone’s amped up country twang is equal parts Willie Nelson and ZZ Top.
Ethereal vocals float over chiming guitars, as Ana Egge sings sweetly about some seriously sad subjects.Mia Coldheart’s metal riffs will melt your cold, cold heart.
Mia Coldheart’s metal riffs will melt your cold, cold heart. Photo by Tallee Savage, www.savagebeauty.se.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe has been inspiring generations of musicians and music lovers with her unique blend of gospel and blues.
A child virtuoso, the now grown up Ana Vidović gracefully delivers gorgeous classical renditions written by the masters.
Tara McLeod and Kittie deliver an album’s worth of new heavy favorites with the release of I’ve Failed You.
In-your-face classic blazin’ guitar by Blare N. Bitch. Where is she now?
Elizabeth Cotten developed a unique style of playing known as Cotten picking.