Women In Music: What They Face And Overcome

Making it in music is tough. It can be the most wonderful experience you could hope for, but surviving, let alone flourishing, is an elusive bulls-eye for musicians and music professionals everywhere. This theme comes up in every episode here on Southern Songs and Stories, in some way or another. Artists of all kinds are self employed and are walking a hard road to travel, especially financially. But not all artists are walking that same hard road -- some are walking one even steeper, and more dangerous. And when you are talking about making it in music, it becomes clear pretty quickly that being a woman puts you on a journey lined with pitfalls and roadblocks. In this episode of Southern Songs and Stories, we map out what that road can be like, as we hear from Amanda Anne Platt of the Honeycutters, Natalya Weinstein of Zoe & Cloyd, Hannah Kaminer, Alexa Rose and Ygerne Moonie, telling us about their experiences, both good and bad, as we question what makes music so male dominated in the first place, what preconceptions do to hold women back, talk about some of their musical heroines, and much more.

(L to R) Natalya Weinstein, Amanda Anne Platt, and Hannah Kaminer on set at   IAMAVL   for the video which serves as the starting point for our podcast episode.

(L to R) Natalya Weinstein, Amanda Anne Platt, and Hannah Kaminer on set at IAMAVL for the video which serves as the starting point for our podcast episode.

Thanks for visiting Southern Songs and Stories, and thanks to the Women Of Music Action Network for their Breaking The Bowl article, which was my source for the facts about and recent history of how much country radio is ignoring women artists. I also referenced a New York Times article from January 2018 about gender diversity in the music industry to get a lot of the statistics mentioned in this episode. Thanks to our supporters on Patreon. Thanks to both the Osiris Podcast Network and to Bluegrass Planet Radio for carrying the show, and to everyone at I Am Asheville for producing the video which got the ball rolling for this episode. I encourage you to spread the word about this podcast and the great musicians we profiled, and consider helping us by subscribing and commenting on our show, and by becoming a patron. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it.  

SpringSkunk Music Fest Podcast part 1

April was a packed month. It began with the conclusion of our spring fund raiser at WNCW, went on with SpringSkunk Fest at the Albino Skunk Farm the next week, followed by a few days off to decompress, and MerleFest a couple of weeks after that. Plus, life -- a week on the air to fill in for vacationing colleagues (a somewhat rare treat these days), baseball games, yard work, and so on. It felt like there was never much time to devote to making the companion audio piece to our video work, which did see a couple of videos released soon after the festival, thanks to Aaron Morrell.

The   Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band   closes out Thursday night at SpringSkunk

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band closes out Thursday night at SpringSkunk

It was time to buckle down and take a crack at making this podcast a reality. It was daunting. Sure, I have produced a lot of audio for WNCW -- interviews, round table discussions, even a long form series on refugees in North Carolina. But this was new territory, with about a dozen interview subjects, the full compliment of music played at the festival, and a story line that remained nebulous.

Nikki Talley   and husband Jason Sharp play Thursday afternoon at SpringSkunk

Nikki Talley and husband Jason Sharp play Thursday afternoon at SpringSkunk

It wound up being a big project, with more pieces and parts than I had ever managed. But the memories were still with me, the ideas kept coming, and the technical hurdles of dealing with widely varying sets of audio were overcome. I finally began writing, and then stitched together the episode you find here.

Pretty Little Goat  , who seem to relish playing music at any hour of the day

Pretty Little Goat, who seem to relish playing music at any hour of the day

I hope you enjoy this, the beginning of a three part documentary podcast series. Please support the artists you like here, as well as the festivals in spring and fall on the Skunk Farm in Greer, SC. We would appreciate your help in continuing our endeavor, too. You can find out how on our Patreon page here. Stay tuned for more video from the Jon Stickley Trio, and a lot more. Fes-taa-vul!!

Alexa Rose and Laura Durkin Interview

It was a beautiful Saturday morning with more warmth and an absence of the stiff breeze we witnessed the first day or so of the festival when Aaron Morrell made his way from the mountains down to the rolling foothills of Upstate SC. He jumped into action right away when we saw Alexa Rose and her fiddler Laura Durkin getting ready to go back home. 

 Luckily we got to sit down and talk with them in the shelter of The Band Done Quit (more on all the colorful names of Skunk Fest later). There were lots of tractors going by, and these distractions actually worked out in our favor. Such was the nature of things that weekend.

Alexa Rose and her band opened up the SpringSkunk Music Festival Thursday

Alexa Rose and her band opened up the SpringSkunk Music Festival Thursday

You can see our conversation with Alexa and Laura below.