Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They Play It Well: Some Women Guitarists of Note

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They Play It Well: Some Women Guitarists of Note

Article excerpt


Have you listened to these great female guitarists? You should. Women guitarists in a male-dominated industry have made great strides since the 1970s, but many are underrated or haven't been catapulted to household-name status. These are a few we think you should know.

Bonnie Raitt

In concert: 8 p.m. Saturday at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. $32.50-$72.50. (904) 209-0367.

Age: 59.

Lives in: San Francisco; raised in Los Angeles.

Styles: Blues, rock, folk, country.

Creds: 15 full-length studio albums since 1971; nine Grammy awards; 1989's "Nick Of Time" topped the Billboard 200 chart; inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Listen to: "Give It Up, Or Let Me Go" and "Love Me Like A Man" on 1972's "Give It Up" album, and "Gnawin' On It" from "Silver Lining" (Raitt's slide guitar in right speaker, Roy Rogers' guitar in left speaker).

Salute: Widely credited for breaking open the male-dominated guitar industry for other women, her name has become synonymous with the phrase "guitar legend."

"She's our queen," says guitarist Sue Foley, who compiled the CD "Blues Guitar Women" and is writing a book about the world's greatest women guitarists. "She kicked the door open, and all of sudden people started to pay more attention."

Jennifer Batten,

Age: 51.

Lives in: Portland, Ore.

Styles: Instrumental rock, heavy metal, shred.

Creds: Chosen out of 100 guitarists to tour with Michael Jackson in support of "Bad." She joined him again on his "Dangerous Tour," and during the 1993 Super Bowl half-time show. In 1998, she joined Jeff Beck's band.

Listen to: Jeff Beck's albums, "Who Else!" and "You Had It Coming," or watch Michael Jackson's "Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour" video. Her third solo album, "Whatever," came out last year.

Salute: Named "Best Female Guitarist" in Guitar Player Magazine's 2009 Reader's Poll; listed this year in Elle magazine's list of the 12 greatest female electric guitarists.

Carrie Brownstein,

Age: 35.

Lives in: Portland, Ore.

Styles: Punk, experimental.

Creds: Lead guitarist and singer in the punk rock group Sleater-Kinney, which reigned from 1994 to 2006 and was a favorite among music critics. The band never had a bass player, but with Brownstein's tuned-down guitar doing double duty, that was never missed.

Listen to: The title song from "Dig Me Out;" "What's Mine In Yours" on their last album, "The Woods. …

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