Unfinished Mail – November 2018
Girls Buy and Play Guitars
It’s mid-October and I’m still fuming about an article that came out in Rolling Stone:
Why am I fuming? First, is it news? Why did Rolling Stone make it a story that 50% of new guitarists are women?. Why was Fender so surprised?
I remember when Daisy Rock guitars launched as guitars for women and young girls. They were seen as a novelty until some big name women started playing them to stress the point that women not only play but purchase guitars. That was over a decade ago. Why is it news? I see women who play guitars are a regular basis. They are not stereotypes of Joni Mitchell playing soft folk songs. These are fierce women who can shred. Does Rolling Stone need to be reminded of She Shreds Magazine? A magazine solely focused on women on guitar.
This morning I was filling out a survey by Folk Alliance. The survey had very direct questions on how folk music is perceived and the audience and performers it brings. Many of the “folk” shows I’ve been to this year the median age of the audience is 60. The star is white and the songs are political in nature. It is rare to see a “folk” show with someone of color on stage or in the audience. I see the same thing with jazz and blues. It is a not so subtle sign, much like the GOP, that the form is dying out. 15 years ago folk, jazz & blues had a small sliver of the music market. Filling out the survey today I think it is continuing to shrink. I love to see a singer-songwriter “naked” i.e. them and a guitar. It tells you more about the songwriting and the person when they can’t hide behind a band. What are your thoughts on folk, jazz, and blues? Where has it been? Where is it going?
Touring season is in full swing, still. Festival season has finally ended. As musicians now is the time to head home and record and start filling out festival applications. Spring is coming quick and the homework you do now will pay off in the summer.