I’m so happy to release Part 2 of the Local Ladies Inspiration Playlist! Hopefully this will become a continuing portion of Women in Rock. If you are a musician that has a song that particularly inspires you, please feel free to submit to us! Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If you aren’t too familiar with them, they are folks from Louisville/Ohio that moved to Seattle in the early 90s. They were signed and poised to tour along side Nirvana. Basically slotted to be one of the mega grunge bands coming out of Seattle if only front woman, Mia Zapata, not had her life tragically taken. I often wonder how much different music and society in general would be had she not been murdered. Seeing a strong comfortable incredibly talented woman like her held to the same status as her grunge male counterparts would have surely impacted the patriarchal norms of the music industry and would have broken down stereotypes faster than the feminists movements of the time (in my opinion). I mourn the loss of Mia Zapata for so many reasons, including missing her brilliant artistic talent.”
“Dana Hamblen is a renowned Cincinnati musician. She plays drums, bass and sings as well as owns her own vintage clothing store, Chicken Lays an Egg. My sister Dana has inspired me to always seek musical growth on a daily basis. Her talent and drive to create has always been infectious and motivating throughout my entire life. Dana is an amazing songwriter, drummer, fashionista and all around beautiful person. She has been a vital influence in Cincinnati’s local music scene for years. I’m lucky to have her as a friend and sister.”
“A renowned fighter– in life, love, sounds and workers’ rights– you’d never guess it when Claire Pollard first opens her mouth. Her syrup-sweet jazz vocals evoke a dove cooing to Picasso on a French palisade and I’m pretty sure that’s where she keeps her emotional headspace. I first met Claire falling into a bed and thanking me for being that kind of person I am, and I last saw her in what I swear was the 1950s, dressed as a demure Hollywood beauty walking down the aisle with someone vaguely resembling a mix between Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger. Keep an ear open for her complex and catchy song structures and biting lyrics, which are full of quick wit, sad humors and picturesque motifs.”
“Probably my biggest influence on a personal level musically came from the Columbus band, Scrawl. Marcy Mays and Sue Harshe solidified the idea that women can write songs and be in a band. They showed me graciousness, power, vulnerability, humor and heart. Revealing the heart is the most important thing to me as a musician. Their song “11:59 (It’s January)” is the quintessential melancholy New Year’s Eve song. I’ll never hear it without tearing up. The Fairmount Girls recorded our own version of the song and the first time we played it for Marcy and Sue, they both cried as well.”
***Keep your eyes open for a Women in Rock article about Dana’s bandmate in Fairmount Girls, Melissa Fairmount coming out in early December!!!
“Loretta Lynn… well what can I say? I love her. Kentucky born and raised, Loretta is the archetype for a strong female. She may not have had all of the standard smarts of city folk but she has the passion and the sass, wit and compassion to woo the nation.”
“Are you a woman and did you grow up in the Eighties? Scratch that, did you grow up in the Eighties? Then you know a Madonna song. You actually have a favorite Madonna song. Mine is “Like a Prayer.” Not only is it a fantastic go-to for karaoke with it’s awesome chorus and invitation for hand-claps, it is also a passionate exploration of devotion, obsession and sexual hi-jinks.”
“I’d have to say that the biggest inspiration for pushing me to get involved with the music scene is Bratmobile. I’ve always found their lyrics astoundingly relatable, and their no-nonsense approach refreshing. After they were told by their male industry peers to listen to the Ramones for inspiration and song-crafting guidance, singer Alison Wolfe famously said, “If most boy punk rock bands just listen to the Ramones and that’s how they write their songs, then we’ll do the opposite and I won’t listen to any Ramones and that way we’ll sound different.” Their stubborn refusal to let their creativity and voices be diluted by society should really be motivation to anyone.
This song has always spoken to me particularly because of its focus on both class and gender disparities in Washington, DC, which I have always been really vocal about.”