Blues & Beyond:
Blues Women Rule

Diane Durrett returns to host the second Women in Blues show

By Hal Horowitz for Creative Loafing

It really shouldn’t be a big deal to have a concert dedicated to women playing the blues. After all, they have a storied history in the genre dating back to 1920.

That’s when Mamie Smith is credited with “Crazy Blues,” reportedly the first female blues recording. After she got her foot in the door, others such as Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Lucille Bogan and of course Bessie Smith soon made their way through it. The list of famous, sometimes infamous, blues women is too long to list, but highlights include Big Mama Thornton, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In more contemporary roots music, there is Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi — you get the idea.

Even locally, the blues scene boasts plenty of talent with the late Beverly “Guitar” Watkins as one of Atlanta’s most prominent and gifted players. Others, such as Francine Reed and the city’s own Empress of the Blues, Sandra Hall, have kept the female fires stoked on the Atlanta blues map for decades. Still, having an entire evening featuring only local women not just fronting blues bands but also working as supporting musicians is something we, and virtually every other city, severely lacks…


 
Women in Blues, presented by the Atlanta Blues Society and curated by Diane Durrett. Friday, Oct. 15, 7-9 p.m. Tunes by the Tracks, the municipal parking lot, Stone Mountain Village. Free.

Full article here: Creative Loafing