Women Who Rock

Who says men cornered the market on beng musical influences?


Here are a handful of female singer/songwriters you must know—now!

  • Joni Mitchell: May stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century. Val’s take: “The inspiration of many female singer songwriters today.”
  • Natalie Merchant: Socially conscious poet with a beautiful voice. Val’s take: “deep messages delivered eloquently.”
  • Pieta Brown: Pieta grew up amongst a bohemian and musical family, and started writing poetry and songs on an old piano when she was just eight years old.  Val’s take:  “A female Dylan.”
  • Tracy Chapman: In 2004, Tufts honored Tracy with an honorary degree for her strongly committed contributions as a socially conscious and artistically accomplished musician. Val’s take: “Songs that are almost spoken, like a bedtime story.”
  • Lucinda Williams: An expressive female singer songwriter who, through her strong and confidant delivery, makes you want to listen. Val’s take: “A female Tom Petty, Steve Earle, John Mellencamp.”
  • Laura Veirs: Alt-country folk-rock, Laura Veirs writes very introspective, literate, almost mythical songs that call to mind artists ranging from Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen. Val’s take: “A female Paul Simon.”
  • Suzanne Vega: Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s. Val’s take: “A female Cat Stevens.”
  • Diane Birch: Though only in her mid-twenties, Birch likes to think of herself as an “old soul,” and indeed there is a startling maturity in her singing and a veteran’s self-assurance in her writing. Val’s take – “A young Carole King.”
  • Tori Amos: At the forefront of female singer-songwriters in the early ’90s, her trademark acoustic piano was her primary instrument of alternative rock.  Val’s take: “A young Janis Ian.”

Feeling the girl power? You can visit valslist.com for playlists featuring these and other examplary female artists

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