Are you sure that isn't a list of the yearbook editors from Vassar? Never heard of any of them chicks-the killer chick with the pick is Mary Osborne,the killer hick chick with the pick is Rose Lee Maphis and the the just plain killer diller chick with the pick is the amazing Memphis Minnie.
April Lawton. Unfortunately she's not with us any longer - but I always loved the way she fingered her guitar!
Jazzcourier - Never heard of those chicks either but will check them out for sure. Most of the ones I listed are part of the newer breed of singer/songwriter, nu-folk types. Not sure where that "chicks with guitars" label came from but I always heard it used to reference that genre...not that this thread has any limits at all. Lord knows where it will end up!
richard stacy's got impeccable taste, so i'm gonna check out his whole list
+ suggest a few of my own:
Gslone has it. April Lawton all the way. A true female guitar slinger. Too bad there was so little output before she returned to the graphic arts and then passed.
For jazz, Emily Remler. Plenty of output, but another jazz great taken by the needle and spoon. What a waste.
And for folk/pop, I must admit a certain weakness for the way that Shawn Colvin plays an acoustic guitar with the most violent, string popping, force and then takes it down to a more melodic level. Certainly, not the best, but a unique and easily identifiable style.
I like the acoustic work of the girls in The Be Good Tanyas.
And a new find for me, Anna Calvi.
Seconding Jerico, on the Be Goods. I like their spinoff, Po' Girl, even more. Also: Sera Cahoone, Shannon McNally.
I will check Richard's list!
Wow. Lots of new names to look into, thanks fella's!
Here is a few more I like:
Mountain Man (Yes, they are girls)
The Unthanks (Celtic Chicks)
The Audreys (Chicks from down under)
Oh man... (Jerico reaches for the wallet, opens Amazon on browser)...!
No one has mentioned Susan Tedeschi, I don't think. I guess she's not exactly unknown though.
How about Mary Gauthier? The album she did with Joe Henry as producer is beautiful (Between Daylight and Dark).
Jerico....sampled that Anna Calvi album, very cool. Love the reverb creepy guitar.
Loomis...Not sure how I have missed Edith Frost but after a few quick samples I can tell she is right up my alley. I have some Kaki King. She is a crazy guitar player. First time I heard her I swore it was Michael Hedges and still get confused when her stuff comes on. She did an EP with Mountain Goats, Pear Tree I think was the name, which is my favorite piece from her. Some of her showy guitar records bug me but she has serious skills.
Kaki King for sure. Saw her up close in a small now defunct venue in Santa Cruz. During one number I realized my mouth was hanging open in awe. I turned around to look at the audience and everybody else's mouths were hanging open too. Tiny gal, huge talent.
Sharon Isbin. Great talent and I think she more or less started the guitar program at juilliard.
As far as playing and interpreting goes:
Kaki's so good it's scary! She's the pick of the litter, in my book. Sharon Isbin can play a ton, but I find a lot of her stuff cold. Impressive, but just not my cup of tea. Orianthi has her moments, too.
Let's not forget the veterans.
Long timer whose playing gotten beter and better over the years: Joan Armatrading.
Long timer who has always been a monster: Joni.
One of the newcomers not yet mentioned who has some skills, but even more heart: Jodi Martin. Check out her Peter Gabriel covers - this is the real deal.
Richard's got his finger on the pulse of my hard drive for sure. Great stuff from all here and one of my personal favorite genres. Much of my faves are on Richard's lists. I'll try to add a few that may not have been mentioned yet.
Chrissie Hynde, Sheryl Crow, and Joan Baez. None are new but all deserve credit for their body of work. Also, Joni
Mitchell, but I think she was already mentioned.
Richard's got his finger on the pulse of my hard drive for sure."
Ok, this makes me feel a little creepy Marco. I already had to explain to Stacy...."I met this guy online....". I think I need to go build something with power tools and watch football.
Great list developing. I'll be sampling music for hours this weekend.
Dar is a flat-out great lyricist. "Christians and Pagans" manages to address a big issue (tolerance) while remaining true to finely drawn character observations (family at Christmas). Probably as good an example of this style of songwriting as I've ever encountered.
A bunch of these chicks started out with just guitars and ended up, sadly to my ears, accompanied by larger ensembles and plugged into over-attenuated amplifiers.
Joni (of course)
Sara Jarosz (ok, she's a chick with a mandolin)
Marty - right on! Dar is certainly a great songwriter. I did not get specific about shared tastes with Richard, so let me clear that up before he's out building an outbuilding with his power tools. There are quite a few that have been mentioned here that I'd recommend to you as amazing writers as well (and I'm a big fan of great lyrics). I am blown away that women of this age can be writing with such depth, intelligence and passion. Here are those I'd loudly echo in that light:
Sara Jaffe (check out Suburban Nature)
Laura Veirs (Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae)
Martha Tilston (Love her voice too - any of her stuff - reminds me of a young Joni Mitchell)
Emily Barker (I much prefer her first album, Despite the Snow)
Not quite as young, but writing with the depth of true experience in the darker aspects of our nature, and also a great songwriter, a big, bold second for Mary Gauthier.
Again! Ellen McIllwaine!!!
And finally... Ellen McIllwaine!
A chick with a banjo that may appeal to those who are enjoying the guitars...
Abigail Washburn (married to the great Bela Fleck) - speaking of Bela...anyone who loves music should see his documentary film, "Throw Down Your Heart" - just wonderful!!!
And a bunch of chicks with stringed instruments - wonderful stuff for those who love the likes of Be Good Tanyas and Po'Girl:
The Wailin' Jennys
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Another comes to mind...Amelia Curran. Check out her 2008 album War Brides.
Lisa Hannigan too. Fans of Damien Rice will recognize her seriously sexy voice.
Again, I'm not listing chicks for their technical prowess, although many of these girls play very well, rather my list is female singer songwriters that I really enjoy as a whole. Composition, musical ability, song writing...the whole package. I do enjoy the guitar ripping chicks too but didn't want you guys to be disappointed if you sampled a couple of my recommendations and found a depressed 20 something girl hunched over a stool strumming soft chords on a beat up old nylon 6 string staring at the floor singing in a whispery voice about emptiness and despair.
Rory Block (the best female guitarist alive today IMO) for acoustic, and Sue Foley for electric are my favs!
how about chicks with Basses? Start with Tal Wilkenfield
Nothing unusual about that at all!!!!
Try starting a thread about Chicks with Drums - now that is rare!!!
Edith Van Halen
How could we have all forgot about Edith?! Oh, and then there's Nina Bettencourt and Jackie White.
Chicks! I don't care what they're up to...more, please!
With fiddle: Carrie Rodriguez. All three of her recent solo efforts excellent.
Joan Jett, and she can actually play.
For those about to rock, we salute you!
Guitar: Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Sleater Kinney, currently Wild Flag)
Drums: Janet Weiss )formerly of Sleater Kinney, currently Wild Flag & Quasi)
Ani DiFranco is a righteous babe.
IMHO, Ani's recordings are conspicuously better than the norm. "Canon" is a fine collection, and I use the percussion in "32 Flavors" to demo.
When I saw her perform, she came across as a little too fond of herself.
Gabriela Quintero of Rodrigo y Gabriela fame is my current favorite female guitarist.
That reminds me - No one has mentioned Cat Power yet, have they?
Susan Tedeshi, Joni Mitchell, Suzi Quattro, Jeff Beck's awesome bass player.
Tal Wilkenfeld is the bass player for Jeff Beck. Check out her album Transformation. Tal first started playing the guitar and then switched to bass.
Man did this thread get off track! Again, I meant female singer songwriters, not pyrotechnic lady guitar rippers! Oh well, heard/watched some very interesting clips so thanks to all....except Shadorne who's metal women gave me nightmares for 2 straight days....!
Another interesting chick with guitar (singer songwriter!)... Anna Kashfi
If anyone's taste runs towards jangle pop, they might want to check out Marti Jones. She sings like an angel and she's married to the noted singer/songwriter/producer Don Dixon. Her songs are generally (tho not always) less introspective than some listed above, but they're tons of fun in their own right. She also has great (and ecclectic) taste in cover material; ranging from lots of John Hiatt, to David Bowie's "Soul Love", to Joe Tex's "You Got What It Takes (To Take What I Got"). My wife and I used the Dixon/Jones arrangement of this song for our first dance.
Her album, "Used Guitars", is a gem and her "Live At Spirit Square" is a great overview of the Marti Jones catalog (nicely recorded by Dixon, too).
Another (related) fun choice is Marti's friend Amy Rigby (they sometimes perform together as Cynical Girls, which is a Marshall Crenshaw reference, I think). Amy's very funny lyrics are worth the price of admission alone.
Quirky, frenetic, and amazing at times, Marnie Stern.
I think I mentioned Nancy Elizabeth a ways up in this thread but I have been listening to her first album, Battle and Victory and really wanted to suggest it specifically. She is a really interesting artist who mixes in all sorts of instruments, vintage and current, from all over the world (Not unlike David Eugene Edwards of Woven Hand/16HP fame and it has that Woven Hand sort of vibe minus the Christian subtext). She also sings in a sort of Joanna Newsome nontraditional tone. All in all it makes for a very cool record that I really enjoy. She is an artist I plan to pay attention to.
Just to refresh, I started this thread to explore female singer/songwriters, not chicks with blazing guitar skills as some took it. I don't care at all if that is what you care to post/suggest however just did not want you to expect it from mine:).....