I am a sucker for women who rock. Female musicians and vocalists bring such fantastic energy when they play live. And there have been so many creative, talented, ground breaking women in the history of popular music. Sure, everyone likes them some Lzzy Hale, Taylor from Pretty Reckless, Dorothy, Maria Brink from In This Moment or Hayley Cramer from Pop Evil (pictured above with my goofy ass). But here are 10 of my personal favorite women rockers as a tip of the cap to #InternationalWomensDay!
I happened upon Hands Off Gretel a couple of years ago and just became smitten. They’re from the United Kingdom and haven’t toured the States yet. I need somebody to make that happen. Check them out at @HandsOffGretel.
Belinda Carlisle is criminally underrated. On the surface, The Go-Go’s were a fun early 80s pop rock group. But the band had roots in late 70s Los Angeles punk, playing alongside bands like X, The Germs and Fear. If you look hard enough, I bet you can find some videos of them partying on tour too. They were bad asses.
Sheryl Crow was a backup vocalist on a Michael Jackson tour, she dated Eric Clapton, Owen Wilson and Lance Armstrong, and she recorded a downright horrible version of GN’R’s Sweet Child ‘O Mine. But I forgive her for that because she’s super talented and her 1996 self-titled second album is still a favorite of mine. Dig this one.
There was a wealth of fantastic female rockers in the 90s. Liz Phair topped the bunch for me. Her 1993 debut album Exile In Guyville made the the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list by Rolling Stone mag. Do you remember this one?
Nina & Louise from Veruca Salt are fierce. That is all.
The Godmother. The woman who all other female rockers have to measure up to in my world. The first time I saw Joan Jett live she was the opening act for a show at the former Freedom Hill. She was wearing her head shaved at the time, came onstage, stomped the hell out of her guitar pedal until it sounded the way she wanted, and ripped through a set of straight rockers. She’s iconic.
I host a local music show on Riff2 called Michigan Mixtape 101 and I’ve learned about so many terrific female musicians in the area. I thought I’d end this list with 4 that I really enjoy. Be sure to check out @Kaleidoband featuring the phenomenal Christina Chriss, @ElsieBinx‘s talented Erin & Jen, the quirky (I mean that in the most endearing way possible) Jess Vaughn from @FormerCritics, and a punk trio from Detroit called @PlasticBeachMI.