When you think about the artists from the heyday of album rock – that period from the late Sixties to the late Seventies – who comes to mind? The Who, The Beatles, The Stones, Creedence, ZZ Top, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and so on, right? Now what’s the one thing they all have in common? Not their styles, their record labels, it’s not their country of origin; it’s their gender. Sure, you’ll find the occasional female backup singer on their records but other than that, rock ‘n’ roll tended to be pretty macho territory. Now I hate to be the one to have to say this, but like a lot of other areas in our world, women just don’t get the respect they deserve. You may recall a controversial single John Lennon released on that very subject. So you gotta ask yourself, would the Deep Tracks be the same without Janis Joplin? Would Jefferson Airplane even get off the ground without Grace Slick? Where would we be without Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Linda Rondstadt? And what about Carole King, Joan Baez, Phoebe Snow, Laura Nyro, Rita Coolidge, Karla Bonoff, and, well, I think you get the point. Today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is all about the distaff side of the equation. It’s Ladies Night in the Way Back Studios. And what’s interesting is that we could put together any number of sets without playing a single one of the women I just named, which just goes to show James Brown wasn’t necessarily right when he said “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” We’ll hear from Cold Blood with Lydia Pense who was most frequently compared to Janis. Elsewhere in the set, another one of the great voices of rhythm, rock, and blues: Bonnie Bramlett. We’ll also get a little Joan Armatrading, Wendy Waldman, Maria Muldaur, Minnie Ripperton, and what is arguably the first all-woman rock ‘n’ roll outfit, a group called Fanny. But before we get to all that, let’s check in with everybody’s favorite lower middle-class hillbilly hipster. Here’s Rickie Lee Jones.
|Rickie Lee Jones
|Show Some Emotion
|It Ain’t the Meat, It’s the Motion
|You Got To Ride
|Delaney & Bonnie
|When the Battle is Over
Wrapping up Ladies Night in the Way Back, that’s the late, great Minnie Ripperton, famous for her amazing five-octave vocal range. That track is from her album Perfect Angel, produced with a little help from Stevie Wonder. Sadly, we lost Minnie to cancer at the age of thirty-one but she left us some great music along with a very talented daughter, the actress and comedian Maya Rudolph. Before that, the original godmothers of chick rock, as they call themselves, Warner Brothers recording artist Fanny doing a song called “Borrowed Time.” They were the first all-woman rock group to sign with a major label. Fanny consisted of sisters June and Jean Millington, Nickey Barclay, and Alice de Buhr. They released five albums, were critically acclaimed, but never got any real traction and just kinda disappeared. At the top of the set, the Duchess of Coolsville, Rickie Lee Jones from her debut album doing a song she wrote called, “Easy Money.” After that, the unique vocal and songwriting style of Joan Armatrading. We heard the title track from her album, “Show Some Emotion.” Then it was down to the donut shop where we heard Maria Muldaur doing “It Ain’t the Meat, It’s the Motion.” More often than not, Muldaur covered songs by other songwriters. She was especially fond of songs by Wendy Waldman who was also in the set. From her album Gypsy Symphony, we heard “You Got to Ride.” Elsewhere, from “Accept No Substitute,” we had Bonnie Bramlett belting out “When the Battle is Over.” That was right after Cold Blood with a vocalist every bit as bold, brassy, and bluesy as Bonnie, the great Lydia Pense doing a track called “Visions.” If you’re looking for the set lists or the show commentaries, they’re at billfitzhugh dot com. You can also track me down on Facebook and Amazon. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll be back with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl next time, and I hope you’ll join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.