Where are the women in folk?

The other day a talk was pointed out to me that someone thought I might enjoy entitled Where are the women in folk?

Looking around me, the majority of people in the room were indeed men, illustrating the well meant and no doubt accurate point, but my reaction surprised me.

I had never thought about it. All of my heroes in folk music are women. All of them. I thought the world was jam packed full of them, because they’re pretty much all I hear, everything else becomes quieter. Don’t get me wrong, I can get my head turned by a deep male voice very easily, and I love a male folk singer as much as the next man...unless the next man is a woman, then I love her a bit more.

Jeannie Robertson, Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, Norma Waterson, Lal Waterson, Shirley Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Niamh Parsons, Anne Briggs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Judy Henske, Linda Thompson, Margaret Barry, Melanie...

Legends all.

There are so many more contemporary artists too I admire, love and adore, and whilst I enjoy every single person who gets up and performs at my folk club, I’m always a little bit more excited when it’s Pam’s turn.

Where are the women in Folk? As far as I’m concerned, everywhere and they are wonderful.