March is #WomensHistoryMonth (although, let’s be honest, shouldn’t we be celebrating 51% of the population’s history every month?!) so it seems like a fitting time to revisit our comprehensive — but by no means exhaustive — list of the 50 Greatest Bluegrass Albums Made By Women.
Published five years ago as an unofficial extension of NPR’s Turning the Tables project, our list included a wide array of female talent from over a century of bluegrass, old time, string band, and other traditional styles of recorded music, from Ola Belle Reed to Laurie Lewis & Kathie Kallick to Molly Tuttle and everything in between.
“We dare not be so bold as to claim that every important bluegrass album created by women is included. We are simply striving to illustrate the far-reaching, undeniable influence that these incredible artists have had on the music, as a whole. Each contributor, many of them groundbreaking, trail-blazing artists themselves, has chosen albums that are personally impactful. Glaring omissions and oversights are almost guaranteed, but therein lies the beauty of this conversation: This collection is merely a starting point, a springboard for a greater dialogue about the place of female creators, artists, musicians, and professionals in the telling of the history — herstory — of bluegrass.”
There’s no question that there are plenty of amazing albums that should be added to the canon since 2017, but each new addition wouldn’t have been given an inch of foothold in the genre without the strength, determination, heart, and amazing music of the women who came before them.
Revisit our list of the 50 Greatest Bluegrass Albums Made By Women here.