Editor’s note: Register for the Blue Ridge Music Center’s FREE virtual A Place in the Band conference held Friday, February 26, 2021 here.
BGS is proud to partner with the Blue Ridge Music Center on their online series, A Place in the Band: Women in Bluegrass & American Roots Music. The 10-part series explores the triumphs and struggles of prominent women with careers in the music industry.
Musicians Alice Gerrard, Laurie Lewis, Amythyst Kiah, and artist manager Traci Thomas are featured in this week’s episodes, which are available with the full series on the Blue Ridge Music Center’s YouTube channel, at their website, BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org, and here on BGS. Along with an online conference hosted by BRMC in late February, the series is part of a project that began in 2020 to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women in the United States the right to vote.
In this edition of A Place in the Band, North Carolina singer-songwriter and social justice activist Laurelyn Dossett interviews Bluegrass Hall of Famer Alice Gerrard. Gerrard started her musical career singing with Hazel Dickens as the duo Hazel and Alice. She’s gone on to have a long, varied career as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, recording as a solo artist, playing in several bands, and collaborating with many other musicians. In the video above she talks about her mentors and her path to making a living through music, diversity and gender issues in the industry and their impact on her career, and she gives advice to young musicians entering the field.
Rounding out the 10 interviews will be three final episodes featuring Kristin Scott Benson, Ruth Ungar Merenda, and Haley Miller Coots debuting on Tuesday, January 26.
Video credit: Joe Dejarnette, Studio 808A
Graphic credit: Jacob LeBlanc, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation