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 rising folk and Americana star, Amythyst Kiah. Kiah, a Johnson City, Tennessee native, graduated from the Bluegrass, Old-time, and Country Music program at Eastern Tennessee State University. Finding inspiration in old-time, string band music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues, Kiah brings her banjo and guitar playing, vocals, and songwriting skills to the stage as a solo artist and with her band, Her Chest of Glass. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for her song “Black Myself“, which she recorded with supergroup Our Native Daughters. In her interview, Kiah talks about her musical beginnings and introduction to roots music, her mentors and influences, lessons from the pandemic, and about the Our Native Daughters project and what it means to her.
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