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 Grammy nominee, Laurie Lewis. Lewis, of Berkeley, California, has been at the forefront of the west-coast bluegrass scene since the 1970s. A co-founder of the Good Ol’ Persons, she’s gone on to front her own bands, including the Grant Street String Band, and currently Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. In her interview, she talks about her mentors and inspirations, pathways and roadblocks in her career, inspiring young women playing today, her role in producing records, and how the pandemic has affected her this past year.
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