Finding My Soloing Guitar Voice

Since relocating to Sturgeon Bay, WI in the fall of 2016, I have found myself fully engaged in performing within the Blues world. Whether with a band I call the Troublemakers, (SummerFest, Saw Dust Days, and Sun Prairie Festivals), or Solo in many Door County Clubs, outdoor bars and festivals. Culminating this past Labor Day weekend I performed a 45 minute show at the Paramount Blues Festival. One thing I know, is that after almost 40 years of performing, my love to do so is stronger than ever.

The Mid-West loves the Blues and I have found myself performing with great musicians like Ken Saydek, Jim Ohlschmidt, Danny Draher, Donny Pick, Paul Flippowitz, and Alex Wilson. As you can see it’s a man’s world, and I am keenly aware of the fact that being a woman playing a guitar, means extra scrutiny, and on top of that, within the Blues, women artists are few.  More than once I have heard, “Are you sure girls are allowed to play that thing.?” I laugh with a smile let it roll off my back, I can’t help but think of younger women just beginning their career having to deal with comments like this.

I have always loved to groove and I love to do tasty licks, but I have never spent my years playing working on my soloing technique, until now. Playing with these wonderful musicians has inspired me to work that part of my musicianship. I always left solos for the sidemen, so I can focus on my voice, and I am having so much fun exploring the guitar in new ways.

Heading to Memphis as a Solo artist representing the Paramount Music Association for the IBC (International Blues Festival) January 16-20, 2018 has given me the opportunity to stretch and find my soloing guitar voice and I love it.

Paul Flippowitz shared in a recent note to me, “Love your music, your funky sliding rhythm parts.”

Photograph: Cathy Grier, Paramount Music Festival September 2, 2017 image by Michael Jozwiak