News / Arts & Entertainment

Female Blues Singers Shine in Memphis

Greg Flakus
When the first blues recordings appeared in the early 1920s, women singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the stars. But over the years since then, men have come to dominate the blues scene.  Women continue to sing the blues, though, and their talents were on display in Memphis, Tennessee recently at an event held outside the International Blues Challenge.

She sounds like she came right out of the Mississippi Delta, but singer Eleanor Tsaig and the Ori Naftaly band are from Israel, where she says blues music is starting to gain an audience.

"The Jewish people have a lot to sing the blues about," Tsaig said.

She and the band members now live in Memphis and they came to the Center for Southern Folklore to perform at The Women in Blues Showcase.

"We are all women, we are all sisters and it's the blues, you know, so it is just great, so much fun," Tsaig said.

"This is their chance not to just celebrate blues, but the feminine aspect of blues… these are the young performers who have young ideas, young dreams, young goals," said Judy Peiser, director of the Center for Southern Folklore.

But event organizer Michele Seidman says she and co-organizer Terri Robbins want to counter the resistance they say exists to booking women in clubs and festivals.

"We often have to fight harder to get the same respect as the guys, so we have to bring it harder, we bring in every bit of fire, passion and soul that we have go," she said.

Robbins says women have a lot to offer to blues music.

“They bring guts, deep-roots soul, passion, I think,” she said.

An example of that is Lady Rose, who came to the showcase from the eastern U.S. state of Maryland.

"I put my heart and soul into what I am doing and I think it shows in what I sing and audiences really appreciate that," she said.

She says her biggest reward comes from fans who tell her she made them cry.

"It really makes you feel good that you can touch someone," she said.

Lady Rose says it is important for young women to have successful female blues performers to emulate -- as they develop their own styles and reach down deep to express their own feelings.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."