When I think of bluegrass music I do not automatically think of a certain gender or a certain race, I focus my attention more on the music itself and how the instruments are strummed and the melodies are sung. I have noticed recently that this genre does have a strong connotation with men, specifically middle aged-older men who are also white. Maybe this is because the music is rooted in the Appalachian region which also holds the stereotype of being a home to people of this sort, however I think that there is so much more to the music than who’s playing it.
Music is meant to be heard. And I will admit that in the bluegrass genre, it just sounds right to here an older male vocal on top of the beautifully harmonized instruments, however, women can achieve just the amount of prestige that a male can! Not only in bluegrass, or music, but in EVERYTHING. Mastering a craft takes hard work, dedication, and talent. There is no rule book that says “only men can excel in the bluegrass music industry.”
There are many talented women in the bluegrass scene, for example: Rhonda Vincent with her powerful on-stage presence, Claire Lynch with her Stevie-nicks sounding gritty high-pitched voice, and the highly-acclaimed Alison Krauss with her fairy-like tones who has taken the bluegrass world by storm! These ladies are just some of the few examples of the powerful woman-presence in bluegrass music.
I think one of the main reasons women do not get as much acknowledgment as they should in this industry is because their lyrical content can’t always compete with that of a man’s. Men seem to be able to write about anything and everything whereas women cannot get away with saying as much with their music. I think it is important for women to create a presence in the music industry that celebrates feminism rather than attempts to overcome an obstacle. It seems to me that women feel they need to overcome something to feel just as powerful as men when the truth is: there’s nothing to prove! Walk the walk and talk the talk and don’t worry about what anyone has to say about it. When people find power within themselves and their own identity, I think it is then that people will be able to move past gender inequalities.
The following video is one of my favorite songs in bluegrass music sung by a woman. The audience is captivated by her siren-like vocals, which shows that she is equally talented when compared to male bluegrass artists.