Here we are, a decade and change into the new millennium, and there are still pockets of ignorant men that honestly believe women are inherently incapable of guitar mastery.
A healthy contingent of gifted X-chromosomed six-stringers would beg to differ, notably Bonnie Raitt, Kaki King, Sylvia Juncosa, Melissa Etheridge and a host of others, but none perhaps as loud and raucous as The Texas Guitar Women collective.
Starting in 2008, the five members of the Texas Guitar Women possess the kind of resumes that would drop the jaw of the most jaded music professional.
Texas Music Hall of Fame inductee Cindy Cashdollar has lent her considerable guitar skills to Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Levon Helm, Dave Alvin, Jorma Kaukonen and Van Morrison, and is one of the most respected and requested session musicians in the country. Carolyn Wonderland has won several Austin Music Awards as a solo artist and been compared to Janis Joplin as a vocalist and Stevie Ray Vaughan as a guitarist. Shelly King has also won a host of Austin Music Awards and was the first woman ever to be named the Official State Musician of Texas.
The rhythm section is also quite seasoned. Bassist Sarah Brown, another member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame and serial Austin Music Award winner, has backed Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Dave Alvin, Paul Carrack and many others, while drummer Lisa Pankratz has provided the beat for a veritable who’s who of musical luminaries, including Robbie Fulks, Dale Watson, The Derailers and Bill Kirchen.
Together, the Texas Guitar Women can play Western Swing with nuance, elegance and precision, then seamlessly transition to a scorching version of the Blues that would raise a blister on the thickest hide. It’s a shame that they should be lauded simply because of their gender. The Texas Guitar Women are not merely a badass group of women — they are a badass group.
THE TEXAS G UITAR WOMEN featuring Cindy Cashdollar, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelly King, Sarah Brown and Lisa Pankratz play Saturday, Nov. 24 at McAuley High School Performance Center in College Hill. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here .