It's a great time to celebrate the female musicians who are paving the way for women in music — and WGBH has been fortunate enough to have a few of them perform as part of our Live at WGBH series. From stripped-down versions of new songs to intimate and creative approaches to classics, here are eight studio performances by female artists who have, and continue, to blaze new trails here in Boston and beyond:
Ashley Jordan has the voice of an angel and a first-round Grammy nomination under her belt. During her 2019 set in our studio, the singer-songwriter powerhouse performed original songs about love and its many sides.
Aubrey Haddard is telecommuting these days, to Boston via Brooklyn — but her roots still run deep in our local music community. At our studio in 2018, she performed a set of beautifully-written songs about finding personal growth and having a love that keeps you alive.
Hayley Sabella is a profound songwriter with a light and airy delivery that defines her music. The contrast creates a space with plenty of room to explore, but the sweet quality of her voice can be challenging in a male-dominated field. During her session with us in 2017, she proved that the feminine qualities of her sound are powerful and essential to the narrative of the music scene.
Juliana Hatfieldis one of the original trailblazers, helping lay the groundwork for other female rockers around the world. Her career started with the Blake Babies and the Lemonheads before she began recording work of her own. Since then, she's released 17 studio albums and has participated in a countless number of collaborations. Just last month, only days after finishing a recent U.S. tour, she stopped by our studio to perform original songs.
Julie Rhodes has relentless and infectious energy, on and off stage. Her music career started on a whim after singing along in the audience at a house show. Before long, Rhodes recorded her debut album Bound to Meet the Devil, and she performed songs from it during her 2018 performance in our studio.
Oompa has an unwavering talent for songwriting. At the studio in early 2020, she performed songs from Cleo, an emotionally-charged album that aims to rewrite her story and change the face of a sound dominated by the hetero-male perspective.
Sidney Gish is a self-starter who kicked off her career by writing, recording, producing, releasing and marketing all of her music. Her DIY approach met critical praise, and now she is finding industry support in all aspects of her career. During her in-studio set in 2017, she performed songs from her first solo album Ed Buys Houses.
Tanya Donelly is another founding trailblazer. She fronted not one, but three of the most fundamental and influential alt-rock bands from the 90s (Throwing Muses, The Breeders, and Belly) and continues to carry the torch with our Live at WGBH series. Donelly was one of the first female singer-songwriters to join us for a session. In 2016, she performed songs from her hyper-local and intimate album Swan Song Series.