Some Past Performers at Womenís Music Nite:
Duval Speck, songwriters and producers of Womenís Music Nite, are well-known for their dynamic vocals and refined and sophisticated harmonies and diverse musical styles. "Composers and performers Linda Duval and Cathy Speck produce songs and lyrics so seamlessly...(their) vocal harmonies are joyously tight, and each singer has a strong and distinct voice. These two innovative musicians focus on the many aspects of Life...and that's Life with the capital "L". (The Winters Express)
Mare Wakefield, (www.marewakefield.com),
cut her teeth on John Denver and Karen Carpenter, Reba MacEntire, Hank Williams Jr., The Cure and The Smiths, and a long fermentation in Oregon has given her a love of folk music and a silliness, angst and twang, all delivered with a delightful stage presence. Mare gained a devoted following throughout the Northwest thanks to her refreshing songs and the vocal versatility she possesses. The range and power of her voice - beautiful, affective, and crystal clear - set her apart from the crowd and have earned her comparisons to such female vocalists as Joni Mitchell and Natalie Merchant while giving her a sound that is distinctly her own. Her gentle numbers are highly reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies, then she fires up a fiddle tune and easily slides to another genre.
Diane Patterson, a favorite in the Sacramento region, performing her warm grooves solo or bringing you to your feet with her band
Natalie Cortez, 3-time SAMMIE-winning songwriter from Sacramento CA.
Sandy Coldiron, a favorite Davis singer/songwriter, an undiscovered gem
Erika Luckett, Grammy, Tony winner, internationally-flavored, memorable songwriter/guitarist from Venezuela, Erika Luckett, a graduate of The Berklee College of Music with a degree in film scoring, who has garnered Academy Award and Emmy nominations.†† Erika spent nine years touring with her critically-acclaimed seven piece world jazz ensemble, Wild Mango,that had a top ten hit on the Latin Jazz charts.† Described as "smokey vocals over a deeply grooving guitar", Luckett has twice been awarded SONG OF THE YEAR at the Northern California Songwriter's Association, and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Barbados Jazz Festival, and numerous other venues worldwide.
Zoe Lewis & Her Rubber Band, musically versatile and humorous trio from Massachusetts, Zoe has been described as "part Huck Finn, part Julie Andrews" and possesses a lovely voice and astute musicianship on a variety of instruments. She is an award-winning, international performer and traveler whose music reflects influences from around the world. Her upbeat trio consists of Lewis from England, Seattle bassist Kate Wolf, and Quebec City percussionist Sylvie Richard , all vocalists as well. They are one of the most accomplished and enjoyable acts to tour through the Sacramento area.
Jennifer Kimball, formerly of the "The Story" with Jonatha Brooke, was one of the most popular acoustic acts from Boston and released two critically acclaimed albums, "Grace in Gravity" and "Angel in the House". The duo has been well credited with helping to pave the way for the rise of folk-pop artists like Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, and Jewel. During her tenure in the duo, Kimball supplied the band's signature harmonies and a hefty dose of comic relief in their live shows.†
Erin McKeown, powerful guitarist from Rhode Island, opener for Ani DiFranco and well on her way to international stardom
Kris Delmhorst, east coast singer/songwriter phenom
Holly Figueroa, dynamic, powerful vocalist/songwriter from Seattle, founder of Indiegrrl, whose live performances and CD, "Three Chord Plea", are gathering enthusiastic praise.† "Be it with haunting folk storytelling, or bluesy semi-acoustic alt-rock, Figueroa moves effortlessly in more musical directions on one disc than most musicians do in an entire career.† But it's when Figueroa belts out the blues that she can knock you over" (The Worcester Phoenix).† Her CD reached no. 3 on the "Airwaves Top Ten", and was named "...a superb offering...a masterwork...blatantly erotic, unadulterated honesty and raw emotion" by The Washington Blues Society.† "This girl can play guitar and rock and roll with the best of 'em..." (Ace Magazine).† Figueroa recently released her latest CD, "Dream In Red" to continued critical acclaim.
Diana Jones, award-winning songwriter from Austin, TX
Rebecca Riots, award-winning songwriting trio from Berkeley
Karen Almquist, slide/blues guitarist and a smooth voice and memorable songs described as "Acoustic Roots With A Blues Bent", an exceptionally fine slide guitar player, singer, and songwriter. Played with such artists as Shawn Colvin, Maria Muldaur, Alex de Grassi, and Rory Block, co-hosted "Toast and Jam", a weekly radio show on public radio, and was a finalist at the prestigious Napa Valley Folk Festival. Karen is featured in the PBS film "Strings Attached", and one of her songs was used in a documentary about organic farming. She has a long association with the renowned musician and producer Nina Gerber, who produced Karen's latest CD "Tracking of Time".
The Velvet Janes, Australian duo with award-winning songs and totally enjoyable performances The Velvet Janes from Australia and Duval Speck from Davis.† This event will be a great alternative for those who want to get together with the community and enjoy some out performers, but who choose not to travel to San Francisco for Gay Pride.† The Velvet Janes are a remarkable Australian duo that has toured with such acts as Ani DiFranco, Arlo Guthrie, and the Cowboy Junkies, and released two albums that were No. 1 on the national Australian Independent charts.† In addition, they achieved five top ten places two years running in the Australian National Songwriting Competition, and are known for their lively and impressive stage performances.† The Velvet Janes describe themselves as "...two friends who made a commitment to write the best damn songs they could, play the way they wanted, sing passionately about everything from dogs to death, and each time give 100% to their audiences and take them on a journey that is as unique as each audience is."†
Wendy Beckerman, beautiful voice, beautiful songs, sure to touch the heart, Wendy began studying classical piano and upright bass, performing in school choirs and musical theater, and made her way to guitar and songwriting where she has had great success. She recorded over a dozen songs for "Fast Folk Musical Magazine" and performed annually in their revue at The Bottom Line in New York City. One of her songs and several harmony performances can be heard on Smithsonian Folkways' "Fast Folk" compilation CD. Wendy has been a songwriting finalist, performed on many CD's singing harmonies, and her song "In So Deep" appears in the film "Rubbernecking". She is absolutely charming and mesmerizing to see live in concert.
Stephanie Haffner, witty and enjoyable performer from Stockton CA
Amelia White, winner of Listenerís Poll for Best Folk Act, Boston
Laura Veirs, frenzied flat-pickiní fingerstyle melodies
Jamie Anderson, entertaining and touching singer/songwriter from North Carolina
Karie Hillery, northern Calif. artist with songs on the Top Ten dance charts
Lynelle Tyler, humorous singer/songwriter from the Bay Area
Emily Shore blends jazz and folk into unique and memorable compositions that she has performed from Boston to San Francisco. "Her music is intimate, personal. You know that by hearing her, you know who she is, and that she knows who you are." (Chicopee Herald). When performing, Emily draws from her earlier experiences on the basketball court, about which she writes: "If I get nervous before a gig, I just think back to the time in high school when I was jeered by an entire drunk hockey team in a rival's packed gym. That pretty much makes a few little songs seem like nothing."
Irina Rivkin, songwriter/vocalist from Russia, founder of Making Waves and Rose Street House of Music, emigrated to the U.S. from Russia when she was five, after the KGB blacklisted her father for listening to protest music and poetry.† She has been performing since she was a child, singing Russian folk and American jazz in a family band, and has since branched out to include gutsy, introspective originals.
Laura Chandler, highly-acclaimed singer/songwriter with TV, movie credits and performer at the Olympics Laura Chandler is a songwriter, producer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist who combines jazz, pop, folk and alternative music.†Chandler tours nationally and internationally, has contributed music to several film and television projects, and performed at the Olympics in Atlanta. Music Reviews Quarterly hails her as "one of the most exciting and important new figures on the scene", and reviewed her self-produced CD as "one of the best releases of the year!"
Edie Carey, east coast singer/songwriter with many songwriting awards and performances in prestigious venues across the US
Allette Brooks is a prolific songwriter and dedicated touring musician who combines rhythmic grooves and catchy fingerpicked melodies on several CD's, and is described as "a humble, richly lyrical poet...this woman surprises you with each song" (The Octopus). "In a sea of singer-songwriters, Allette Brooks is a rare fish indeed." (New Times). Audiences have consistently enjoyed the quirky humor in some of her songs and her humorous stage presence, and she is hailed as being witty and enjoyably relevant.
Rebecca Danielsen, bluesy guitarist/songwriter from Sacramento. Rebecca Danielsen, formerly of the band "Midnight Blue", is a Sacramento-area singer/songwriter with a definite foot in the blues and a sweet yet gutsy vocal style. Rebecca has delighted audiences in the area with her solo shows
Reva, alternative folk singer/songwriter from Olympia, WA
Laura Bowly, singer/songwriter and a staple of the west coast womenís songwriter circuit
The Flesh Petals, songwriter duo from Sacramento
Mary Madison, heartfelt songwriter with a beautiful voice
Fiona Lehn, folk/funk/political/rock songstress
Nyxi, blazing bass player and powerful vocals
Nicola Gordon, singer/songwriter from Santa Barbara
Trista Stanley, celtic and original tunes
Eve West Bessier, poet, vocalist, composer from Davis CA
Kristi Martel wth a four-octave vocal range and two music degrees, pianist/vocalist/songwriter Kristi Martel has been playing piano since age three.† In 1994 Kristi won the ASCAP Foundation Grant for Young Composers for her two-voice piece, "When Outside Gets Inside Through the Skin".† Kristi tours all over the country playing her music that combines blues dissonance and syncopation and her classical training, and she has released two CD's.