Americana tends to have the reputation of “dad music” or being composed of only white southern men. But, these stunning ladies are the true new face of the genre. These talented female artists enrich the musical style with their harmony, rich voices, and special spin. Women of color, who are rarely thought of in relation to the Roots genre, are reviving and changing the face of Americana. Known for being a combination of folk, bluegrass, and rock, this genre has seen renewal and return to its true roots recently with the recognition
Looking for new artists to diversify your Americana playlist? Look no further than this True Roots, Sprouting Wings Playlist. These women will refresh your interest in the genre thought to be dominated by white male artists, likely due to Bob Dylan’s influence on the style. Here you have ten women who are changing the game by sharing their passion for Americana with the world in their own special way.
We hope you enjoy!
1. Black is the Color || Rhiannon Giddens
Move over, Bonnie Raitt, there’s a new queen of Americana! Rhiannon Giddens has garnered much more attention in recent years since launching her solo career. She got her start and continues to sing with the Carolina Chocolate Drops but her solo music really reveals her own spin on the American roots movement as a classically trained artist with deep appreciation for the history of the style. This song showcases her romanticism and the power of her voice. My favorite of hers so far!
2. White Flag || Joseph
The harmony from the three Closner sisters from the Pacific Northwest is stunning. Their live acoustic songs show their music in its stripped down form, but their music has become more sophisticated with the production of their new album “I’m Alone, No You’re Not.” Joseph’s lyrics lend heart to both ballads and empowering songs – and this song is a grand rallying cry in the name of not giving up! Keep fighting the good fight. Burn the white flag – no surrender!
3. Myth || Amythyst Kiah and Her Chest of Glass
As the lead of a Southern Gothic band of five other musicians, Amythyst Kiah adds a contemporary style to Americana. Her powerful voice brings a soulful vibe to the rock and roll edge provided by her band. This song is an original, though her covers are superb, as well. “Myth” brings a haunted sound to her EP, which she funded on Kickstarter. I highly recommend looking up the whole album.
4. Fly Away || Yola Carter
Despite being born in England, Carter seems to be born into Americana sound and culture. She finds home in the true roots of the Americana style in African-American culture and music and was heavily influenced by Dolly Parton and Neil Young. “Fly Away” showcases her controlled and powerful voice — the classic song feels completely new in her boots.
5. Southern Girl || Kaia Kater
Often solo with just her banjo, Kater represents a new wave of acoustic Americana. Her mastery of the banjo in this song is magnificent. She gives it layers and volume as she sings like silk over the rolling notes. I could listen to this track a thousand time this week and not get sick of it.
6. Little Sparrow || Leyla McCalla
McCalla’s cello and deep voice bring the poetic lyrics to life with a modern twist on Americana. Combining this classical instrument with the more plucky ballad style in “Little Sparrow” is moving and melancholy. The perfect song for an afternoon drive or porch-sit.
7. Summertime Mama || Becca Mancari
Mancari definitely stands out in the genre to me, adding a new rock vibe to Americana, with her real-talk voice and easy flowing melody. “Summertime Mama” will make you sway and snap your fingers. Enjoy this single with a mint julep or cold beer.
8. No River || Esme Patterson
Patterson got her start in a folk band she co-founded called Paper Bird. Her music has developed since going solo and “No River” is one of my favorites from her 2016 album “We Were Wild.” She’s got a rock vibe that brings her own flavor to Americana and an edge to her lyrics.
9. Blood On Your Bootheels || Caroline Rose
Rose’s music combines Americana Roots with Rockabilly and adds a fasts country flair. Her sound has developed in her newest music, but “Blood On Your Bootheels” might always be a favorite of mine, from her first album “I Will Not Be Afraid.” Listen to these lyrics closely. They’re carefully crafted poetry and storytelling. It has a badass country feel that will leave you feeling fearless, too. Cool as can be.
10. If Wishes Were Gold || Allison Russell
Russell’s sound is the perfect ending for this playlist. It has a feminine sultriness and soulful tone hard to find. Coupled with a harmonica and guitar, her voice blossoms the longer you listen to this song.
Because we love you, we compiled all your new favorite songs in one playlist. Enjoy!