In celebration of all the amazing women in music today and in the past, this edition of Off The Record is all about them!
Adalita | Adalita, 2011
Growing up, my mum used to play Magic Dirt, Superjesus, Carol King and plenty of other amazing female artists on repeat. Dirty Jeans was one of the first songs I knew all of the words to and it still gets stuck in my head from time to time.
Adalita has been a kind of like a childhood idol for me. I saw her as this cool rock chick that hangs out with the boys and doesn’t give a damn. Mum dressed me up as Adalita for a fancy dress party when I was in grade 3. I remember mum driving me to the park and reminding me who I was dressed up as. My 8-year old brain could not remember that name!
As a special Record Store Day Australia release this year Adalita Srsen, leading lady of Magic Dirt, released her solo debut self-titled album on vinyl. Released as a double LP, 180gram vinyl in red and gold with only 500 copies pressed.
Magic Dirt took an indefinite hiatus following the tragic death of bass player and Adalita’s muse, Dean Turner. This solo work was the first page of the next chapter for Adalita and her solo career.
The album opens with Hot Air, which sets the tone for the record. It feels like you’re just floating along while you listen, moving slowly and not going anywhere in particular. Standout tracks for me are Hot Air, The Repairer and closing track Night Orchid.
Janis Joplin | Pearl, 1971
Janis Joplin is widely recognised for her extraordinary talent and the lifestyle she led. She has a massive voice and is still one of the most celebrated blues women in history.
When I was 16, I was obsessed with the late 60s and early 70s and I picked up a copy of Pearl at the first record fair my dad ever took me to. The album begins with Move Over and moves into full gear with the powerful vocals of Cry Baby. Pearl is full of that infectious blues music of the time that I love so dearly.
Sadly passing away in October 1970, only days after the vocals were all but completed for the then untitled album, Joplin joined the ‘27 Club’ alongside other greats Jimi Hendrix, Alan Wilson and Brian Jones who also died at age 27. The album was released posthumously in 1971 and affectionately titled Pearl, after Joplin herself.
The album features hits like Mercedes Benz and Kris Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee. Pearl is a classic album that shows one of the greatest female blues voices. Several repressing’s are available and keep a look out at your local second hand record store for a copy.
Kaki King | Everybody Loves You, 2003
Kaki King holds a special place for me. She is so freaking talented! I had never seen anyone play guitar like her before and it fascinates me. King thumbs out bass lines while tapping the melody and uses her guitar body as a percussion instrument.
Everybody Loves You displays King’s versatility and skill as a guitarist while continuing emotion and contemplation. The album is a mix of delicately strung songs and epic guitar tracks that build tension like nothing else. Standout tracks for me include Night After Sidewalk, The Exhibition and Carmine St.
The first time I saw Kaki King live was at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2007 and later that year at the Brisbane Powerhouse. The show at the Powerhouse remains today as one of the most intimate gigs I have ever been to. King has this presence about her when she performs. She is gentle and graceful and I really recommend checking her out.