These Women Play The Blues

Since it happens to be Mother’s Day, I thought it might be a good time to celebrate some of the female blues guitar players out there…

Generally speaking, there aren’t nearly as many female blues guitar players out there as the men, but I think that’s changing – especially over the last few years.

So here are some great female blues artists you might want to check out, and if you have some others you dig, please let us know in the comments section below.

These are in no particular order, just the ones I know off the top of my head:

  1. Bonnie Raitt
  2. Samantha Fish
  3. Ana Popovic
  4. Joanne Shaw Taylor
  5. Joanna Connor
  6. Elizabeth Cotton
  7. Sue Foley
  8. Susan Tedeschi
  9. Debbie Davies
  10. Sister Rosetta Tharpe

But like I said, I’m pretty sure y’all will have some more I’m missing here.

When you have a few minutes, search for some of these artists on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever service you use – and check them out.

40 Comments

  • D Tessier

    Reply Reply May 28, 2019

    Check out Donna Grantis. Amazing. Originally from outside Toronto, influenced by Hendrix and Jeff Beck, she fronted her own jazz fusion band before being invited to join 3rdEyeGirl, where she traded lead solos nightly with Prince while touring the world in his hardest rock band. Can’t imagine a better experience. Ever.

  • Bob Cuyt

    Reply Reply May 16, 2019

    How ’bout some Beth Hart? Saw her in concert a couple of years ago together with Joe Bonamassa – I went for Joe, but came back a Beth hart fan as well!

  • George

    Reply Reply May 16, 2019

    Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt have the kind a blues voice (Janice-like) that can stir some real emotional shit up. It’s awesome. Oh ya, when ST and Derek Trucks play together, those two together and my favorite blues couple… oh, other than Griff and Laura. 😉

  • James Newton

    Reply Reply May 15, 2019

    Erica Graf from a band called Lazy Eye in Adelaide, Australia

  • John

    Reply Reply May 14, 2019

    Vanja Sky from Croatia

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply May 14, 2019

    Your choices are spot on! But number five Joanna Connor, now she’s some kinda ‘mazing git-picker! Fast, strong and so funky your lawn will roll up and die!

  • DaveMcMurrin

    Reply Reply May 13, 2019

    Larkin poe, two sisters from Atlanta that have done amazing covers of SonHouse, Robert Johnson, and Skip James.

  • Nate Schwartzberg

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Erin Harpe

  • Louis

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    How about Amy Black.

  • Chicago Charlie

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    She aint a player, just a vocalist and she always has skillful guitarists back her up — the Queen of the Blues and from Chicago, the Great Koko Taylor.

  • Glenn Lewis

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Cookie McGee is pretty awesome, too. Not real well known, she was a protégé of Freddie King back in the ’70s before he passed away. Plays a right handed guitar left handed and upside down, a la Albert King. Saw her last year at the East Side Kings Blues Festival in Austin. Not sure how old she is now, but she still brings it, for sure.

  • Dave Vause

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Orianthi has really great blues chops.

  • Dave

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    4 Brilliant Australian players amongst many: Anne McCue, Fiona Boyes, Mia Dyson and Penny Ikinger. Mia and Penny are pretty hard to pin down into any particular genre. Cheers from South Australia folks!

    • ChrisGSP

      Reply Reply May 12, 2019

      Hi Dave, I saw Mia Dyson when she opened for Clapton in Sydney on the 2007 tour. She was pretty straight blues that night, but it was hard, urban blues with a real kick. She is the goods for sure. I live on the NSW South Coast now so don’t see much live music. Cheers, ChrisG.

      • Dave

        Reply Reply May 13, 2019

        Chris I also saw Mia supporting Clapton – in Adelaide. Well and truly held her own. Have seen her since playing a full show and she was fantastic (double bill with Jeff Lang). I believe she lives in the US now (as does Anne McCue) so I urge people to catch her when plays nearby.

  • Gary Cooke

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Happy mother’s day out there who still have thier mother’s . I’m partial to a band that is no longer together . The sad Sam blues jam three girls up front and different drummers and a horn player sometimes .

  • Keith

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    In response to Don’s comment……as a fellow Canadian I totally agree with his choice of Suzie Vinnick, Rita Chiarelli and Shakiura S’Aida. All three absolut lay rock it!

  • Saul Morgenstern

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Great list. Check out Danielle Miraglia, out of greater Boston. Mostly acoustic blues, some electric, terrific songwriter and a great voice. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Alexander

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    My wife and I hope you’re having a wonderful Mother’s Day. Those ladies on the list are all top notch players. Have a great Day.

  • Bob S

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    As Alan had said, Laurie Morvan is incredible. I’ve seen her a number of times in person & she’s high energy & very engaging. Her band is tight & equally high energy. Not to be missed if you’re lucky enough to catch her live.

  • Jeffrey

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Nancy & Ann Wilson from Heart

  • Alan

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Carolyn Wonderland, for sure!. And Laurie Morvan is amazing also!

  • Bruce McDermott

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Carolyn Wonderland! Fantastic

  • East Coast Bill

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    What about Fiona Boyes (Australia??) or Teresa Russell (Cocobilli).

  • Big Al

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Samantha Fish is one of my favorites. I kind of liked her more stripped down band with Ray Pollard on the kit and Scott Sutherland on bass. I highly recommend the Youtube video of “Gone for good” live in Decatur Il. She just freakin’ rocks that oil can slide guitar. The rhythm section Of Scott and Ray is to die for if you’re playing in a trio,

  • Ron Thomas

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Saw bonnie Raitt in concert once she was a hoot besides…course the most memorable was bb a few years before he pasted…we have a good blues band here in boise named smooth Avenue.a friend of mine leads..he does an open mike first sunday of the month…if it’s not the blues he will pull the plug on you…lol

  • Gary Hewitt

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    How about Shemekia Copeland or Koko Taylor(deceased).

  • Ian Stobbart

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Check out chantel McGregor from the UK thank you

  • Alan Pellegrino

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Bonnie is my absolute favorite; I would have to say that she certainly was the motivation for me getting interested in the Blues way back when.

  • Don Falconer

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    Your list is a bit Amerocentric. You omit a ton of great Canadian blues women, including: Sue Foley, Alana Bridgewater, Dione Taylor, Suzie Vinnick, Samantha Martin, Nicky Lawrence, Chloe Watkinson, Shakura S’Aida, Erin McCallum, Rita Chiarelli — to name but a few.

    • Griff Hamlin

      Reply Reply May 12, 2019

      For sure, I dont know many artists outside of the US and so many are regional even within the US. That’s why I asked for your input, so thanks for the recommendations.

    • David Chaffe

      Reply Reply May 12, 2019

      Griff & Don, I see that the list contains Sue Foley. She’s a great Canadian Blues Artist from Ottawa, Ontario now living and working out of Austin Texas. Thanks for the other Canadians Don, I’ll check them out. Best wishes

    • Jake Whicker

      Reply Reply May 13, 2019

      That’s a great name for my new blues band! “Amerocentric”

  • chris clemans

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    I have to agree Rory Block is up there. I listen to Bonnie Raitt,Samantha Fish,Ana Popavic, Sue Foley, Susan Tadeschi and Sister Rosetta Tharpe they are all really good.

  • Rick Russell

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    I agree with all of these, Griff! I’m lucky that I’ve seen most of them live.

  • Joe Lamere

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    I just love Bonnie!!! I saw her in 1979 !!!!! and she was da bomb than !!!

  • Cole Ruby

    Reply Reply May 12, 2019

    All the above are great but can’t believe you left Rory Block out of top 10!!!

    • Griff Hamlin

      Reply Reply May 12, 2019

      Cant believe I didn’t think of her, good call!

      • Dan Laurent

        Reply Reply May 12, 2019

        Rory is very interesting as she has links to Stephen Grossman, Son House and many others. She knows Robert Johnson inside and out.

      • Fergus Pollard

        Reply Reply May 16, 2019

        “Rory Block” taught many of us our first blues licks and appreciation of the art as “Aurora Block” (with Stefan Grossman) on “How to Play Blues Guitar” (1971).
        Still available from Stefan’s site.

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