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and Bitch make
Ferron and Bitch? Is there a disconnect here?
I think not, and hats off to Bitch for pulling off a magnificent generation-bender CD by producing Ferron’s latest album, Boulder.
Many of Bitch's generation haven't really experienced Ferron's music, which moved the previous generation with her special gift of weaving words.
Younger women probably think Ferron's just another "girl with guitar" from the early lesbian music circuit.
Then we have Ferron's generation, many of whom have heard of Bitch and seem to have this yin-yang admiration/disgust for her, much like parents have for their teens’ music. They want to connect and like it; but they can't let themselves go, so it drives them crazy.
"She's the one who does that pussy song!"
Some can't handle the raw honesty of Bitch’s words as she weaves her political creations. They don't understand that she calls herself Bitch to reclaim it as a positive; perhaps because they have trouble letting go of what was ingrained in them. Others totally get it and love her.
This CD, though, should connect the two generations in a way in which both will find great inspiration.
Will they hear the words, feel it, groove to it, claim it, cherish it, and most importantly, pass it on? It's a gift of connections crossing many paths. It's a journey then and now, and both together.
Sit back and listen. It's raw, hip, spiritual, groovy, plain and very special.
These lines from a Ferron song definitely apply to her:
"I did my best to follow the calling of my soul."
"I've been waiting for you to remember me."
Bitch has taken someone who thought no one wanted to hear her any more, and added the talents of many amazing artists that are inspired by Ferron. You'll hear them playing and singing backup as they add special layers to the singer-songwriter’s amazing, poetic words.
What an accomplishment for Bitch to be able to put one of her heroes’ music out there for the older generations to enjoy again, and for the newer generations to experience for the first time.
Is it still ‘girl with guitar’? Yes and no. Many songs are slow, but Bitch has added some great musical layers to one of the best wordsmiths of two generations.
For those who aren't familiar with Ferron, her writing has often been described as the Bob Dylan of the lesbian circuit. A pretty lofty honor!
But it doesn't stop with her writing, as she also has a very cool, deep, sexy voice that sends shivers through your body, giving the songs an even deeper connection. The songs range from 1978 to the present, but they are timeless.
One would be hard-put to notice that one of the songs is written by Bitch. Are the generations really that different? In different ways, yes, but the talent and creative genius is there in both of them.
There are many talented people that Bitch asked to contribute to this CD. As it plays, one thinks, “I know that voice in that song--yes, it's Ani; oh that's gotta be Tina G from God-Des and She. Yes I know that guitar work; it's Emily Saliers. That electric violin and bass; yes it's Lyndell Montgomery.”
There's the talented Julie Wolf on piano and accordion, Amy Ray playing mandolin, plus the fine licks woven in by Bitch on bass, violin, viola, fiddle, cello, and backup vocals.
Montgomery once said she didn't understand why Bitch was asking her to play on “It Won't Take Long.” After all, she and Bitch play the same instruments. Bitch told her she was stuck and needed a different perspective on the song, and it works beautifully.
The CD starts and ends beautifully. The biggest disappointment is “Misty Mountain,” not because this version isn't moving, but one longs for Ferron's voice singing that old timeless song.
The last song, “In The Meantime,” has a grooving,’ wonderful variation of J.D. Sampson's (Le Tigre) beats with Bitch and Tina's voices that leave you wanting more.
Hear Ferron and Bitch live, performing many of these songs together. They're very funny trading quips. There is a definite respect, admiration, and connection between them; not a oneupswomanship. They are both great artists whose combined talents create a magical CD that hopefully will transcend to their respective generations and beyond. The magic is absolutely there in their live performance.
Bitch and Ferron will be performing together on June 6 at the Stonewall Columbus Pride Kick-off Festival in the tented parking lot at 1160 North High St. Information is available at www.columbuspride.org/weekend.
Then they'll be gracing the main stage at Cleveland Pride on June 21. Find out all the details at www.clevelandpride.org.
Don’t pick one or the other; go to both. See them every chance you get. Their live shows are one of the best around!