I've been thinking much about the state of indie, singer-songwriter music, lately. Rachael Yamagata, my favorite lady of this musical persuasion, parted with her music label to make her own type of music--free of pop culture restraints. She is currently making her latest album, funded by fan pledges. RY is on the same musical plane and has sung with the musicians, Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee, and Ryan Adams--all of whom are, well, male and successful...and still on a record label, as far as I know. Another talented singer-songwriter, Meiko, is also on her own.
But Stevie Nicks is going strong--thanks to her initial Fleetwood Mac superstardom and appeal. Now she's a rockin' singer-songwriter with her own style, who has paved the way for the younger generation of female singer-songwriters. However, there is an intellectual and musical disconnect between uniquely introspective, soul-stirring, heartstrings-aching music and the music industry, especially when gender (not sex or sex appeal) is thrown into the mix. As if female singers are not appealing or profitable enough.
What is up with the singer-songwriter genre's gender imbalance? Have female singer-songwriters become the non-cool thing, almost passe--if you will (yes, I am being sarcastic), if they do not show some skin and wear tight clothing? What about allowing the music to speak for itself? One must be mindful of it all.