Local Female Musicians
(Just a Sampling)
Taz Halloween“My sister nicknamed me Halloween. It turns out it was a good nickname,” says Wendy Shadburn, better known in these parts as Taz Halloween. “I’m several people rolled into one, all of ’em very real on any given moment.” Halloween came out of the womb singing. She developed her “adult tantrum” style (“I scream a lot,” she admits) as a 17-year-old high school student in her hometown of Savannah, Ga. “Taz Halloween has the voice of a great jazz and blues singer trapped in the body of a talented singer-songwriter. Taz could have easily gone on to fame and fortune singing the old standards she does so well but chose instead to remain true to her own music and art which was good but very personal and not everybody's cup of tea. She began as Wendy Shadburn in a version of The Holla Band that also featured guitarist Terry McInturff from the Gillettes, built up a following for her Taz Halloween multi-media shows, spent time as a torch singer with pianist Robert Griffin, moved to LA, came back, and started waiting tables at Michael's Pub while still playing occasionally’” wrote Matt Barrett in the Golden Age of North Carolina Music.
Lizzy RossAfter spending four years making music in Nashville, singer-songwriter Lizzy Ross began to feel homesick.Ross grew up in North Carolina, went to UNC-Chapel Hill and started her career in the Triangle music scene. While Nashville was filled with passionate and impressive musicians, she missed being part of a community that she felt really embraced diverse creative expressions. Ross has reconnected and collaborated with a number of artists since her return last summer, and recently recorded a new live album with musician Omar Ruiz-Lopez.
Teresa TrullTeresa Trull is an American female singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer from Durham, North Carolina. She is recognized as a pioneer in Women's music, with her debut album The Ways a Woman Can Be released on Olivia Records in 1977.
Mipso’s Libby RodenbaughWith a background in classical violin, Libby Rodenbaugh began playing with what was then the Mipso Trio as a student. Her fiddle work is on the first track Mipso ever recorded, but she only played periodically when schedules allowed for the first few years. Eventually, the band dropped the “trio” and added Libby full time – the lone female member. Last year, they clocked 240 days on the road. We caught up with Libby during a rare day at home.Emily Frantz (vocals, fiddle) and her husband Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo) of Mandolin Orange have spent their career as a folk duo and felt it was due time to shed their skin and rename their act, Watchhouse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchhouse
Emily FrantzEmily Frantz (vocals, fiddle) and her husband Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo) of Mandolin Orange have spent their career as a folk duo and felt it was due time to shed their skin and rename their act, Watchhouse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchhouse
Rebecca NewtonRebecca Newtown’s music career began at 19 with the band, “Mother Country” – a bluegrass, country band based in central North Carolina (1975). In 1978 she played in a 4-piece swing band (un-creatively) named “Rebecca & Friends.” Then, mid 1981 she and longtime co-writer Keith Guile put together “Rebecca & the Hi-Tones,” a North Carolina institution for 30+ years. The Hi-Tones were a 7-piece swing/early jazz/R&B band containing the “core four” members from 1981. Rebecca and her daughter have recently bought a music venue outside Chapel Hill, NC called “87 South” and plan to promote creative, cultural events of all kinds in the space.
Chessa RichChessa Rich, Durham, North Carolina. Adding flute, keys, vocals, smiles to projects since moving back to NC in 2013.sleepycatrec.com
Rachel KielWith a distinctive voice and undeniable hooks, North Carolina songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Kiel combines a strong pop sensibility with a track record of creative reinvention. Each successive album finds Kiel exploring new genres and instruments -- but although her methods shift, her songs remain unmistakably her own, full of wit and generous vulnerability.After releasing her catchy and emotionally direct debut album (Table Manners, 2008), Kiel dove into banjo-driven alt-country (Television Waltz, 2012)) and then jangly underground pop (Shot from a Cannon, 2017).
Molly SarleHillsborough resident, Molly Sarle, better known as one third of US trio Mountain Man – along with bandmates Amelia Meath (also of Sylvan Esso) and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. Molly Sarlé made her solo debut with the late night karaoke vibes of introductory single "Human".
Sallie SchardingA singer/songwriter who weaves storylines around luscious melodies and velvet vocals from Austin to North Carolina. Sallie also performs with Beaux Mondes ragtime and swing jazz.
Tatiana HargreavesOver the past decade, Tatiana Hargreaves has been on the forefront of an up and coming generation of old time, bluegrass and new acoustic musicians. From placing first at the Clifftop Appalachian Fiddle Contest, to her bluegrass fiddling on Laurie Lewis’ GRAMMY-nominated album The Hazel And Alice Sessions, Hargreaves shows a musical fluency that flows between old time and bluegrass worlds with ease. She has toured with musicians such as Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Laurie Lewis, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky and Jake Blount. She currently tours with banjo extraordinaire Allison de Groot and teaches bluegrass fiddle at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Katharine Whalen is a musician, singer, and songwriter originally from Greenville, North Carolina. She contributed vocals, banjo, and ukulele as a member of the Chapel Hill jazz band Squirrel Nut Zippers, a group that she founded in 1993 with then-husband Jimbo Mathus. After the breakup of Squirrel Nut Zippers, Whalen released an album on Mammoth called Katharine Whalen's Jazz Squad. She took part in revival Zippers revival tours during the years 2007–09. Since then she has been a member of the bands Swedish Wood Patrol and Certain Seas.
Since moving to the Chapel Hill, Rachael Hurwitz has been writing music and performing in the vibrant and growing music scene as a solo artist, as well as the songwriter and guitarist for Honey Magpie.