Ten seemed like too simple of a number so hear is eleven songs by some of my favourite musicians that you might not be familiar with who also happen to be female
Lori McKenna - A Mother Never Rests
Out of the blocks with a fantastic writer I have only relatively recently come across and this one isn’t even the most played songs of hers, that would be Wreck You, but A Mother Never Rests is a song that I cannot listen to only once and when it comes on it finishes and I repeat it two or three times. It is an absolutely beautiful song but in truth you could put any Lori McKenna song on and I guarantee it will make you feel something.
Patty Griffin - Where I Come From
This is probably the newest song on this list. I love the journey this song takes you on. With the rhythm of a train you get to see little snippets of the town as you pass through and the people who call it home. Patty’s voice perfectly guides us as we roll on. “The mills closed down long ago and so we're way past unemployment/ Like a bad joke somebody told on our town for their enjoyment.” Nothing fancy and to the point. My favourite kind of song.
Gillian Welch - I’m Not Afraid To Die
I used to listen to a lot of Gillian Welch, her version of Wrecking ball (Not that one) is my favourite. Her interpretation of Look At Miss Ohio is fantastic but for whatever reason I had not had much Gillian Welch on recently. But then I watch Hell or High Water a few weeks back and reignited my love her music and this one did it for me.
The Honeycutters - Eden
Amanda Anne Platt is someone you need to listen to more. She is a poet and has a voice that makes you believe every word she writes. I have been a fan for a few years now and could have picked out a bunch of songs but this one is my current favourite. Me Oh My is a close second. Go listen to both and then all of their stuff.
Lydia Loveless - Really Wanna See You
Every time this song comes on I am expecting Drive By Truckers to come on but I am never disappointed when Lydia comes in. Another “to the bone” kind of writer who is not afraid to say how she really feels through her music. Love the rawness and energy.
Tift Merrit - Travelling Alone
What a voice. There are a few versions of this song knocking about but my favourite is the stripped down one with just Tift that lets the lyrics carry it. It is a song that I put on the first time and had to go straight back and try and catch every single word. I have not listened to much of her stuff because I dive straight back into this song every time. Perfect.
Lucinda Williams - Ghosts of Highway 20
I went through a phase were I only listened to Lucinda Williams in winter for some reason. I still don’t know why but over the past few years she has become my go-to all year round. Another journey song but this one is a little rougher around the edges and that is one of the things I love about Lucinda Williams and her music. She just seems to keep getting better with every album. One of the greats in my book.
Cara Dillon - There Were Roses
There are quite a lot of versions of this Tommy Sands song and I think it is such a powerful song that you would have to go out of your way to do a bad version of it. However, the definitive version is by Cara Dillon. Her voice, the musicianship on this are perfect and gives me shivers even after hundreds of plays.
Phoebe Bridgers - Motion Sickness
I only came across Phoebe Bridgers in the wake of the recent Ryan Adams story and how she stood up and spoke out about what she was put through. Turns out she had written a song about it and every word packs one hell of a punch. I am still learning more about Phoebe’s music but she does a damn good version of “It’ll All Work Out.”
Alessia Cara - Here
Bit of a departure from the list but I had to include it. This song is so well put together and fantastically delivered. Honestly not much of her music has appealed to me but this one stands out and I can listen to this over and over again.
Mary Gauthier - Oh Soul
Last but certainly not least. With Mary Gauthier I could have put almost every single song she has ever put out on a list. I bloody love her stuff. Mary is the kind of writer who I love. Direct, to the point and heartbreaking. This is probably my most played song of hers and one of these days I will get to see her play live. I have to.