Somewhere it must be written that women could play tambourine, acoustic guitar, or keyboards and sing vocals, but could not--yea, verily, could not
--play lead guitar or drums. From blues artists Memphis Minnie and Sippie Wallace to über-punk Patti Smith and barbed singer/songwriter Liz Phair, many of the women chronicled in Trouble Girls
turn that injunction upside down and shake it hard. The roll call is huge and draws representatives from hip-hop, gospel, R&B, country and western, girl groups, folkies, punks, indies, and so on--the list of musical categories alone is exhaustive. No doubt people will quibble about who got left out, but it's a pleasure to read about those who made it onto this ark. Solid photos accompany muscular, energetic text from a strong pool of female rock writers who clearly enjoy their subjects, but don't find it necessary to kowtow.
From School Library Journal
YA-An impressive collection of 56 essays by 44 female writers about the role of women in popular music. Divided into six sections, the book opens with "The Pioneers of Rock & Roll: Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, and Country" and features such artists as Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, and Patsy Cline. Subsequent chapters cover solo artists and girl groups of the '50s and '60s; the ladies of rock in the '60s and '70s; and the pop singers and punksters of the '70s. Sarah McLachlan, Bjork, Madonna, Salt-n-Pepa, k.d. lang, Janet Jackson, and Selena are just a few of the "Divas and B-Girls" spotlighted in another chapter. The volume wraps up with "Oh You Pretty Things!: Toward the Millennium" and includes the Go-Go's, Ani DiFranco, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and Riot Grrls like Bikini Kill. O'Dair and her troupe of well-credentialed writers have produced a comprehensive, well-written, and visually appealing volume that has an excellent index, bibliography, and discographies with each chapter. A must-have for libraries wanting vibrant, accessible material that will appeal to adolescent readers, especially women.John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.