Welcome to my overview of women in country music, with reviews ranging from folk and bluegrass to honkytonk, rockabilly and Nashville pop. This is the first page covering the letter "F."
Barbara Fairchild - see artist discography
Shelly Fairchild "Ride" (Sony-Columbia, 2005)
(Produced by Buddy Cannon & Kenny Greenberg)
Blechh. In the wake of Gretchen Wilson's redneckin' breakthrough debut, Ms. Fairchild was hailed as another back-to-basics bad girl, part of a "new generation" of kickass country gals... Yeah, right. She just sounds like another warbling, overwrought wannabee soul singer to me, with bad, loud, clunky, overly-obvious, power chord-heavy musical backup. This is just bad music, and her vocals are really mannered and really irritating. Sorry, folks, but listening to this record is like having my teeth pulled by a blind tree sloth. I'm sure she'll be fabulously successful, but for an old-school country fan like me, this disc doesn't offer much that's worth revisiting.
Donna Fargo - see artist discography
Amy Farris "Anyway" (Yep Roc, 2004)
(Produced by Dave Alvin)
Fair-to-middlin' indiebilly/indie rock... There are several swell, catchy songs that start this album off, with Austin scenester Amy Farris riding a fine line between rock and twang tendencies. The country-ish stuff is the best, and while some of the more rock-oriented songs reveal some of her vocal limitations, on the whole this is a nice little record, with a cute DIY feel built around her off-kilter, mousy vocals, which bring Victoria Williams to mind, albeit with a more focussed musical vision. I've enjoyed hearing Farris in the background of many Kelly Willis records; it's a treat to hear her taking center stage at last. Sometimes producer Dave Alvin's guitar-heavy approach threatens to leave her high and dry, but for the most part this is quite nice. Definitely worth checking out.
Dawnett Faucett "Taking My Time" (Step One, 1988)
Boots Faye & Idaho Call "You Tried To Ruin My Name" (Binge Disc/Cattle Records)
Heidi Feek "The Only" (Western Pin-Up Records, 2013)
(Produced by Heidi Feek & Rory Feek)
This is the debut album from singer Heidi Feek, daughter of the roots-country duo of Joey & Rory Feek... and while her parents pursue a harmony-rich, Dolly Parton-esque neotrad sound, the younger Feek is a rocker, albeit in the mellower adult-alt style, with a faint, Chris Isaak-y rockabilly tinge. The album opens with the bluesy grunge of "I Like The Way," which brings the roots-rock of Buddy Miller to mind, while echoes of Lone Justice's Maria McKee, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Neko Case and other moody alt-country gals are in their as well, particularly the legacy of the windswept, shimmering Cowboy Junkies sound. It's not really my cup of tea, but it's an impressive debut, and one that I'm sure will quickly find a loyal audience for this young new artist.
Judy Fields "Halfway To Paradise" (Victory, 1985) (LP)
(Produced by Ken Mansfield, Judy Fields & Larry Cumings)
An independently released album by Northern California artist Judy Fields, who moved to Nashville and worked as a songwriter, successfully pitching songs to artists such as Lee Greenwood and Reba McEntire. She was briefly signed to MCA Records, but only released a single or two, with no chart action... Her earlier work can be heard on an uber-indie album called CONTRA COSTA COUNTRY, which was recorded with several other NorCal artists. Unfortunately, this solo debut is fairly dreadful -- she "went pop" in a big way, drenching her songs in tinkly keyboards and glossy early-'80s production. Also, she had a penchant for anthemic romantic refrains which she would repeat and repeat and repeat, unwilling to let any crescendo die a natural death. I guess if you're into that particular era of Nashville "chick" music, this could be of interest... The Reba connection certainly makes sense once you've heard this album.
Judy Fields "Eyes Of Love" (Dreamwest, 1992)
Judy Fields "Cloudless Sky" (2001)
Juni Fisher "Tumbleweed Letters" (Red Geetar, 1999)
Juni Fisher "Sideshow Romance" (Red Geetar, 2004)
Juni Fisher "Cowgirlography" (Red Geetar, 2006)
Juni Fisher "Gone For Colorado" (Red Geetar, 2008)
Juni Fisher "Let 'Er Go, Let 'Er Buck, Let 'Er Fly" (Red Geetar, 2010)
Juni Fisher "Secret Chord" (Red Geetar, 2012)
Juni Fisher "Listen... To The Horse" (Red Geetar, 2013)
Hillbilly Fillies - More Letter "F"
Hick Music Index
Sisters Who Swung: Women In Jazz & Blues