Column

Onstage with Raina

An artist's perspective on venues, shows, and the music-making life

Raina has been an internationally touring folksinger since 2006. She lives in Austin, TX, with her bassist husband and sons.

Onstage with Raina

An artist's perspective on venues, shows, and the music-making life

Raina has been an internationally touring folksinger since 2006. She lives in Austin, TX, with her bassist husband and sons.

Pretty Good 'For a Girl'

Hands down, one of the best posts I've ever read here at No Depression. And your points and observations  reach far beyond talent and playing ability. 

I think it's great that you had a father who encouraged you to play at an early age. A lot of girls end up being told that we're supposed to join choir and play the flute (half the girls in the high school symphony played flute, to the point where I envied them, though I played violin and wouldn't go back and change that now for anything.) Great post.

I broke a lot of strings onstage in my day. Got to the point where I could change them standing up, while telling a story into the mic. Nonetheless, men would never tire of asking me if I wouldn't rather they do it for me. Sound guys assuming I had no idea what I was talking about, was another thing. As though, after a decade of playing in different rooms, I still hadn't learned what balance of vocal mic and DI I wanted to hear from the monitors.

This stretches into the music writing realm, too. Not only men writing that women play "as good as any of the guys," but the extent to which male writers will describe what women are wearing (and what they thought of what the women were wearing) in greater detail than they'll describe their actual musicality. Some feel the need to qualify that a song includes "female vocals" or a "female guitarist," as though a person's reproductive system has any bearing on whether or not they can carry a tune. I've even read male writers neglecting to even name the "female backing vocalists," but all the guys in the band get named. Or if they name the women, they'll call the woman by her first name and all the men by their last. What's that even about? I'll never understand that one. I could go on, but I'll stop there. Thanks for your honest and thoughtful post!