Welcome 2019! We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for Women Crush Wednesday, is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing the country music scene.
It is not easy for women to get their songs played on country music radio. Just as recently as early December, there were no females featured on the Top 20 of Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart. The gender gap in country music is certainly not new. Going back to 2015, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone Country all called this “Country Music’s Women Problem.” The New York Times even referred to it as “Country’s War on Women.” Though these words may feel a little harsh, there’s no arguing that country music is primarily a male-dominated scene. Some may argue that it’s because “women just aren’t making good enough music when compared to the men” or “women would rather listen to bro-country.” Neither of which is true. Many women are releasing incredible music. Despite the legacy left by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, it’s certainly a difficult road to success for today’s women in country music. We, at NECM, are huge supporters of females taking this journey. By spotlighting them, we are hoping to provide you with some background, and most importantly, the reasons why you should spend time listening to these amazingly artistic women.
The first artist we are spotlighting here is none other than the multi-gifted Lindsay Ell. The soon to be thirty-year-old was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ell discovered her love of music at the early age of six, when she started playing the piano. A couple years later, when she was eight, she picked up the guitar. She began dabbling in songwriting at the age of ten. Her strengths go well beyond her unprecedented musical ability. She is a perpetual learner, in every aspect of life. Ell even went on to graduate from high school a year early as the valedictorian of her class. She continued her quest for knowledge by studying business at The University of Calgary and music at our very own Massachusetts-based Berklee College of Music (online). Lindsay Ell moved to Nashville in 2010 to pursue her career in music city. It was here that she signed with Stoney Creek Records. In 2013, Ell released her first single, ‘Trippin’ on Us.’ It became the most added song for country music radio in both the U.S. and Canada, with over fifty first week adds. Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and piano are just some of the instruments that she has mastered over the years. She is a true “guitar geek” frequently playing her Martin acoustic guitars and her custom Gibson Les Paul Goddess. She took the definition of “artist” to the next level by going as far as to hand paint several guitars. Each custom paint design represented a song on her EP. Ell released her debut six-song EP, ‘Worth the Wait’ in March of 2017. Only five months later, in August of 2017, she dropped her first full length album, ‘The Project.’ A few tracks that are definitely worth a listen are: ‘Waiting on You,’ ‘Criminal,’ and ‘Wildfire.’ Though they are each unique, they all showcase the brilliant way she dominates the guitar. Adding to her accomplishments, Ell made her Grand Ole Opry debut back in April of 2014. She has been on tour with renowned artists including The Band Perry, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, and Keith Urban.
Just a couple weeks ago, in mid-December, Ell teamed up with Brantley Gilbert – think ‘Bottoms Up’ and ‘The Ones That Like Me.’ The duo released a new single ‘What Happens in a Small Town.’ Written by Gilbert, Brock Berryhill, Josh Dunne, and Rhett Akins, it is a strong power ballad. Nash Country Daily mentioned that Gilbert said: “This song builds and burns. It really has that want for someone you can’t have, and having to live in all the places they are. I wanted to have someone on the record who could match those feelings, to really push the song. It’s not just any female who makes sense, and we knew that. But Lindsay is a whole other kind of artist, and she understands that power.” This tune showcases Lindsay Ell’s incredible vocals as well as her ability to shred on the guitar. Definitely keep an eye on Lindsay Ell, as this woman is well on her way to becoming a powerhouse in the country music scene.
So, if you’re still working on that new year’s resolution for 2019, let us make it an easy one! Give Lindsay Ell a listen, request her music be played on your local country radio stations, and follow her on social media. Let’s continue to support the great women of country music.
You can listen to ‘The Project’ on iTunes here.
Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in Country Music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday January 16th.
You can listen to ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ on iTunes here.
Be sure to stay up-to-date with Lindsay Ell by visiting her website.