This episode explains a little more about what we hope for the series and features Nedra as this week’s WANTED woman.
Welcome to the WANTED Project Podcast in this episode I’m going to explain a little more about what I hope for with this series. In an ideal situation I’d be able to travel wherever we are and personally interview womyn interested in contributing to this work. I’d love to produce this in such a way that each episode had high quality footage and was like a mini documentary, because the better we do this, the more people it will reach. And I think it’s important that we know we are not alone. We don’t have to be isolated and actually, we’re a pretty fun and interesting group.
I think quality wise the best bet short of actually getting to film everybody individually is that people film themselves or have a friend do it. And then send me the material and I will do my best to edit it all together.
So in this episode I’ve used myself as a test subject, just really so that I can give you an idea of what I mean when I say I want to do a podcast. Now, I focused on myself as the subject so I’m a musician. Don’t worry you don’t have to be a musician. I expect us to be all sorts of things. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or a rocket scientists – and we have one of those (laughs). So you’re gonna see footage of me talking, mixed in with stills and hopefully we’ll come up with a bunch of these little mini docs about womyn and our lives and they’ll just give us an opportunity to bear witness for each other.
Hi my name is Nedra. I’m a singer songwriter. And I am an openly lesbian singer songwriter — which is not exactly a good career movem just in case you were wondering.
~Joneses wake me in the morning, tell me get up out of bed
Whiskey wanna drink y’all, Sugar to be fed
Working hard for the Joneses
Love Jones is giving me the blues
I been working for the Joneses
doing things I swore I’d never do
I have gambled way my conscience…~
I’ve learned to do a lot of different things over the years. At one time I worked in a store that sold organic produce. Then I worked in another store and ended up being the Produce Manager for many years. And I started learning to do web design and graphic kind of things, because I needed it for my own website as a musician. And my brother knew how to do this and so I just kind of learned from him and next thing you know I was getting freelance work doing web design. And it was actually a really good career “choice” I guess if you could call it that, but what it allowed me to do was kind of keep a income hustle happening even if I was out doing gigs and things like that ’cause I could work remotely. And you know things like that have just expanded over the years. Whatever I have to learn to make things that I wanna make, do things that I wanna do — I just end up doing it — learning it. Even now this stuff I’m doing for this podcast is stuff that I am learning as I go. So I hope that as they come along that they will get better and fancier and I’ll just learn and hopefully I won’t make everything cheesy or anything.
~I know my kinfolk love me and I know their love is true
This is a family business and the Joneses work them too
Working hard for the Joneses
Yes my family and friends
when you’re working for the Joneses
They gonna work you to your end
Working hard for the Joneses…~
I was talking to a friend last night about and she was saying “that’s what lesbians do…we sort of just learn as we go and make our own things…” so that’s how I’m learning what I’m doing. And um… you know… I expect that will also be helpful in how I do things musically as well.
I live in New York. I spend a lot of time with my partner of twelve years and our dogs. We love to travel. Music has taken me all over the world.
So much that I’ve been through, I’m not the only one
All that I can do is hope and pray my time will come
I never went to college and though I never have regrets
these days I know that knowledge won’t be writing me a check
Unemployment compensation cannot pay the rent
Lawyer landlord lost his patience, out on the cement
You ask me if I’m worried and I don’t know what to say
Only Jesus or a genius decerns foolishness from Faith
But I know my baby loves me mind and body
She said, “I love you just the way you are”
and I appreciate and reciprocate
So good, so far
Back when I was 14 and spending too much time alone…~
Both of my parents are musicians. My mom is a singer songwriter and my dad is a jazz musician. I wanted to play tuba when I was a kid, because that’s what my dad played. And I love the tuba so that is actually one of the instruments I play. And I have a band called the Fat Bottom Girls. It’s four tubas and a rythym section — all womyn. Sometimes I play also with just a rythym section, bass, guitar and drums. I play guitar myself in that. I started out as a bass player and I ended up picking up guitar, because it was just practical really. I started having problems with my hands for a little bit and I thought it might be carpal tunnel so I just took a break from playing at all and while I was in that break period I started plucking around on the guitar cause its lighter string and seemed a little easier on my hands. Its also a little more practical for solo gigs. And so I kind of developed my own style of playing and that’s been good.
Funny zero baby, ain’t no joke…~
I think of myself as a bass player with a guitar. I don’t really think of myself as a guitar player. In fact I feel really underqualified when anyone asks me to do anything on guitar, because I really just know how to do what I know how to do. I’m still learning. I’m interested in learning all the time. So yeah I’m going to learn other styles and ways of playing. I’m always fascinated by actual guitar players (chuckle)…
Having grown up knowing tuba as a very cool instrument — in my house, I always thought it was great and if you really wanted to have a good band you had to had AT LEAST four tubas. It makes complete sense that THAT is my preferred sound. I grew up listening especially to Taj Mahal’s “Real Thing” album which is a live album and it has that sound — that four tubas and a rythym section kind of sound. Blues is the place I start when I talk about what kind of music I do. I say it’s blues-based, but it can go anywhere. My mom was a singer songwriter in more of a folk tradition. And she later kind of developed more into country. So I grew up listening to basically everything from country and rock and jazz. My dad also did a lot of studio work and he played in the band at Saturday Night Live so I heard so much different music. And my music is informed by all the music I’ve listened to so if you were to listen to one of my records you would hear something that sounds a little country, a little gospel, a little blues…
~Any way you need Her, She will come
Any way you need Her, She will come
By the intentions of your heart know that you can call on God
and Any way you need Her, She will come…~
A lot of people think, oh womyn’s music… you know if you play womyn’s music that’s folk music. It’s just music by womyn so what I do I consider womyn’s music. Here’s the thing about lesbian folk singers and that sort of stereotype that womyn’s music has…its really the people who did solo performance that could survive as artists in a way that a band really couldn’t, because you have to get five people to agree to sleep on people’s couches and or do house concerts and church basements and you can’t get five people to agree to that. So bands didn’t survive in the way that solo artists survived. But there were all kinds of artists. Womyn’s music is limitless in what kind of sound it could be. I’ve heard everything from folk to reggae, R&B, Bulgarian womyn’s choir, pipa, erhu, punk rock…basically you name it, womyn do it. And what makes it womyn’s music is not the sound. It’s that we’re doing it by and for womyn. And its the intention.
~Yeah…The world could stop turning baby
and I would never know…~
Thank you for listening to this episode of the WANTED Project Podcast. I hope it gives you a better idea about how you can participate. I’m going to put some kind of link on the website that will explain more in detail how you can submit content to be included in a future episode. An remember…you are WANTED. You are LOVED. And I want you to know it!
~Mothers and Daughters
Womyn born Womyn
and we gather in the light of the August Moon
Amazon Womyn and we’re out in the woods
And we heal by the light of the August Moon
Deaf womyn, hearing womyn
dancing in the light of the August Moon
girls and womyn in the Michigan woods
and we love by the light of the August Moon~