Awesome Female Guitarists 2017: Part 1

By Martine Ehrenclou

I thought it time to shine the spotlight on some extremely talented female guitarists. They are awesome players and many are accomplished vocalists and songwriters as well. Since female guitarists aren’t featured as prominently as men, maybe because there are fewer of them, we wanted to showcase some extraordinary guitarists and perhaps introduce you to some as well.

The list is in no particular order. This is part one of a two-part article.


Ana Popovic
The only female guitarist as part of the Experience Hendrix tour in 2014, Ana Popovic is a fierce guitarist/singer. With slamming guitar licks and solos, Ana plays blues, jazz and rock and is endorsed by Fender, D’Angelico and Jim Dunlop. She’s been nominated for six Blues Music Awards, and most recently was nominated for “Contemporary Blues Female Artist” by the 2017 Blues Music Awards. Her latest album, Trilogy was also nominated “Rock Blues Album” by the 2017 Blues Blast Music Awards.

Thanks to nfbeer for the video.

Extraordinary guitarist and singer, Orianthi, at 24 yrs old opened for Steve Vai and Carried Underwood. She shared the stage with Michael Jackson and was tapped to be in Jackson’s band for the “This is It” performances at the O2 arena in London. From Australia, Orianthi has also played with Carlos Santana, Prince, Alice Cooper, Richie Sambora, and others. She was named “Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year” by Guitar International magazine. With three released albums, Orianthi has a new album with Richie Sambora, RISE, a five-song EP released in September 2017.

Thanks to Jenn Rogers for use of the video.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Established as the UK’s number one blues-rock singer/guitarist, Joanne has released critically acclaimed albums to her global fan base, which includes Joe Bonamassa, Tedeschi Trucks, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Originally discovered by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart as a 16-year-old guitar prodigy, Joanne was voted “Best British Female Vocalist” at the British Blues Awards in 2010 and 2011. Her latest and fifth studio album, Wild, was released September 2016. Joanne is not to be missed. She is currently on tour.

Bonnie Raitt
More than a bestselling artist and highly respected blues, roots, Americana guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Bonnie Raitt is an institution in American music. She is also a ten-time Grammy Award winner and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Her 17thth album, Dig in Deep, was released in 2016 and earned her a nomination for “Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Americana Music Honors and Awards. Bonnie is one of America’s favorite female musicians. She is currently on tour and continues into 2018.

Thanks to Colin Hay for the video.

Susan Tedeschi
Susan Tedeschi is an American singer and guitarist and multiple Grammy Award nominee, Grammy Award winner, and multiple Blues Music Award winner. She formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1993 and opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band, Taj Mahal, and more. She formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band with husband, Derek Trucks, in 2010. Her killer vocals and guitar chops are showcased on her six solo albums and on five albums as a part of the Tedeschi Trucks band. Their latest album, Live from the Fox Oakland, is nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Tedeschi Trucks will be on tour starting January 2018.

Shannon Curfman
Shannon came on the blues-roots rock scene in 1999 at the age of 14 with her major label debut for Arista Records, Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions. This stunning guitarist/singer/songwriter has been Kid Rock’s guitarist and backup singer since 2010. Shannon has toured with Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck and many more. She’s played on Letterman, Good Morning America, and other TV shows, and has recorded with Bob Seger, Buddy Guy, Keb’ Mo’, Kid Rock, John Mayall and Joe Bonamassa, and more. With four albums to her name, she is considered a standout guitarist. Shannon is currently on tour.

Thanks to bluzdudemi for the video

Ruthie Foster
The winner of multiple Blues Music Awards, nominated for Grammy Awards three times, and more, Ruthie Foster is an extraordinarily talented American singer/songwriter/guitarist of blues, rock, soul and gospel music. Having released ten albums, and her latest, Joy Comes Back (2017,) Foster performed with the Allman Brothers Band, sang with Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi, toured with the Blind Boys of Alabama and Warren Haynes, and appears on Haynes’ album, Man in Motion. Ruthie tours worldwide and is known for her dynamic live performances, soulful voice and excellent guitar skills. She is currently on tour.

Thanks to Mouldytone for the video.

Samantha Fish
After launching her recording career in 2009, Samantha Fish quickly established herself as a rising star in contemporary blues. Since then she is regarded as a critically acclaimed guitarist, powerful vocalist, live performer, and talented songwriter. She won “New Artist Debut” in 2012 by the Blues Music Awards and won two awards from the 2017 Independent Blues Awards. A prolific musician, Fish has released nine albums in the last 8 years and her music spans the blues, R&B, Americana, and roots genres.

Thanks to Jayhawk Blues Dad for the video.

Part 2 coming soon! If you would like to see certain female guitarists included in our Part 2 of this article, please let us know who they are in the comment section below. Thanks!
By |2018-01-29T10:14:23+00:00December 14th, 2017|Rock Muse|60 Comments


  1. Danny J Lankford December 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Can’t argue with a single one of these gals…this would be my personal list exactly!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 14, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Danny.

  2. David Riley December 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Great list! If you hadn’t thought of it, Chantel McGregor is an amazing talent. Check her out, if you haven’t already

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 14, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I don’t know McGregor but I’ll check her out. Thanks.

      • Charles December 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm - Reply

        Lara Chavez !!!!

      • Peter Tibben December 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

        I do agree with the list but what about Deborah Coleman? She was nomimated best female blues guitarist in 2001. She must be over 60 now, but so is Bonnie Raitt.

        • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

          Good call. Thanks.

    • Leigh Williams December 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Well done David. Chantel is an exceptional talent. l have both her albums and another due 2018.

      • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

        Leigh, Thanks for your comment.

  3. paul durand December 15, 2017 at 4:22 am - Reply
    • John Boyd December 16, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply


  4. paul durand December 15, 2017 at 4:27 am - Reply
  5. Charles Richardson December 15, 2017 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Erma Lyytinen- the “Finnish Flamethrower”. Great slide player. Does not tour North America.

    Disappointed that you included Shannon Curfman. I will not expound but check out her latest work. That’s right, there isn’t any.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 7:37 am - Reply

      Thank you for suggesting Erma Lyytinen. Will check her out.
      I’m sorry you’re disappointed I included Shannon Curfman. I realize she hasn’t recorded lately but in my opinion that doesn’t change the fact that she’s an outstanding guitarist.

      • Charles W Lovett December 15, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

        Lara Chavez

        • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

          Charles, she’s SUCH a good player. She’s on the list for Part 2 of the article. Thanks for your comment.

  6. John Dufyy December 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    More! More! More! SAMANTHA FOX!!!!

  7. David Fikes December 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Lzzy Hale. Grammy Award winner of the band Halestorm.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      David, thanks for her name.

  8. Charles December 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Laura Chavez !!!!

  9. Mauricio-José Schwarz December 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Of course, Carolyn Wonderland will be in Part 2, right? Along with Laura Chávez who is finally being recognized. You can also check out both Lovell sisters from Larkin Poe and Danielle from Haim. If you plan to include bass playing, Danielle Nicole would be a great addition, ex-TUF and currently heading her own band.

    In the area of legends. Debbie Davies is a must, she was the first woman who made it as a blues player and continues on stage. In the very, very young department, playing great and with a great future, check out Sadie Johnson and Liv Slingerland.

    And with the risk of overdoing it: the acoustic Aussie blues of Fiona Boyes deserves a hearing.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      I believe so. She’s just amazing. So talented. What a voice! And guitar chops.
      Debbie Davies is already on our list for Part 2. Thanks for your other suggestions as well!

  10. Mitch December 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Echo what Dave said about Chantel McGregor. UK artist and very skilled guitarist.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your echo.

  11. Mike Ansley December 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Joanna Connor is an awesome blues performer and should be included in my opinion.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your suggestion!

  12. David Miller December 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    seen most of your list and they are all awesome Chantel Mcgregor is a must you have to check her out

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you. Will definitely check out Chantel McGregor. Thanks.

  13. AJ Pope December 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Great spotlight article Martine,

    I’m kinda old-school but have always gravitated toward female performers & the dynamics they bring to the music industry as a whole. I feel if it’s a good fit for my taste I’m in 100% & very supportive.

    Being raised in a musically balanced family with older 3 sisters, 2 older brothers and my twin brother, I was always digesting various flavors of music.

    Guitar was always my favorite instrument to pull from a song, female vocals were always intriguing due to the emotion of the singer’s tone.

    You certainly have a well rounded list and I’ll be looking for part 2. Thank you for featuring Samantha Fish one of my FAV’S in part 1, she is one of the hardest working / developing talents of our present time.

    My best to all the entertainers of part 1 & part 2.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you.
      How fortunate you were two have been raised in a musical family.
      Guitar has always been my favorite instrument too.
      You’re so welcome about including Samantha Fish. She is everything you said and more.

  14. Amanda December 15, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I 3rd Joanna Connor!

  15. Dan December 15, 2017 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Jackie Venson very talented Austin musician

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 15, 2017 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the name. Will check her out.

  16. Dennis December 16, 2017 at 12:31 am - Reply

    The incomparable Sue Foley and the astounding sisters from Larkin Poe

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 3:17 am - Reply

      Sue Foley is our list for Part 2 and thanks for the suggestion,of Larkin Poe.

  17. Harold Norcott December 16, 2017 at 2:45 am - Reply

    I saw a gear double bill of Erya Lyyttenen and Chantel McGregor this year. Excellent guitarists and singers

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 3:16 am - Reply

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  18. Coleen December 16, 2017 at 6:40 am - Reply

    Great list! Hoping to see Joanna Connor to make the next list. She is AMAZING!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

      We’ll do our best with Joanna Conner.

  19. James Lambert December 16, 2017 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Katy Guillen

  20. Jan Scheibl December 16, 2017 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Ann Wilson of Heart

  21. WayneWilliams December 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Great list!? I would highly recommend Katy Guillen and Katy Guillen & The Girls for consideration. Katy is one of the most amazing guitarists I have ever seen, with unique influences from several genres including blues, rock and even flamenco. She is also an incredible vocalist and a prolific song writer. The power trio also features a fantastic rhythm section with bassist extraordinaire, vocalist and songwriter Claire Adams alongside the high energy precise drumming of Stephanie Williams. You would be hard pressed to find a shredding trio with the pure talent and badassery these three bring day in and day out!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks for calling her/them to our attention!

  22. John Richards December 16, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Maybe consider Deborah Coleman, Debbie Davies, Joanna Connor, Laura Chavez and Rita Charelli.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 16, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply


  23. Peter Gear December 17, 2017 at 2:19 am - Reply

    HI – great selection. Thank you. How about Erja Lyttenen please.

  24. Michael Burrell December 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    What an excellent list you posted. I care more for the vocals than the guitar work, so I don’t have the knowledge to agree that you selected the best, but I have listened to every single artist you have listed, and own some or all the works of all the performers except Orianthi and Joanne Taylor Shaw, who did not appeal to me vocally. Ana Popović may be one of the best guitarists out there, Shannon Curfman and Samantha Fish are no slouches, Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt are just amazing performers, and Ruthie Foster is a great blues musician.
    I agree with some of the suggestions; Carolyn Wonderland, Deborah Coleman and Danielle Nicole (Schnebelen) are also great rock-blues, and Lzzy Hale and Ann Wilson are a great rock guitarists.
    Recognizing that I compare artists because of their overall sound rather than their guitar work, I would suggest maybe Danielia Cotton in the same blues-rock vein as Deborah Coleman and Carolyn Wonderland, and for the rock sound there is Melissa Etheridge and Lita Ford. I also like Joan Jett, but she probably doesn’t display the diversity of guitar work that the others do.
    I can’t wait to see your part 2 list. A lot of the musicians recommended in the comment section I have never heard of before, and I will have to do some research into their work.

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you. And thanks for listening to each one!
      We welcome your suggestions and appreciate them.

  25. Peter Tibben December 18, 2017 at 6:56 am - Reply
  26. Desiree December 19, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Lzzy Hale

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  27. Jaime Wagoner December 20, 2017 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Check out Courtney Hartman from Della Mae

  28. Eric Menu December 29, 2017 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Great List Thanks for it ! It is wel balanced between : “Yes I am up to date I nkow them ! ” and “Yes a new cool blues guitar player to discover !!! ”
    When can we expect part 2 ? I can’t wait !!!!

    • Martine Ehrenclou December 29, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. Glad you like the list. Part 2 will be coming shortly!

  29. Tom January 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Taylor George from San Diego Ca. Has many video on youtube.

    • Martine Ehrenclou January 7, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply


  30. Gary G February 14, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

    from Ohio, check out Kelly Richey ….

    • Martine Ehrenclou February 14, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Thanks! Sure will.

  31. Karl Welde May 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Great list! Know most of these, but always like to hear others suggestions!

    • Martine Ehrenclou May 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      You might check our Part 2 as well! Thanks for your comment.

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