Lori Graboyes One on One with the Blueswoman

Hi Lori, It is great to have this opportunity to chat and ask you some questions about yourself, blues and becoming Bluesdoodles voice from America as the new page over at Bluesdoodles – One on One with the Blueswoman.

BD: Let’s start off by getting to know you Lori, You are currently living in North Fort Myers, Florida and you were born in New Jersey. Tell us a bit about Lori and what music has influenced you as a young person growing up in New Jersey?

Lori:  In my house, my Mother loved Etta James, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra so as a young girl those were my influences that guided me into probably the best decade of music, 1969-1979. With rock and roll, Southern rock, Blues, you name it. Music was great in that era.

BD: Lori, do you sing or play a musical instrument? If not what drew you into writing, supporting and promoting blues musicians?

Lori: : I grew up playing piano and guitar but I haven’t played either in years. What drew me to writing, I was an English major in school. As far as supporting and promoting blues musicians I kind of just fell into that by accident. I had a massive heart attack and could do little to nothing for months and I stumbled upon a page on Facebook called National Women in Blues. I would just spread the word around different Facebook groups if I found a woman on there that I liked and then a DJ friend of mine told me that basically I was running publicity for them and I could get paid for it. So I opened Broads 4 Blues and started getting artists that wanted me to do radio promo, get them interviewed and get their CD reviewed and I toyed around with that for a few years but then decided I wanted to go back to supporting women in blues through writing.

BD: For people that have not met you personally how would you describe yourself? And what makes you get up in the morning?

LG: I would describe myself as honest, dedicated, a great friend and confidant. My dog Riley is what makes me get up in the morning LOL

BD: How do you define the Blues in the twenty-first century?

Lori: So many genres now, not like in the previous century where only certain kinds of blues like 12 bar were considered blues. Now there are so many sub-genres I can’t keep track of all of them LOL

BD: What will you be bringing to the board for National Women in Blues, as a newly elected member?

Lori: My goal is to help bring women in blues festival back to Wilmington, North Carolina. That has been the mission from the beginning and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

BD: I know that supporting Women in the Blues is very important to you. Is this one of the reasons for going into partnership with Bluesdoodles?

Lori: Yes, very much so. You have been kind enough to give me the latitude to make that my platform and I don’t think I would have considered partnering with BD if not for that.

BD: How do you decide the questions you are going to ask the interviewees for – One on One with the Blueswoman?

Lori: I just talk to the artists. I don’t have any preset questions unless the artist needs to do it via email as they are touring. Then I like to ask questions outside the box, not the normal stuff like when did you start playing etc. I like my interviews to give a unique look into the artist herself so her fans will get to know her better as a person.

BD: As we know there is a massive gender imbalance at many festivals and gigs that societies and venues put on. How do you think the blues field can be levelled so that women’s voices can be heard?

Lori: We just have to keep plugging away, coming up with new ways to approach it and we have to teach our women in blues to demand the pay they deserve, many play for less just to be heard in a festival. That’s not helping.

BD: What would be the show/gig/festival you would travel back in time to see – and who would you take with you

Lori: I would have loved to have seen Memphis Minnie and I would take my dog Riley. She is my road dog blues warrior!

Thank you for your time, enthusiasm and support for women and the blues. Liz over at Bluesdoodles is looking forward to publishing your interviews under One to One Blueswoman. Othello the dog in charge of the site welcomes another Blues loving music dog Riley.

 

Lori Graboyes One on One with the Blueswoman

 

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