Trio Of Local Women Musicians Team Up For Triple-Bill At WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio

Girl Blue, Belle-Skinner and Zan & The Winter Folk will share a stage at Albany's The Linda on Saturday, March 2.

Belle-Skinner, Girl Blue, Zan Strumfeld
(from left) Belle-Skinner, Girl Blue and Zan Strumfeld will be performing live with their bands at Albany's The Linda on March 2. (Belle-Skinner Photo: Mila Kapustina at Mila Kapustina Photo/Strumfeld Photo: Beth Mickalonis at Flyer Squad Photography/Girl Blue Photo: Kiki Vassilakis)

The morning after the Grammys, I was listening to a local country station on the way to work, and one of the morning show personalities said something that almost made me lose control of my car. The guy—of course, a guy—was bemoaning the fact that recent Record of the Year Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves, who won for her sublime Golden Hour, had basically shot herself in the foot by recording an album that didn’t “fit” on country radio. “Is this idiot really saying this…live on the air?” I thought to myself. Unfortunately, it’s opinions like that one that have persisted throughout time and built a double-thick glass ceiling on mainstream—especially, country—radio for women artists the world over.

Thankfully, up here in the Capital Region, we have independent radio stations like 97.7/106.1 WEXT, which go out of their way to spin female artists of all genres and don’t come up with idiotic excuses not to. In fact, WEXT DJ Chris Wienk, a personal favorite of mine, is a huge fan/cheerleader of Brandi Carlile’s and singlehandedly got me into her latest album, By The Way, I Forgive You, which won Grammy gold itself. (Take a minute and let your jaw hit the floor when listening to “The Joke.”) Wienk also gets massive props for helping me discover a number of the artists I ended up including on my saratoga living list of the “8 Female Musicians From Upstate New York You Should Be Listening To Right Now.”

I’m not saying it’s fate or anything, but three of the wonderful artists I included on that list—electro-popster Girl Blue, indie folkie Belle-Skinner and bluegrass folksters Zan & The Winter Folk—are playing an upcoming three-woman show they’re billing as “Siren Songs” on March 2 from 8pm to 10:30pm at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio in Albany. Tickets cost $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Arielle O’Keefe (a.k.a. Girl Blue) tells saratoga living that the chrysalis of the show came from Maria Brosgol, who performs as Belle-Skinner. “Maria had asked me about doing a show in Troy at Superior Merchandise,” says O’Keefe. “We were looking for one more act, and I’d recently met Zan [Strumfeld of Zan & The Winter Folk] while out in Troy, so I suggested we ask her to hop on. We had a great time at the show, we all really got along and felt like we made a good bill together.” In fact, it was the first time the trio of talented women had teamed up for a show—and Matt Plummer, who’s the booker and Technical Director at The Linda, was in the audience. Shortly thereafter he invited the women and their bands to perform at his space.

While O’Keefe, Brosgol and Zan Strumfeld (who heads up The Winter Folk) have all played solo shows around the area, the gig at The Linda will feature all of them with backing bands—and at least two of the three artists are saying that they could be sharing the stage together at some point during the night. I guess you’ll just have to be there to see if it happens. You might even run into me.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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