Thousands of festie-goers at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival have asked for it -- and now it's here! This 2010 album, produced by Toshi Reagon, pays tribute to the song Amazon (Womyn Rise),
written by the late great lesbian feminist singer-songwriter Maxine Feldman in 1976 and performed as the unofficial official opening song at the festival every year!
This disc has the reggae version of the song, the dub version, an acoustic version featuring Judith Casselberry and Holly Near, a salsa influenced house version featuring Mayra Casales and Sofia Tosello of Cocomama, and the original version by Maxine. A powerful spoken word piece by Staceyann Chin and an instrumental version of the song complete this amazing 8-track album!
This multi-woman collaboration also features the talents of Cris Williamson, June Millington, Julie Wolf, Bitch, Elizabeth Ziff (of BETTY), Aleah Long, Allison Miller, Gina Breedlove, Shelly Nicole, Ganessa James, and Mariaelena 'RiRi DJ Rimarkable' Garcia. Plus, amazing photography and graphic design by Desdemona 'Bunty' Burgin make this a true collector's item.
As a community-sustaining project, all proceeds benefit the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, New York. The women of Amazon Thirty-Five came together, generously and enthusiastically donating their time and creativity, to record and document the evolution of Amazon and in turn the festival. Representing women who performed at the first festival in 1976 to those who have only recently discovered it, they did it for love of women, art, culture, change, community, and the festival.
Embedded in these tracks are work, perseverance, and faith of those who have accepted the responsibility of expanding the 1970s terrain into one that holds women in 2010. Amazon Thirty-Five is an aural testament and tribute to the original women and myriad women who come to festival each year and raise voices under the Amazon sky.
Thirty-Five is also a significant number for Ladyslipper, as it also marks the years since our own beginnings. A couple of us at-the-time very young women showed up at the 1976 National Women's Music Festival, where among other wondrous experiences, we heard Maxine spontaneously sing the song Amazon (Womyn Rise) at a workshop we attended. We heard many other astounding and outstanding artists in both formal and informal sessions, and we picked up some mimeographed hand-drawn flyers for the first MWMF. We went home and a few weeks later, founded Ladyslipper Music, and sent out our first mini-catalogs of Women's Music. What a fertile time! We're proud to celebrate our 35th year alongside these amazing pioneer women.