“You can be the best writer in the world, but if your song doesn’t have the juiciness, that heart, if it doesn’t make people feel, well, it needs to have that, in my opinion.” That’s the sentiment of professional singer-songwriter Rebecca Folsom who will perform with two other songwriting women, Mary Huckins and Sally Barris, as Women in the Round at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 10, at Salida SteamPlant.
Folsom said she’s performed in many Women in the Round events with Huckins, and toured often with Barris, but this will be the first time these three powerhouses have performed together.
“We’re all road warriors. Sally and I have done a lot of national touring, and Mary is absolutely beloved in Colorado,” Folsom said.
Each musician brings her own experience to the performance, but they are also aware and welcoming of the “Spark of the Unknown,” said Folsom, who has performed professionally since 1994. “We’ve been doing this long enough to trust the Spark of the Unknown. Things we won’t see coming will happen and may never happen again. That’s what I love most about live music in general.”
Barris was a “hit songwriter in Nashville — Grammy-nominated,” Folsom said. Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood performed her song “Let the Wind Chase You.” “Writing with (Barris) is great,” said Folsom, who lived and worked in Nashville for seven years. She said it’s a wonderful place to write songs and “hone your craft.”
Barris and Folsom plan on writing music two days before the SteamPlant show, so Folsom said there is a chance they will debut a “brand spanking new song.”
Huckins, Folsom and Hazel Miller wrote a song called “Wild Women.” “It’s fantastic: ‘We are women of heart and soul and we paid our dues, we are strong,’” Folsom said, quoting lyrics. “It’s great for these current times we’re in … but it’ll be quite groovy. ‘Wild Women’ is not a mellow song. Hazel was involved, it has groove.”
Folsom said she loves that the SteamPlant is a listening venue. “As songwriters, it’s really satisfying to have your songs really land and the audience gets what we’re saying. There’s an accessibility (with the Women in the Round), we can give the background of what we’ve created,” she explained. “Every song is born out of something, Women in the Round is a little more intimate. We share our experiences with the song.”
Folsom said that, while the process of songwriting can vastly differ between writers, there are also similarities. “Each song comes in a different doorway. It comes from something said or through the doorway of a guitar lick or a melody. There are so many different doorways a song can come through.”
This woman-specific event was not strategized for the present political climate. However, “It’s perfect timing,” Folsom said. “I think we planned this before the election, but there is a serendipity about it. There is a power of women’s voices and women’s voices together.”
“We (women) are 50 percent of the population. When you look at all the ways our voices are heard – in politics, business, corporations, positions of power – we are not 50 percent of the voice. How many women are in Congress? Not 50 percent. With the election, it was absolutely a gender issue. A woman’s voice is relevant. … Women have solutions, and we need solutions at this point.”
Folsom said while struggling with leading a band, she read the book Hardball for Women about the difference of play between boys and girls. According to the book, girls have a communal way of playing while boys play with an established hierarchy. With boys, there are coaches and quarterbacks, and if you’re not trying hard enough in your position, it can be commandeered.
Folsom explained she ran into this while trying to lead her band. She tried to circle up and get everyone to agree; in return, her leadership was often challenged. Once she established dominance, she was able to meld communal with hierarchical. “Not that this show is about that. But it is timely. There is a power in women’s voices. One that needs to be heard,” Folsom said.
Tickets for the show are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. You may buy advance tickets from the SteamPlant box office, Sacred Ground Coffee Shop, Free the Monkey in Salida, the Salida Chamber of Commerce and online here.