Raised in Alaska by orchestra teachers, Annalisa Tornfelt is a fiddler, guitar player, singer-songwriter and teacher living in Portland, OR. She’s recorded with members of The Decemberists in their band Black Prairie, written solo albums, spent years touring in her bluegrass band Bearfoot and collaborated with countless NW musicians. She is also a mother to Darian, age 17, and Rose, age 1. In this episode we discuss teenage motherhood, being raised in a religious household, touring with babies, having children 17 years apart and the complexities of identity and ambition. I spoke to Annalisa in August of 2017 in my home office in Portland, OR.
Born and raised in Indiana, Sara Lund started drumming at age 11 and playing in bands shortly thereafter. As a teenager she moved to Olympia, Washington and was soon known as one of the “heaviest drummers in town.” She toured and recorded with the rock band Unwound throughout the ’90s and early ’00s, long before women were a staple in rock bands. Sara now lives in Portland, OR and plays in the Corin Tucker Band, Hungry Ghost and the Secret Drum Band. She’s also a drum teacher, reading assistant and the mother of Niko, age 8. In this episode we discuss watching Shelia E open for Prince, being a tomboy outside of the Riot Grrl scene, the challenges of co-parenting with another touring musician and Sara’s love of music and motherhood.
Rhiannon Giddens is a vocalist, banjoist and fiddler from Greensborough, North Carolina. Rhiannon’s music draws from old-time, gospel, celtic, folk and jazz. She’s won Grammys with her string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, she won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and she won a recent MacArthur Genius Grant. She’s a cast member of the TV show “Nashville” and is also the mother of two young children, Aoife and Caoimhín. Topics include: touring for 200 days with a baby in a minivan, her children’s idyllic life in Ireland, letting go of ego, music as activism and how motherhood has changed her creative approach.
Amanda Bergman hails from the Swedish countryside and began her professional music career in 2010. She’s a member of the Swedish band Amason and has collaborated with The Tallest Man on Earth and Lykee Li. In 2016 Amanda released her first solo album, “Docks”, and also performed at the Polar Music Prize Ceremony. Now age 29, she and her musician partner Petter Winnberg are new parents to a 5 month old baby named Flora. In this episode we discuss swedish maternity leave, sleep deprivation, running a farm, and differing cultural expectations for mother musicians as compared to fathers. I spoke to Amanda over Skype from her farm in Sweden in September of 2017.