As curator of Churchill's All Folk'd Up, a monthly folk, blues, and folk-punk night, Ryan Carney has become sympathetic to the unique plight of female musicians.
He's heard male musicians tell female musicians that they play guitar "pretty well for a girl."
"You hear a lot of war stories from them," Carney says. "It's amazing what they have to go through just to do the same exact thing that everybody else is doing."
When he and Victoria Saldana began cohosting All Folk'd Up a little more than two years ago, they made a point of highlighting female talent in the folk community in Miami and beyond.
"A big part for me was to not let this scene, this lovely show, just turn into a boys' club, which happens way too often in folk scenes, I think," Carney says. "We were very concerned with making sure that everybody was represented, be it a person of color, somebody in the LGBTQ community, and especially womyn. So we always try to have a half male, half female lineup almost every show."
As New Times has discussed in the past, attempts to be more inclusive at typically male-dominated musical events can often relegate female performers to all-female bills.
Carney and Saldana were all too aware of this phenomenon, so they were committed to making their monthly shows equally representative of diverse genders. About seven months ago, they put on their first all-female lineup. Riot Grrrls and the Womyn of Folk is now a biannual All Folk'd Up event that will take place every sixth showcase.
"A lot of these acts are real anxious to get put on," Carney says. "One thing that my shows have always been about is, I love really good songwriters, and most of the females that I come across, they're in it for the craft of songwriting. They're honest and it's real, and they're not just trying to get attention or anything else like some male artists. They're just in it for the art and for the expression, and you can't beat that."
In addition to performers such as New Orleans' Dirty Rotten Snake in the Grass, this month's All Folk'd Up will present readings by local writers and poets, as well as work by local zine artists.
Carney says All Folk'd Up has taken some time to build a following, but the monthly folk night and particularly the Womyn of Folk night, embody the spirit of the folk tradition.
"This is the kind of thing that should be done," he says. "Folk music has always fought for the underdog."
All Folk'd Up Presents: Riot Grrrls and the Womyn of Folk
9 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at Churchill's Pub, 5502 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission is free.
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