« Previous Artist | Next Artist »

Betty Widerski, Ginger Ibex, Las Aboricuás, The Gobshites

How would you describe your music?

I call myself a "String Slut" because I play with anyone I can fit in. "Ginger Ibex" is Rock/Classical crossover instrumental originals, for which I share composing with our pianist. In "Las Aboricuás" I accompany a Puerto Rican singer/guitarist on songs from many Latin countries, primarily boleros and ballads though I'm also doing some percussion now for faster songs. I've also done alt-americana/ country, Goth "Gloom Pop", jazz, pop, etc. My own compositions include looping and many different genres (soundcloud.com/stringslut)

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

Ginger Ibex and Las Aboricuás are primarily women-run (GI has a male drummer, but he doesn't have business/financial input). So I co-write and arrange, co-produce in the studio, come up with funds sometimes since I have a well-paying day job, and share PR and booking contact duties. In The Gobshites (where I am now a part-time player after 4 yrs of 70+ shows yearly) I just show up and play.

Describe your gear.

"Depends on band, and if acoustic or electric gig.

Ginger Ibex (Rock/Classical crossover original instrumentals - gingeribex.com) - 6 string acoustic mezzo viola with electric pickup - Codabow Joule bow - tube preamp, Boss RV-3 reverb/delay pedal - Fishman Loudbox 100 amp - Shure wireless in-ear monitor

Las Aboricuás (Latin singer/guitarist & violin - myspace.com/lasaboricuas) - standard 4 string acoustic violin with electric pickup, Codabow diamond GX box - Fishman preamp & Loudbox 100 amp - LP Aspire Jr Cajon

The Gobshites (Irish Punk - gobshites.com) - Skyinbow 5-string electric violin with onboard powered preamp, Incredibow holographic (i.e. shiny!) bow - Shure PGX wireless instrument transmitter/receiver - Shure wireless in-ear monitor "

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"Yes, but sometimes it's subtle. For instance, as a lesbian playing in a mostly male, Guinness drinking Irish Punk band I was treated as ""one of the guys"" mostly - which was better than being treated as a ""girl"", but assumptions that I was as interested as a guy in oogling ""girls"" were weird.

Mostly it's the ""I told you so"" moments, where my input has been ignored as being less valid, though later turns out to be correct."

Related Themes: Cashing In She's Got The Look

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Since I missed being an active musician in my 20s and 30s, I don't know that I can evaluate younger women now.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"The most down-to-earth advice came from my rock violin teacher, who warned me that ""guys in bands will just fart all the time and unapologetically"", which I found to be true!

To anyone starting out, I'd say: pay attention to the details, get agreements in writing, follow up with bookers regularly, show up with all the gear you need in working order, and learn to let all that go on stage because the audience wants to see you having a good time!"

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

My public school offered in-school lessons (for extra $) starting in 4th grade. I wanted to play trombone because my father said he had, but was told "girls don't play trombone". So I picked violin because my mother had once played it as a child. I was strictly classical until college, burned out on it and stopped playing for 20 yrs. Realized I still missed it but didn't want to go back to classical, so started lessons in how to improvise with a woman who played in a rock band. I realized I LIKED being in a grungy room being blasted by amps, and my rock etc career took off!

Related Themes: The First Time