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  • Kristen Sorrells of Victera by Allison Robertson

    Four years ago Kristen Sorrells played her first show as the bassist for Victera at the Annual Christmas Show at the Fort Concho Barracks, a yearly benefit for Rust Street Ministries. The band met through Facebook and were complete strangers prior to that. The band started off with Kristen on bass, Ryan Montelongo on guitar, Justin Aldridge on vocals, and Javi Rodriguez on drums. Before joining Victera, Kristen had “fallen off the music train” and had felt discouraged. She had not done much with music for the past 10 years and the band helped “bring her spark back.” Kristen did not start her musical journey on bass. Her parents bought her first guitar when she was 10. At 14, she started practicing everyday, watching YouTube videos to learn her instrument, and writing songs. Kristen exclaimed “if MySpace still existed” we could see some of those long ago performances. Her influences come from a wide range of music. As she says, “I’m open to most music.” Among her rock music influences are artists such as Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Paramore, Gojira and her bass influences are Eugene Abdukhanov of Jinjer, Thundercat, Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne, and Victor Wooten. She holds Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu as some of her R&B influences. She likes old school country too, like Dolly, Patsy, and Willie. When she joined Victera in 2019, she did not have a bass but Miles McMillian Sr got her set up, which she greatly appreciates to this day. Ryan had already had some songs written and the band worked on rounding them out. Victera did not have a band name early on but when they got booked for their first gig they had to come up with something. They played around with word origins and got Victera from using the first part of “victory” and terra for “earth.” Kristen especially likes that the name has an earth goddess sound to it.  In 2022, drumming in the band got switched up with Javi leaving the band and Michael Hill joining the band. Victera has accomplished so much since that first show including getting to open up for Jinjer, one of Kristen’s favorite bands, this past July in Lubbock and shooting the music video  for their song, “Passengers,” which is set to debut in early 2024. Kristen has written more songs including “Faith (or Lack Thereof,” about “how awful the world is and how nobody in power is looking out for you.” The song  sums up life in 2023 America “indoctrinated, the blind lead the blind. They lie to our faces and watch as we die.” This evening she is playing that benefit concert again and by the time it rolls around again I can guarantee even more will be heard from Kristen. December 22nd she is releasing her single , “Broken Hands.” She originally wrote it about 13 years ago. The song tells about a feeling we all have “floating through the world aimlessly” and trying to “do the best you can for the people in your life.”  Future songs on the recording list for Kristen include “Note to Self” about “choosing to drink or smoke and how it affects the people in your life” and a song she’s been collaborating with Ryan on. I have no doubt that 2024 will be the year of Kristen. She is sober, in a great loving relationship with Inki Garcia, and has moved from San Angelo to Lubbock where she has a steady job, can be closer to Inki and can grow more as a musical artist. Kristen is truly living by her words “Do what you love and don’t give up because of time, age, or outside factors. Do what you want to do and don’t hold yourself back.” Upcoming Solo Shows 1/26/24-The Zone-Abilene Upcoming Shows with Victera 12/30/23-Come and Take It-Austin 1/19/24-The Zone-Abilene 2/2/24-Battle for Wacken-Big Robs-Fort Worth Websites Kristen’s Music Socials https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61553137762535 https://www.tiktok.com/@kristensorrells https://www.instagram.com/kristensorrellsmusic/ Victera’s Socials https://www.facebook.com/Victeratx https://www.tiktok.com/@victeraofficial https://www.instagram.com/victera_tx/

  • Our First Video Interview

    Allison Robertson, our president, was fortunate enough to get to interview Samantha Mobley of Frozen Soul for our first video interview. They discussed Frozen Soul's upcoming European tour, tattoos, pro tips for what to bring on tour, and lots more. If you have suggestions for other women in music to interview or you are a woman in music that would like to be featured on our channel, please email us at womeninmusic2002@yahoo.com.

  • Ashley Holland Rice by Allison Robertson

    Ashen the Fall is a rock group from Abilene composed of Ric Rogers (lead guitar), Ryky Rogers (drums), and Ashley Holland Rice (lead vocals). The band is currently taking a hiatus. Life happens: Ric just got married and Rob Gebhard (bassist) left the group. Ashley has loved to sing for most of her life. Her mom even recorded her singing at the age of 3. At age 12, she tried out for and got a spot in the Midland City Choir. As a teenager she led the youth choir at church and collaborated with the church band. Her musical talents followed her into high school, where she played the flute. She participated in other local band projects, Secondhand Prophets and Rockshow Revival. Ashley has experienced difficulties as a woman in male-dominated genre. She was discouraged 10 years ago, when a local male musician told her, she “was not attractive enough to be a lead singer.” She has even had venues not want to hire the band because the band had a female lead singer. Ashley declares, “We need to encourage more women to get out of their comfort zone and help them become leads and learn instruments. There is still a stigma in Abilene with female leads.” The music world is tough on everybody but she says to remember that “music is in the ear of the beholder” and “everyone has different tastes.” Not everyone will like what music you make, but some people will really love it. Ashley’s influences range from classic to modern artists and from pop and rock. Among her biggest influences are Stevie Nicks, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Whitney Houston, Lzzy Hale, Steve Perry of Journey, and Chris Cornell (her all-time favorite). His cover of “Nothing Compares to You” is one of her favorite songs. She loves all genres and describes her music taste as eclectic. Ashley’s greatest joys in life are her husband, Chaz, her two boys and her granddaughter, who she describes as a “beautiful ray of sunshine” in whom she sees parts of herself, her son, and her daughter-in-law. Ashley, who joined Ashen the Fall in September 2020, has been forcing herself “into a new project to reignite her passion” for music. After the group announced taking a break for a while, Ashley was devastated and found herself with almost an “aversion to music.” Lately, Ashley has been collaborating with her friend and fellow music colleague, Terry Torregrossa, and will perform with him at upcoming shows. Watch Ashen the Fall perform "Wicked Game" https://www.facebook.com/100010165720912/posts/pfbid06hdPUZjgFxAMzQZQeXf3kgAnhCsero5NdMg5qy7oxMidthCcr9oY8kXXmZFLvf4El/?mibextid=v7YzmG

  • Marnie Boyers of Outta the Blue Interview by Allison Robertson

    Outta the Blue is a blues and rock band that formed in Abilene, TX in 2019. The current lineup is Josh Tackett (guitar), Delbert McNeill (bass), Steve Couch (keys, guitar), Jason Solis (drums), and Marnie Boyers (vocals). Marnie joined the band two and half years ago, but her love of music started in her youth. She grew up in Mesquite, Texas, where her mother had put her in the church choir and paid for her vocal lessons. Her mom has always been her biggest fan and attended all her musical performances. Alongside her mom, other musical influences for Marnie include Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter, and Nat King Cole. Her transition to Abilene came when she was laid off from a job after working there for 12 years and sitting in traffic in DFW. She has family here in the Abilene area and knew it was time for a change. She started working at the Abilene Public Library as an administrative assistant and later became a librarian after obtaining a Masters of Library Sciences from Texas Woman's University in 2018. An introvert by nature, Marnie’s voice was drawn out to the stage by networking within the music community. “I knew I could sing, I just didn’t know where the opportunity was.” The local music community gave her applause and feedback that built up her confidence. She first joined a group, The Remedy of Brownwood, in 2019 as a vocalist and later joined Outta the Blue. Since joining the group, they have performed at the San Angelo Blues Festival twice, which Marnie lists as one of her greatest musical accomplishments because the feedback from the event was invaluable. Although it is 2023, there are still some double standards that women in music experience. Appearance is still something that females in the business have to worry about more than men. “Men can wear just about anything, but women are expected to put on entire outfits and makeup,” Marnie explains. There are good things that are going on in the Abilene music scene. There are more venues for performances all across town. However, Marnie points out there are not many in Abilene that are great for full bands. Many venues are for single artists, maybe duos, but not a full band. “I feel like you get tucked in a corner and are just background music.” Luckily, Outta the Blue has booked a couple of shows in the near future at Heff’s and the Ice House, so be prepared for some rockin’ nights ahead. Upcoming Shows: May 27th-9pm to 12am-Heff’s in the Mall of Abilene July 1st-8pm to 11pm-Ice House Want to find out more about Outta the Blue: https://otbabilene.com/ https://www.youtube.com/@outtatheblue https://www.facebook.com/OTBabilene

  • Jenni Jamison of JamisonPriest Interview by Allison Robertson, President

    Originally a duo, forming in 1998, JamisonPriest was composed of Ed Priest, rhythm guitar and vocals, and Jenni Jamison, guitar and vocals. In 2002, the duo became a trio with the addition of Cole Bennett on bass and vocals. Their folk music has been gracing Abilene venues from Mezamiz to The Mill to Play Faire Park with messages that “make you think” and “feel something” but also entertain and make a connection with the audience. Jenni’s musical journey began when she was young. She developed her singing talent growing up in Church of Christ, where she learned to sing harmonies and acapella music. She grew up in the 1980s with influences like The Eurythmics and Heart and later discovered rock music from the 60s and 70s. Other musical influences for Jenni include Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Natalie Merchant, Michael Jackson, Alison Krauss, Cyndi Lauper, John Prine, and Brandi Carlile Her love of folk music came about when she was introduced to the work of Nanci Griffith in 1990. The song Jenni is most proud of is their song “Sideways Theologian” on their album Garfield Avenue which is about “the human condition” and “everything we struggle with” states Jamison. The human struggle is easily identified in the words that many of us have thought and have felt at one point or another: “So he always looks for a reason just to get up in the morning/Conquering the angel in his sleep/What about this grace he hears of pulling toward a higher light/Pulling out of the weight of mediocrity.” Outside of music, Jenni also has talents in the world of health. She was an associate psychologist at Abilene State Supported Living Center for 20 years and then became a physician assistant and worked for the Center as a PA for 7 years. She now teaches physician assistant classes at Hardin-Simmons University. Although the medical world may not crossover much into her musical world, she says collaboratively they have similarities. “Medicine is science driven but there is art in it too. You work with patients and get to know their goals and their story and then decide together what treatment plan works for them.” JamisonPriest recently recorded 2 songs with their longtime producer, Brandon Carr, that they are considering releasing as just singles, instead of as an album. In the digital age, an album as a “collection of songs that have a theme” is a dying art, Jamison states. They may also release a Christmas album. Jenni also performs with Chorus Abilene and will be performing a show with them April 1st at First Baptist Church at 7pm. They will be performing Hadyn’s Mass in D Minor. Chorus Abilene has several other events coming up including a fundraiser in May called “Encore!” and will be touring Poland and Germany in June. For More Info on Jamison Priest, check out their website and Facebook page. http://www.jamisonpriest.com/ https://www.facebook.com/jamisonpriest

  • The Daughters of Wanda Interview by Allison Robertson, President

    The Daughters of Wanda are proof of the power of family and music. Their moniker is an homage to the matriarch who passed down a love for music, Wanda Sarratt, mother of guitarist and lead vocals of the group, Bernadette Sarratt aka BB Starr. Wanda played piano and the organ and provided her daughter with “a great inspiration for music, and introduced her to classical music, Beethoven, Chopin.” This musical genetic and appreciation were passed down to Wanda’s granddaughters, Tara (keyboardist and vocals) and Brittany (drums). Brittany joined the group in 2020 and made the group whole. Bernadette says she was “the missing piece” and that as the drummer she is the heartbeat of the band. Bernadette has continued her mother’s legacy of teaching music with a private music studio that she ran in Sweetwater called “Ms B's Music Studio.” She hopes to have a new music studio at The People’s Plaza in Abilene. They describe their sound as C.I.B.E.R (classical, indie, blues, electronic, rock). Bernadette states that they really don’t have a genre. The Daughters are “free spirits-were not owned by anyone.” The Daughters are not ones to be put in a box. “Creativity is impulsive. You just go with it,” Bernadette says. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are “great storytellers” that have influenced The Daughters, Tara notes. Bernadette says, “When I saw Heart, I wanted to sing, play guitar, write songs.” Currently in the works for Bernadette is a rock opera called “There is a Room for You” that she describes as a Horroemdy (Horror/Comedy). Bernadette is a finalist in Abilene Idol through Chorus Abilene. The finalist show is at The Paramount on February 24th.Tara, outside of her musical gifts, has other artistic talents. She paints stones called Faith Rocks that she sells at The Discovery Center and has a shop for her crocheted works of art called Threads of Creation. Bernadette hopes with their music that they lift others up. She exclaims that “music is a message, a universal language of the heart” and they hope to “tattoo the hearts” of their listeners “with the beauty of music.” The Daughters can be found in venues all over Abilene, including 1st Fridays at People’s Plaza, Play Faire Park, and every Sunday service at Bible Church (1002 Lillius). You can find out more about them and upcoming shows at their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Thedaughtersofwanda) and at their band website (https://62dc55c3457c9.site123.me/). Watch one of their recent performances here: https://youtu.be/wJ1VEqR11P0 To Vote for Bernadette in Abilene Idol Contest, click below https://checkout.square.site/merchant/E844M47BFEF6P/checkout/XZ2ANJOXJFDL4CMB3DWGJWVE To Buy Tickets to Abilene Idol https://chorusabilene.org/idol/sponsorship/

  • Survey for Future Museum

    I created a survey to try to make sure that when the museum opens that we can provide the best experience for everyone. It is 10 questions long. If you have time, please take the time to answer the survey. We look forward to seeing you in the museum in 2023. https://forms.gle/X9ChojN6qRYTD2cGA

  • It's Been A Long Time Coming

    My name is Allison Robertson, founder of The Women's Music Museum. I have been collecting items for this museum since 2002. After 20 years, I finally decided it was time to open up the museum. I'm still searching for a space in Abilene, TX to hold the collection but 2023 is the year for this to happen. Women in music has always been a passion of mine. Female artists have come a long way throughout recording history but there is still no museum dedicated to all their efforts. The museum aims to honor all women in music, regardless of genre, and to educate the public on their impact on the music industry and the world.

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