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LaRhonda Steele (Portland Blues Legend)

Midnight Lightning

Release Date: 03/21/2018

Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses, 50FOOTWAVE) show art Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses, 50FOOTWAVE)

Midnight Lightning

Kristin Hersh began playing guitar at age 9 and by the time she was 14 she’d talked her friend Tanya Donelly into starting a band. They called themselves “Throwing Muses.” After the band broke up Kristin wrote many solo albums, started the rock band 50FOOTWAVE, and wrote two memoirs. Kristin is also the mother of four sons. In this episode we discuss her mental health misdiagnosis, having a baby and a new record at age 19, her son’s kidnapping and both homeschooling and unschooling her kids out on t

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Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy) show art Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy)

Midnight Lightning

As the daughter of touring musicians, Ruth Ungar was introduced to the musical life at a young age. Ruth is now an accomplished singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She’s best known for work with the folk band The Mammals. Ruth also has two children, Willy and Opal, and co-runs a bi-annual music festival called The Hoot. In this episode we discuss van breakdowns while touring with school-aged children, being married to her bandmate and playing shows with her babies on her back.

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Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy) show art Ruth Ungar (The Mammals, Mike & Ruthy)

Midnight Lightning

As the daughter of touring musicians, Ruth Ungar was introduced to the musical life at a young age. Ruth is now an accomplished singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She’s best known for work with the folk band The Mammals. Ruth also has two children, Willy and Opal, and co-runs a bi-annual music festival called The Hoot. In this episode we discuss van breakdowns while touring with school-aged children, being married to her bandmate and playing shows with her babies on her back.

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LaRhonda Steele (Portland Blues Legend)  show art LaRhonda Steele (Portland Blues Legend)

Midnight Lightning

LaRhonda Steele’s musical journey started in Oklahoma where she sang a solo in church for the first time at age 13. LaRhonda is best known for her leadership of the Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir and for her collaborations with a variety of Portland blues, jazz and gospel groups. LaRhonda is the mother of two daughters. In this episode we discuss surviving breast cancer with the support of her community, her musical beginnings in the church, and the challenges of raising two children while legally blind

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China Forbes (Pink Martini) show art China Forbes (Pink Martini)

Midnight Lightning

When not on tour in faraway countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Japan, China Forbes lives in Portland, Oregon with her 9-year old son Cameron. Best known for her vocal work with the retro lounge band Pink Martini, China began her artistic career studying visual art at Harvard and later working as an Off-Broadway actress. China sings in 9 languages. In this episode we discuss her unusual upbringing in Boston, touring with Pink Martini, postpartum depression and her dreams for future projects.

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Tahirah Memory show art Tahirah Memory

Midnight Lightning

Singer-songwriter and Portland native Tahirah Memory has collaborated with musical heavyweights including kd lang, Esperanza Spalding and her father, Grammy-winning trumpeter Thara Memory. Tahirah artfully maintains a strong relationship with her daughter while dividing her time between creating music and touring as a backup singer. In this episode we discuss Tahirah’s upbringing in a musical household, single motherhood, and the support she receives from family and friends while out on lengthy tours. 

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Sara Lund (Unwound, Corin Tucker Band, Hungry Ghost) show art Sara Lund (Unwound, Corin Tucker Band, Hungry Ghost)

Midnight Lightning

Born and raised in Indiana, Sara Lund started drumming at age 11. 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 from the 90's to 00's, long before women were a staple in rock bands. 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

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Annalisa Tornfelt   show art Annalisa Tornfelt

Midnight Lightning

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 the Portland Cello Project, spent years touring in Black Prairie and her bluegrass band Bearfoot, and has collaborated with countless NW musicians. 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.

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Rhiannon Giddens show art Rhiannon Giddens

Midnight Lightning

Rhiannon Giddens is a vocalist, banjoist and fiddler from Greensborough, North Carolina. Her music draws from old-time, gospel, celtic, folk and jazz. She's won Grammys with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence, and a MacArthur Genius Grant. She is cast member of the TV show “Nashville” and also the mother of two young children. We discuss touring for 200 days with a baby in a minivan, life in Ireland, music as activism and how motherhood has changed her creative approach.

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Amanda Bergman show art Amanda Bergman

Midnight Lightning

Amanda Bergman hails from the Swedish countryside. 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 performed at the Polar Music Prize Ceremony. Now 29, she and her musician partner Petter Winnberg are new parents to a 5 month old named Flora. We discuss swedish maternity leave, sleep deprivation, running a farm, and differing cultural expectations for mother musicians as compared to fathers.

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More Episodes

LaRhonda Steele’s musical journey started in Oklahoma where she sang a solo in church for the first time at age 13. LaRhonda is best known for her leadership of the Portland Oregon Interfaith Gospel Choir and for her collaborations with a variety of Portland blues, jazz and gospel groups. LaRhonda heads her own project, "The LaRhonda Steele Band,” and is also the mother of two daughters. In this episode we discuss surviving breast cancer with the support of her community, her musical beginnings in the church, and the challenges of raising two children while legally blind. I spoke to LaRhonda in my home office in Portland, OR in October of 2017.