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Sara Lee: Bad-Ass Female Bassist

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by agreatheight, Jan 7, 2006.


  1. I'm a newish member to TB and I thought I'd take a read through old threads when I found the now dead Bad-Ass Female Bassists post & I was crazed to find no one mentioned Sara Lee. Sara lee is a great bassist, gender aside. She is best known for her work in the B-52s (she's in the tub in the Loveshack video) and the Indigo Girls, but also has played with Ani DiFranco, Robyn Hitchcock, Gang of Four, the Thompson Twins, Joan Osborne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Fiona Apple AND she released a solo album.

    She is the epitome of graceful musical playing, someone who can deftly play melodies on the bass while supporting the song rather than covering it over. Many of her basslines absolutely fascinate me (her bassline from the song "Three Hits" is among my favorite basslines ever). I often listen to the Indigo Girls Rite of Passage when I am writing basslines for sessions. Very inspiring and worth a listen!

    Where there other perhaps less obvious female bassists that were missed?

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24705&highlight=female

    Oh, and not to be an ass, I found some incorrect info in that thread so here some corrections to some of those posts:

    Natasha Schneider of Eleven does not play bass, she plays keys and covers the bass with her left hand... while also she plays with her right and sings at the same time. She is one of the most amazing musicians I have ever seen, but sadly, not really a bassist. I love to fool students with her stuff - every single one of them believes it's a bass guitar until I tell them otherwise. If you want a real work out you can try to play "Kneeling on One Knee" off of the rather excellent Thunk record. Great song from an underrated band with a 'bassline' that will school most. Good luck!

    Skin does not play bass in Skunk Anansie (RIP); a fellow name of Cass (real name Richard Keith Lewis) handled the bass duties for them and for Skin's subsequent solo effort. And I agree, that Sevendust song Skin sings on is insane.

    That is all, lol!
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I loved her playing on the B52's stuff, and of course Gang Of Four. She has a great sense of groove
     
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    She played on Andy Summers and Robert Fripp's second colaboration record "Bewitched". Very nice grooving!
     
  4. PhR

    PhR

    Dec 13, 2005
    Finland
    She also played on Fripp's "League Of Gentlemen" album.
     
  5. soontobedead

    soontobedead

    Jul 14, 2005
    does she have a part time job in a bakery? :bag: (sorry... i just had to)
     
  6. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I LOVE Sara Lee. I only heard her with Ani Difranco and that stuff is GROOOOOVIN'!!!!
     
  7. Love her playing. She played one of the most creative bass lines over a I -IV-V I have ever heard in Indigo Girls' "Shame on You." Also remember her with Ani DiFranco on Conan O'Brien, kicking some fat grooves.
     
  8. No! She is actually Geddy Lee in drag.
     
  9. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Did anyone ever catch that "Win the B52's for your backyard party" promotion VH1 did a few years ago? Sarah was using an awesome Matchless head with 2 matching 4x12 cabs. Wow.
     
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I may sound like a jerk, but why do we have to say she is a bad ass female? Either a player can or cannot play. Our reproductive plumbing is irrelevant. Not trying to flame anybody, but wouldn't if rub folks wrong if I said Pino Pallidino sure is a funky white guy or if I said Doug Pinnick really rocks out for a brother? What about, I dig John Myung, who knew Asians could get that heavy? Rant off. :cool:
     
  11. Good point.
     
  12. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee."
     
  13. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    I could be the exception then. Maybe I just haven't heard the right stuff, but what I HAVE heard leaves me indifferent and doesn't groove to me at all. I don't feel that she's worthy of such praise she's been given here. Unless of course someone can prove me wrong, and point me to a track or two where she really shines? In which case I would be grateful.
     
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    "What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy" from Andy Summers and Robert Fripp's "Bewitched" is a pretty groovin' song on bass IMO.
     
  15. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    very cool person and very talented bassist, I had dinner with her after one of her gigs back in 1998 (Charlie's Kitchen). Very impressive cat to talk to.
     
  16. Cheese, the original post I was commenting about was called "Bad-Ass Female Bassists" - so the name I posted was in reference to the title originated by another poster. If I were starting the post from the ground up it would likely have been called "Sara Lee Rocks." Feel free to go beat on that other guy though (lol).

    But while I am here typing I will say this; I like to think that a person could be celebrated for their achievements in reference to them being a minority in a field WITHOUT being somekind of -ist (sexist, racist). I get what you are saying, but I never said Sara was a good bassist for being a woman, I said Sara is a good woman bassist. Big difference.

    Agree? Disagree?
     
  17. Wow, you are my hero for today! That must have been crazy cool!
     
  18. Hmmm...

    Groove - how about the groove on the B-52's "Love Shack?" Yes I know the lines a lift from Hendrix's "Fire", but she really pockets that track, IMO.

    Also, check out "Three Hits" by the Indigo Girls. Her line and phrasing gives the song a 'dark & ghostly' feel which deepens the emotion of the song, IMO.

    Any other great Sara lines for Oysterman?
     
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I Understand your point. Take care.:bassist:
     
  20. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    Sara is great. I played next to her, on her G&L, on stage at the Garden State Amphitheater with the Indigo Girls. We played "Rocking in the Free World". I've had many opportunities to play with the Indigo Girls, and their current "female" bassist, Claire Kenney is amazing, too.