Best Female Vocalist—Hey Ladies!
1 Sharon Gilchrist
When I sat down with Sharon Gilchrist to talk about her win, she seemed quite taken aback. “This is crazy!” she says. “There are so many other women who deserved this more than me: Felecia Ford of Hundred Year Flood, Susan [Hyde] Holmes of the Santa Fe All-Stars, Margaret Burke or Lydia Clarke.” But the people have spoken, Sharon, and they chose you. Gilchrist grew up with a musical family. Her mother was a pianist and her dad was, as Gilchrist calls him, “an avid bluegrass listener.”
The family was constantly attending shows and festivals, so the music came naturally to her. “My father gave me a mandolin when I was young. It was small so it fit me just right,” she says. When Gilchrist moved to Santa Fe eight years back, she began playing solo and her foray into the world of singing. Her first Santa Fe band was called Mary & Mars. The band’s efforts were heard by bluegrass legends Tony Rice and Peter Rowan, and Gilchrist soon found herself on tour.
She now finds herself spending more time in Santa Fe and is refocusing her talents on solo work. Soon she will be off to West Virginia to teach mandolin and bass at a music camp, and this August will bring a reunion of Mary & Mars for select dates in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos.
2 Nacha Mendez
3 Stephanie Hatfield