Bolstered by an all-time record enrollment of 90 participants, the sixth annual Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp will shake up the MTSU campus July 14-19. As usual, the camp will culminate in a powerful showcase concert when the girls will form nearly 20 bands and show off their talents at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building.
The week-long day camp began in Murfreesboro in 2003 and remains a positive place for girls ages 10 to 17 to grow in self-esteem and collaboration skills while expressing themselves musically. The girls will receive instruction in guitar, keyboards, drums, bass, vocals, hip-hop and electronic music. In addition, they will learn about songwriting, recording, music “herstory,” DIY arts and crafts and zine making in workshops.
This year’s campers will benefit from a wealth of valuable guidance about music and the recording industry from four popular independent female performers.  The dynamic lineup of guest artists features Michelle Malone on Tuesday, Anne McCue on Wednesday, Kelly Shay Hicks on Thursday and Caitlin Rose on Friday.
Touted at as “Raucous and jubilant … somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne …,” Michelle Malone belts out powerful bluesy numbers accompanied by bottleneck slide, mandolin and harmonica. Legendary blues guitarist Albert King nicknamed the Atlanta native “Moanin’ Malone” for her rough, gutsy vocals. She has jammed not only with King, but with ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, Indigo Girls, Little Feat, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin and John Mayer, among others. Her latest and ninth CD is titled “Sugarfoot.”
Anne McCue’s musical career began when she answered a newspaper ad which read “Wanted: Wild Women for Rock and Roll Band” in her native Australia. From 1988-1993, she played lead guitar in the all-female band Girl Monstar, which was nominated for an ARIA (the Australian equivalent of the Grammy) for best independent act. With the trio Eden AKA, McCue performed at Lilith Fair in 1998 and 1999. Now living in Nashville, McCue’s latest CD, her fourth, is titled “Koala Motel.”
Kelly Shay Hicks combines American roots music with haunting tones as she performs on guitar, autoharp, violin and singing saw. A native Midwesterner who makes her home in Nashville, the iconoclastic singer-songwriter released her first EP, “Bucked,” on Carbon Records in 2006. The songs were recorded in abandoned urban spaces on simple equipment. Hicks also composed the music for the 2008 documentary “Los Trivinos del Huasco.”

Caitlin Rose declined to call her music “alt-country” in an interview with the blog When the singer-songwriter joined BMI earlier this year, the performing rights organization characterized her sound as “a bold young voice capable of sweet pop opulence, post-punk wit or folkie protest.” The former lead singer of Nashville indie band Save Macauley, Rose also happens to be the daughter of award-winning composer Liz Rose and Johnny Rose, vice president/sales with Show Dog Nashville Records.

The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is a flagship program of Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality arts programs and serving as an arts resource for the Middle Tennessee community. Last year, the camp expanded to provide Memphis with its own five-day musicfest for girls. This year’s Memphis camp is slated for August 4-9 at Henderson School.

Tickets are $8 each for the Saturday night showcase, which is open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the show will begin at 7 p.m. For more information visit or contact the camp office at 615-849-8140 or at

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

When I was 14 years old, I surreptitiously made my way through the stacks in the local library until I came to the Psychology section. One after one, I took down the books whose titles I thought would provide an answer, went to the table of contents and, if there were any, I flipped to the pictures.

Keep reading Show less

James Mai

Many of us have made resolutions and pledged ourselves to transforming some aspect, or aspects, of our lives. For some, these resolutions will involve career, budget, home ownership, etc., but for a LOT of us, they will involve various health, exercise and fitness goals.

Often, these resolutions are vague, like “lose weight” or “exercise more”, and way too often they begin with a gym contract and end with Netflix and a bag of takeout. Getting specific can help in holding yourself accountable for these commitments, though. So we thought it might be interesting to talk with a local gay trainer, James Mai, about his fitness journey, his work as a trainer and how he keeps himself motivated, and get some of his suggestions for carrying through on this year’s fitness resolutions!

Keep reading Show less


Keep reading Show less