7 Great Left Handed Female Guitarists

Barbara Lynn (born Barbara Lynn Ozen, later Barbara Lynn Cumby, January 16, 1942) is an American rhythm and blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. She is best known for her R&B chart-topping hit, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” (1962).

She was born in Beaumont, Texas and began performing in local clubs in Texas. Singer Joe Barry saw her and introduced her to producer Huey P. Meaux, who ran SugarHill Recording Studios and several record labels in New Orleans. Her first single, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing”, co-written by her and Meaux, was recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M studio with session musicians including the legendary Mac Rebennack (Dr. John). Released by Jamie Records, it was a number 1 US Billboard R&B chart hit and Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1962. The song was later recorded by Aretha Franklin and became a country hit record for Freddy Fender. Reggae artist Mikey Dread also based the melody of his 1989 single “Choose Me” on this song

She continues to reside in Beaumont, and was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999. In 2002, electronic musician Moby sampled Lynn’s “I’m A Good Woman” on his album 18.

In 2018, Lynn received the National Heritage Fellowship.

Cheyenne Nichole Kimball (born July 27, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter, left-handed guitarist, and mandolinist. Her debut album, The Day Has Come was released in July 2006 coinciding with an MTV reality series following her entry into the music industry. This album produced a chart single on the Billboard Hot 100 in “Hanging On.”

Kimball was signed to Epic Records. She appeared on and won the TV show America’s Most Talented Kid at the age of twelve. She released her Epic Records debut album, The Day Has Come, on July 11, 2006, with her first single and video, “Hanging On”, sent to Top 40 mainstream radio and video outlets (VH1 and MTV) in early April 2006. She began her first cross-country tour on April 17 to promote her single and album.

In 2008, Kimball put her solo career on hold and joined the country music band Gloriana, in which she sang and played mandolin. The band made its chart debut in 2009 with the single “Wild at Heart”, a Top 20 country hit and released their self-titled debut album in August 2009. The band served as one of the opening acts for Taylor Swift’s Fearless Tour in 2009. After continued success including two more Top 40 country singles, Gloriana began work on their second studio album in 2011. The band released the first single from the album called “Wanna Take You Home”. This would be the last Gloriana single to feature Kimball’s vocals. Reports surfaced stating that Cheyenne did not return to the band’s bus after a show in Missouri on July 8, 2011 and was not present at the band’s concert the next day.

On July 11, 2011, it was announced on Gloriana’s official website that Kimball had left the band.

Since leaving Gloriana, Kimball has been largely inactive in the music business.

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft (born April 3, 1991) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Beginning dance lessons as a child, Kiyoko’s interest in entertaining led to her working as a child model and actress.

In 2007, Kiyoko was approached by former pop-star Vitamin C to join an all-girl singing and dancing group. She joined Allie Gonino, Tinashe, Kelsey Sanders (later replaced by Lauren Hudson), and Marisol Esparza to form The Stunners. Six months after forming, the group signed with Columbia Records and released a single titled “Bubblegum” to iTunes along with the official video for the single. They also contributed a cover of the song “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” to the iCarly soundtrack. In 2009, the group left Columbia Records, signed a production deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, and shot a music video for their promo single “We Got It”, which was released on February 22, 2010.

In 2007, Kiyoko starred in her first television role in Unfabulous, being credited as Hayley Alcroft. After graduating high school in 2009, Kiyoko booked her first big movie, starring as Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, a role she almost did not audition for due to her image. In a 2017 interview, she stated that she struggles to find acting roles as a biracial woman. The TV movie premiered on September 13, 2009 and was a huge success. It brought in 6.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in Cartoon Network’s history. She reprised the role in the movie’s sequel, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, which premiered on October 16, 2010. The sequel drew 3.4 million viewers. In 2010, Kiyoko also guest starred in four episodes of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place in the role of Stevie Nichols, an evil wizard.

The Stunners signed to Universal Republic Records in 2010 and released their first single “Dancin’ Around the Truth”, which featured the New Boyz. The music video for the song premiered June 2, just before the group was announced as an opening act on Justin Bieber’s My World Tour. A full album was planned, but cancelled when the group split in 2011. Kiyoko claimed that she wanted to be in control of her own music.

Her second EP, This Side of Paradise, was released on February 3, 2015. The music video for her single “Girls Like Girls” was released on June 24, 2015. After co-directing the video for “Girls Like Girls” (which as of June 2019 has over 110 million views), Kiyoko assumed full directorial responsibilities for her next music video. “Cliff’s Edge” was released via Vevo in November 2015.

After her 25th birthday party, Kiyoko hit her head and suffered a concussion. She was concurrently diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and depression. In a 2018 interview, Kiyoko said “I couldn’t create, and I was like ‘If I can’t create, what’s the point? I have no purpose.'” She started resting with citrine pieces on her forehead and started using a citrine crystal, which inspired the name for her third EP. In 2016, she released the single “Gravel to Tempo” and its music video from her next EP, Citrine. The EP was released on September 30, 2016 via EMPIRE and Atlantic. Her third fully self-directed music video for the song “One Bad Night” was premiered via Vice on October 11, 2016 in order to promote the EP. A new single called “Sleepover” was released alongside its music video on March 2, 2017 via BuzzFeed. Following that, the self-directed music video for her single “Feelings” was released on October 19, 2017. On December 21, 2017, Kiyoko announced her debut studio album, Expectations. The third single, “Curious” was released on January 11, 2018 with the album’s pre-order, alongside its music video, directed by Kiyoko and James Larese, and which premiered on Total Request Live. In March, Kiyoko was announced as a supporting act for the first leg of Panic! At The Disco’s Pray for the Wicked Tour.

Expectations was released on March 30, 2018. To promote the release of her album, Kiyoko made her live TV debut and performed “Curious” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 3, 2018. Later that month, she announced that she collaborated with Marla Vazquez and Naomi Franquiz to make a comic book based on her song, “Gravel to Tempo.” The comic book was sold during the Expectations Tour. Her self-directed music video for “What I Need,” feat. Kehlani, was released on May 31, 2018. In June, Kiyoko performed “He’ll Never Love You (HLNY)” on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Later in June, Kiyoko was featured in InStyle’s first issue of 50 Badass Women for her work alongside notable figures such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Emma Watson. On July 26, 2018, Kiyoko was invited by Taylor Swift to perform with her on stage at Gillette Stadium, marking Kiyoko’s first stadium performance. The performance video for “What I Need” was released on August 17, 2018. At the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, Kiyoko won the award for Push Artist of the Year and performed “Curious” on stage

In June 2019, she appeared in Taylor Swift’s music video for “You Need to Calm Down” with other LGBT celebrities.

In July 2019, Kiyoko released the single “I Wish”. Later on October 11, 2019, she released a second single, “demons”, as part of a new project titled I’m Too Sensitive For This Shit.

Jill Barber (born February 6, 1980) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Originally associated with the folk-pop genre, she has performed vocal jazz on her more recent albums.

Barber won the Female Artist Recording of the Year award for her debut album Oh Heart at the 2005 Music Nova Scotia Awards. In 2007, Barber earned her fourth win as Best Local Solo Artist (Female) in The Coast’s annual “Best of Music Reader’s Poll”, and her first win as Best Canadian Solo Artist (Female).

From February to March 2007, she toured Eastern Canada with Dan Hill as part of Stuart McLean’s CBC Radio show The Vinyl Cafe. She returned to the Vinyl Cafe Tour in 2009 performing across Canada with Matt Andersen. In 2008, Barber released Chances, a jazz album with full orchestral arrangements which was partially co-written with her producer Les Cooper, while also collaborating on several songs with Canadian music legend Ron Sexsmith.

This album led to a new level in touring reaching audiences across the globe while earning two Juno Award nominations including New Artist of the Year. The title track to this album is featured on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

She followed up with the album Mischievous Moon, released through Outside Music in 2011. In the same year, Jill and Matthew Barber collaborated on a cover of The Hardship Post’s “Your Sunshine”, which appeared on the charity compilation album Have Not Been the Same – Vol. 1: Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die.

Barber has performed predominantly in English, although she has also recorded and performed French translations of two of her songs, “All My Dreams” (“Tous mes rêves”) and “Tell Me” (“Dis-moi”). Her 2013 album Chansons, a selection of cover versions of classic songs from Quebec and France, was her first album of material recorded and performed entirely in French.

Barber won the SiriusXM 2012 Jazz Artist of the Year award, as well as the 2013 Western Canadian Francophone Album of the Year for Chansons.

In 2016, Barber co-produced an album The Family Album, with her brother Matthew Barber, also a singer-songwriter. The album consists of original songs written by Jill and Matthew Barber along with covers of songs by Canadian artists, Gene MacClellan, Ian Tyson, and Neil Young. The album won a Juno award for Contemporary Roots Album of the year in 2017.

Malina Moye (born August 20, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter, lefty guitarist, model, actress, and entrepreneur who fuses rock and soul. Fender guitars recognizes Moye as one of their first African-American left-handed upside-down female endorsee to join the Fender family. She founded WCE Records in 2004. Malina’s third studio album Bad as I Wanna Be was released March 23, 2018 and reached number one for two weeks straight on the Billboard Blues chart. Parade Magazine said “Moye has proven herself once again as an über talented, electric guitar powerhouse.” The song “Enough” premiered on Minnesota’s KCMP The Current 89.3, an NPR station, and is also featured in the film The Samuel Project. Rolling Stone France gave the album four stars stating that “Moye blends, Blues, Funk, Rock and Pop.

After releasing her single “Girlfriend” and cross-marketing it with her new calendar “Spend 12 Months With Malina Moye: Hot Fun in California Sun,” she caught the attention of critics alike, who dubbed Malina a “Madonna-like ingénue of marketing”. This helped land her song, “Girlfriend”, on the R&B Hip-Hop Sales Billboard listing at number 43 for one week. Recently, Guitar World Magazine named Moye as one of the ten female guitarists in the world to know.

Moye’s next single “Alone” was released independently, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop single sales chart, and remained on the chart for over twenty weeks. The song also reached number 93 on the Hot R&B Airplay chart and number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. She has appeared on national TV shows including Weekends at the D.L., Emeril Live and morning shows such as Good Morning Chicago and Showcase Minnesota. In 2007, Moye was featured in the UK documentary Stratmaster: The Greatest Guitar Story Ever Told, alongside Robert Cray, Mark Knopfler, and Jimi Hendrix. Moye has also been seen on the catwalk and on the silver screen.

With her unorthodox style and musicianship, Moye received an invite to appear at the Robert Johnson Blues Festival as the only female singer, lefty guitarist on the roster, sharing the stage with last living blues musicians David Honeyboy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and Pinetop Perkins.

In 2009, Moye opened for Robin Thicke and Boyz II Men on several US dates.

Along with playing at other notable festivals around the world, Moye serves as an ambassador to HRH Prince Charles’ The Prince’s Trust, to which she donated her song “Hustler’s Blues” to the trust-supported, charitable Wilberforce compilation record released on AMD/Universal Music.

With a soft digital release in 2009, Moye released Diamonds & Guitars. That fall Malina was also a part of Victoria Secret’s “Life is Pink” campaign and sang the National Anthem for more than 40,000 people at the Petco Park Cubs Vs. Padres baseball game. Moye also received her own day and a proclamation from the Mayor of her hometown for her musical contributions before performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland honoring Michael Jackson.

In 2010 Moye played the National Anthem on the guitar at the sold-out Vikings/Cowboys game in her hometown of Minneapolis in front of 80,000 people, making history as the first African-American woman to play the anthem on electric guitar at a professional sports event. Also in 2010, Moye was named best dressed at the 52nd Grammy awards, wearing an electric blue dress by Kevan Hall.

In 2011, after playing the main stage at one of Europe’s biggest rock festivals, Bospop, Moye headlined the west coast’s largest peace concert “Artists for Peace” with Chaka Khan, Eric Benet, and Flora Martirosian honoring the iconic Stevie Wonder for his musical lifetime achievements and promoting world peace.

In 2012, Moye was voted by Glamour Magazine as one of the best dressed at the Grammy Awards. Also that year, she joined the Experience Hendrix Tour as the only female guitarist with guitar greats such as Eric Johnson, Robert Randolph, Eric Gales, Brad Whitford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Jonny Lang to all honor Jimi Hendrix. In the fall, Moye made her second appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a featured artist for the institution’s tribute concert honoring Chuck Berry where she performed the song “Stop and Listen” to Berry and his wife Themetta “Toddy” Suggs in the audience. The show also featured such prominent music icons as Ernie Isley, Darryl McDaniels (DMC), Steve Jordan, Lemmy Kilmister, Vernon Reid, Earl Slick, Merle Haggard, and Joe Bonamassa to name a few.

In 2013, Moye signed a global marketing and distribution deal with Brody Distribution Group (BDG), distributed by RED Distribution (a division of Sony Music Corp). In the Summer, Moye performed a successful European tour promoting the first single “K-yotic” featuring Bootsy Collins from her 2014 album “Rock & Roll Baby.” During the tour, Moye honored the Queen of England’s 60-year reign with her rendition of “God Save The Queen” at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, culminating in a Royal flyover by the famed Red Arrows fighter jet squadron.

In 2014, Moye released Rock & Roll Baby. The first single “K-yotic” featured Bootsy Collins which Billboard called “explosive” debuted on Billboard Twitter 140 chart at No. 5, and at No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart. Guitar World stated that “Moye’s record is insanely good bringing a certain passion and feel to her guitar playing”. Elmore Magazine said “Moye demonstrates once again she can play with the best of them fusing rock, blues, funk and soul…[her] new EP indeed shows the influence of Hendrix, while reaffirming her own unique sound.” WNKU listed the record at No. 9 on its Top 89 Albums of 2014. Moye also appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show playing her rock anthem “A Little Rough” to support the album. In 2015, Moye appeared on the January cover of Asia’s number one guitar magazine Gitar Plus, which named her the “Queen of funk rock.”

Maria Diane Taylor (born May 21, 1976) is an American singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama. She is also a member of the duo Azure Ray with Orenda Fink. Taylor plays several instruments, including the piano, guitar, and drums, and has collaborated or performed with such artists as Bright Eyes, Moby, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Joshua Radin, and Nik Freitas.

Taylor started her musical career at the age of 15 in the band Little Red Rocket, with Orenda Fink, which released two CDs on Geffen Records, Who Did You Pay (1997) and It’s in the Sound (2000). The group disbanded during the merging of Geffen with Universal Music Group.

Taylor later moved to Athens, Georgia along with her musical collaborator, Fink where they formed the band Azure Ray. The pair signed to WARM and released their self-titled debut in 2001. The song “Sleep” was later featured in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated movie, The Devil Wears Prada featuring Anne Hathaway. In 2015, Taylor Swift included “Sleep” in a 6-song “breakup playlist” made for a fan via her official Tumblr. Azure Ray released their second album, Burn and Shiver in 2002. Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf) produced both records. After meeting the band in Athens, Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst invited the band on tour and introduced them to Saddle Creek. Saddle Creek released their following records, November EP, and The Drinks We Drank Last Night. In 2002, the duo co-wrote and recorded “The Great Escape” (which appeared on Moby’s 18) and “Landing” (which appeared on the XXX soundtrack), and afterwards joined Moby on tour. Following the release of 2003’s Hold on Love, Taylor and Fink began a 6-year hiatus.

Taylor released her first solo album 11:11 on Saddle Creek Records on May 24, 2005. The album features Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Gretta Cohn of Cursive, Andy LeMaster and Mike Mogis as both musicians and producers. Grey’s Anatomy named its March 31, 2011 episode Song Beneath the Song after a track from the album and also featured the song on the original soundtrack. Taylor later recorded a new song for Grey’s Anatomy’s 2005 Christmas episode entitled “Christmas After All.”  Her second solo album, Lynn Teeter Flower, was released on March 6, 2007, also on Saddle Creek. “A Good Start,” the first track off Lynn Teeter Flower, was subsequently named one of NPR’s 10 best songs of the year for 2007. “The Ballad of Sean Foley” was co-written with Conor Oberst. The following year she released an acoustic album titled Savannah Drive with Andy LeMaster which includes stripped-down versions of songs from her first two albums, plus one new track, “Tell Me.” On March 31, 2009 she released her third full length, LadyLuck via Nettwerk Music Group featuring the song “Cartoons and Forever Plans,” co-written by and including guest vocals from R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. LadyLuck reached number 48 on Billboard’s “Heatseakers” charts.

Azure Ray then reunited for a one-off reunion show in December 2008 at Los Angeles’s iconic Troubadour. In 2010, they released their first album in six years, Drawing Down the Moon.

Overlook, Maria’s 4th solo album, was released August 16, 2011. After moving back to her hometown of Birmingham, Taylor was unable to write for nearly a year, eventually composing the entire album over two weeks during a break in touring with Azure Ray. This release marks the first time Taylor produced her own album. Paste called Overlook “her best, most animated collection in years.”

In August 2012, Rolling Stone premiered the new EP from Azure Ray, As Above, So Below. It was released on September 4, 2012 on Saddle Creek Records. The next year, Taylor released her fifth solo record Something About Knowing on October 29, 2013 on Saddle Creek Records.

After moving back to Los Angeles, Taylor wrote and recorded In the Next Life, released December 9, 2016 on her own label, Flower Moon Records. The album features guest appearances from familiar collaborators Joshua Radin, Conor Oberst and more. “If Only” (featuring Oberst) was prominently featured in NBC’s This Is Us. NPR, who premiered the full album stream, called it “her warmest and most affecting album… filled with gorgeous, touching songs about family, legacy, fear and the pursuit of contentment.”

In November 2017, Taylor joined Ben Lee and an all-star band of other musicians as Daniel Johnston’s back band during the Los Angeles stop of his final tour. That same month, Azure Ray announced they would once again reunite for a one-off show in Los Angeles at the Lodge Room on January 20, 2018.

In April 2018, Paste premiered “Real Life (Trump Era) from the Friends and Family Vol. 1 compilation, put out on her label, Flower Moon Records. Released May 11, 2018, other contributors included Azure Ray bandmate Orenda Fink, Nik Freitas, Louis Schefano, Jake Bellows, and more. Flower Moon Records has since re-released Taylor’s earlier albums, 11:11 and LadyLuck, as well as Azure Ray’s self-titled record and Burn and Shiver.

Taylor plays with the high E-string removed from her guitar.

Shae Dupuy (born December 26, 1995) is a Canadian country singer and songwriter. She has released two studio EPs; Breakdown in 2014, as well as Brave in 2016.

Shae Dupuy has been nominated for the 2018 CMAO ‘Rising Star’ awards. In 2017, she was nominated for the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) ‘Interactive Artist or Group of the Year’ award, in response to the success of her #strongisbeautiful campaign, which launched on April 1, 2017, to promote mind, body, and spirit positivity. In 2016, Dupuy was nominated for the CMAO ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Music Video of the Year’ awards (for her songs, Tin Man and Drink About It, respectively).

Shae Dupuy. March 1, 2018. The mansion, Kingston

Shae Dupuy headlined the 2018 ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ tour, in which she performed dates across Canada, making stops in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Alberta. In 2015, she notably opened for Dallas Smith and Jess Moskaluke at the 2015 Music In The Fields festival.

Following a period of summering in Los Angeles to hone her skills through collaborations with other songwriters, Shae Dupuy began her career as a recording artist in 2014, with the release of both her debut single, Grandpa’s Truck, as well as her debut studio EP, Breakdown, in June of that year. Both the single and EP attracted the attention of CMT (Country Music Television Canada), which named her its ‘Fresh Face Artist’ for October 2014.

Her second EP, Brave, was released on October 28, 2016; a collection of two previous singles joined by five new tracks written in Nashville. Jeff Johnson and Jason Barry produced the EP.

As of 2017, Dupuy regularly stays in Nashville, Tennessee to collaborate with professional songwriters who are based in the city’s world-famous country music scene. She has continued writing new songs throughout 2017 and 2018 in preparation for her debut LP.

In 2018, Shae embarked on her Let The Good Times Roll tour, promoting her release Brave, as well as unreleased music. The tour took her across Canada, from PEI to British Columbia. Supporting acts on the tour included Kris Barclay, Nicole Sumerlyn and Aaron Pollock. Shae was also a featured opener for Cold Creek County on their 2018 Tour.

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