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MP3 Pamela Means - Single Bullet Theory

Arguably the only Boston-based Out folkie whose punchy political songs have worn a hole in her guitar.

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Political, FOLK: like Ani

"If Black warrior poet/feminist political activist Audre Lorde had taken up folk singing, she might have attacked her guitar and wrapped her lyrics around it the way Pamela Means does."
-Valley Advocate, Northampton MA

Pamela Means is a Boston-based Out (spoken), Biracial, independent artist whose kamikaze guitar style and punchy provocative songs have worn a hole in her guitar. Armed with razor wit poetry and irresistable charm, Pamela Means'' "stark, defiant songs" (New York Times Magazine) set the status quo and the stage afire.

Pamela''s ardent commitment to interrogating social ills was fostered by her unique childhood experience. In Pamela''s own words, "as the adoptive daughter of a white mother and black father, I learned about dismantling systems of oppression from the inside-out." Pamela received her first guitar at the age of fourteen, just after her mother died of cancer, and it soon became Pamela''s primary vehicle for expression. It would also serve as a passport out of a life that consisted of poverty, foster homes, and the inner city life of hyper-segregated Milwaukee, WI.

Pamela Means re-located to Boston, busked in the subway, founded a record label, and started touring. She now performs some one hundred twenty shows a year at clubs, colleges, coffeehouses, theaters and festivals, where she has been known to set album sales records, nationwide. Pamela has shared the stage with Ani DiFranco, Neil Young, Joan Baez, and Violent Femmes among others. Pamela Means has also been the recipient of several music awards and nominations in Boston and in her native Wisconsin.

Pamela''s 2003 tour took her nationwide, promoting her fifth self-released album, Single Bullet Theory (Wirl Records, 2003). A timely release, Single Bullet Theory confronts the USA Patriot Act, racial profiling, and the Bush Administration, while advocating for the rights of marginalized identities. Through the song "O.D.", "Means fires off what is easily one of the best musical summations of our current political situation.." (Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco, CA). Pamela also recorded a haunting version of "Strange Fruit". The album also showcases Pamela''s innovative, expressive guitar style, evidentiary of her conservatory studies of classical and jazz guitar. The fruits of such discipline shine in her fleet-fingered fretwork, fluid phrasing, ''dizzying acoustic guitar riffs'' (Boston Globe) and ''powerful songs'' (Time Out NY) all of which place her at the vanguard of the new acoustic frontier. Spanning from Spanish-influenced rolling crescendos through the detuned growling guitar funk of an aggressive interrogation, Means is "redefin[ing acoustic] music.." (Washington Blade).

Pamela Means "exhibits a rare emotional fire in today''s folk world" (Seven Days, Burlington VT), so much so that Ani DiFranco exclaimed "You''ve got such a deep, deep groove, I can''t get out. And I wouldn''t want to." With Truth as ammunition, Pamela Means brings the fight for social justice and human dignity to the forefront of a new generation.


WIRL1005-D(42m 07)

Strolling through Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachussetts recently, my ears were tickled by some very tasty acoustic guitar picking and an exceptionally passionate voice drifting through the midday air. The sound was emanating from busker Pamela Means, and I stopped to listen. Excellent buskers are ten a penny in Cambridge, which is one of the biggest centres of folk music in the States. Every 60s folkie worth his/her salt played the coffee houses here, and it''s where Tracy Chapman emerged from in the 90s, so to be worth stopping for in Harvard Square, you''ve got to be very special indeed.

Means is, quite simply, superb and, if there''s any justice in the world, I won''t see her on a street corner next time. Her guitar playing is very tasty indeed, her songs are powerfully melodic and beautifully constructed, her lyrics kick hard, and her voice ranges from tender to seething to outraged, depending on her subject matter. "O.D.", about how American oil policies precipitated the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, is a must-hear; "Restless" is a gorgeous love song set to ridiculously speedy picking and her version of Billie Holiday''s "Strange Fruit" is heart-rending. The album isn''t widely available here yet, but you can get it through Amazon or, better yet, via her website, https://www.tradebit.com

Johnny Black A:1* HiFi News Magazine, UK


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