Dawn Landes Traces the Women’s Rights Movement Through Song on THE LIBERATED WOMAN’S SONGBOOK Out March 29th

With an appeal to bring women’s voices back to the forefront, celebrated singer/songwriter Dawn Landes will release a new album, The Liberated Woman’s Songbook, on March 29th during Women’s History Month.  The release reimagines music from the women’s liberation movement, with songs featured in The Liberated Woman’s Songbook, originally published in 1971. Landes, along with producer Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, Bob Weir, Cassandra Jenkins)  highlights 11 musical stories from the canon of women’s activism, from 1830 to 1970. These tales could not be more prescient; women have been fighting for their voices to be heard for centuries, and these messages are just as timely today as they were then.

The first track to be released on January 19th is the 1830 song “Hard is the Fortune of All Womankind.”  This traditional ballad was often sung at protests during the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 60’s and early 70’s and was recorded by Peggy Seeger in 1954 and Joan Baez in 1961 under an alternate title, “The Wagoner’s Lad.” In the “Hard is the Fortune of All Womankind” video, Landes embodies women from the past including a farmer, a suffragette, a factory worker, famed union-activist and martyr Ella May Wiggins and a protester from the 1968 Miss America Pageant protest in Atlantic City. Similar to the album, the video shows a linear progression to the images, starting with the oldest photo of the farmer and ending with Landes in present day. Landes shares, “There’s a reason this folk song has been around this long and we’re still singing it nearly 200 years later.” Watch “Hard is the Fortune of All Womankind HERE and listen to the track via DSPs HERE.

The project began while Landes was grounded at home during the pandemic and picked up the intriguing book at a thrift shop. Then in 2022, with the overturn of Roe v Wade rolling back women’s autonomy by 50 years, Landes turned to the songbook for inspiration. “We’re suddenly back in 1971 all over again,” said Landes, “I know we’re in for a long fight and it helps to find solidarity where you can.” Josh Kaufman added, “Working with my old friend, Dawn Landes, on this collection of tunes was a real creative and collaborative gift.  Many of these songs were already powerful in message but musically were never meant to travel beyond the picket line. I hope our work helps to amplify their message of freedom and equity anew.”

The Liberated Woman’s Songbook was recorded in Upstate New York at Little Pink and at The Garage in Chapel Hill, NC with Landes leading on vocals, guitar and organ and Kaufman steering guitars, keys, drums, bass, mandolin and percussion. Landes enlisted an array of powerful voices to accentuate the vital messages that run throughout the album, including Emily Frantz of Watchhouse, Kanene Pipkin of The Lone Bellow, Rissi Palmer, Charly Lowry, Annie Nero and Lizzy Ross (Violet Bell). 

In July 2023, Landes and Kaufman dazzled audiences with a live show of The Liberated Woman’s Songbook at the Newport Folk Festival. A select performance of The Liberated Woman’s Songbook with luminary Peggy Seeger is confirmed and more are in the works. Dates are below and on her website HERE. Additional shows will be announced shortly.

Landes has built her reputation as one of music’s best independent singer-songwriters, exploring a wide variety of styles from approachable indie pop and folk to the French-language album Mal Habilleé. She has collaborated with Justin Townes Earle, Will Oldham, Norah Jones and more, and has shared the stage with Ray Lamontaigne, Feist, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Suzanne Vega and other luminaries. She has numerous film and tv credits to her name as well.  Landes is currently based in Chapel Hill, NC.

Dawn Landes –The Liberated Woman’s Songbook Track Listing
1. Hard is the Fortune of All Womankind (1830)
2. One Hundred Years (1852)
3. The Housewife’s Lament (1866)
4. Keep Woman in her Sphere (1882)
5. The Factory Girl (1906)
6. Bread and Roses (1912)
7. Mill Mother’s Lament (1929)
8. Cotton Mill Girls (1930)
9. Which Side are You On (1931)
10. There Was a Young Woman Who Swallowed a Lie (1970)
11. Liberation, Now! (1970)

Dawn LandesTour Dates
January 19 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater ^
February 18 – McCormick, SC – Lutheran Church by the Lake+
February 20 – Greensboro, NC – Flat Iron+
April 12 – Louisville, KY – 21C+
September 7 – London, England – Barbican feat. Peggy Seeger + more*
^ supporting Steep Canyon Rangers
+Acoustic Shows
*Performance of The Liberated Woman’s Songbook