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    Irenen youngIrene Young Retrospective Highlights Her Photos of Women’s Music Artists

    This weekend, acclaimed music photographer Irene Young will present an exhibit of rare Women’s Music photographs, spanning the 40 years since the birth of Cris Williamson’s milestone album “The Changer and The Changed.” The exhibit coincides with the all-star anniversary concerts taking place on January 10 and 11 at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, and the photos will remain on view at the Freight for a few months. In addition to Williamson, the concerts will feature Vicki Randle, Barbara Higbie, Shelley Doty, Julie Wolf and other special guests. Both shows sold out in a flash, so we hope you got tickets!

    These artists, and many others, have been featured in Young’s images over the decades. The prolific photographer has 600 CD covers and thousands of promotional photos to her credit. Young’s history includes having been commissioned to depict AIDS projects in San Francisco, patients in numerous children’s hospitals, and so much more. The breast cancer survivor even produced a compilation CD that benefitted two breast cancer awareness/prevention organizations.

    But it is Young’s images of Women’s Music that have us captivated now. What a joyous trip down memory lane! The genre emerged as a musical expression of the second-wave feminist movement. It was started by lesbians such as Williamson, Meg Christian, Linda Tillery, Margie Adam, Gwen Avery, Mary Watkins and so many others. We are lucky that several  of these talented, groundbreaking artists reside right here in the Bay Area.

    Now is the time to pull out your Women’s Music albums, or perhaps to discover this often neglected genre that produced incredibly beautiful music that can make your spirit soar. As Bonnie Raitt said, “The first time I heard Cris’ music, it was like hearing honey dripping on a cello. I was just so touched, and continue to be, by her soulfulness. Cris has been a whole lot of women’s heroes—including mine.”

    Irene Young is one of our heroes too. We hope that you will enjoy her images on these pages as much as we do, and that you will check out her exhibit at the Freight. For more information about Young and her work, please also visit

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