Melody Walker: Born and Raised a Wild SF Woman

Written by: Melody Walker of Front Country

I can't believe it, but this will be my first time participating in SF Pride, even though I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I come from a long line of wild San Francisco women, but only just recently found out I had a family connection to the parade... When I told my great aunt Carol about Bluegrass Pride, she let on that she was once a co-chair of the parade committee in its second and third year in the seventies. I've heard some amazing stories from her about the lesbian scene in San Francisco in the fifties, but I never knew she was a part of the beginnings of the Pride parade! It just makes me extra proud to finally be participating and carrying on a family tradition of love and activism through my passion of music.

As a native Californian, but also a native bluegrass and folk musician, I am so proud that the California Bluegrass Association is leading the way in celebrating inclusivity in the realm of roots music. In both music and society, the word "traditional" is a word that is often used to marginalize and bully people who don't fit into a certain mold. What some may not realize, of course, is that the vast majority of people in the bluegrass scene are decent people, who love their neighbor and believe music brings everyone together. It pains me deeply that anyone, on the inside or the outside, might equate bluegrass and roots music with bigotry. It's our job to dispel that misconception by example. That's one of the main reasons Front Country is an outspoken "progressive bluegrass band" -- in more ways than one -- and why we are so proud to be participating in the first ever Bluegrass Pride!

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