“Stark, defiant songs.” – New York Times
Pamela Means, singer-songwriter and jazz musician, is “one of the fiercest guitar players and politically-rooted musicians in the industry today,” (Curve Magazine) with her “insanely brilliant” (Press Herald, Portland ME) and “stark, defiant songs.” (New York Times)
Pamela Means is a Easthampton MA-based Out(spoken), Biracial, independent artist whose “kamikaze guitar style” and punchy provocative songs have worn a hole in two of her acoustic guitars. With razor wit, an engaging presence, elegant poetry, irresistible charm, plus jokes, Pamela Means’s “stark, defiant songs” (New York Times) set the status quo and the stage afire.
Pamela’s commitment to interrogating social ills was fostered by her unique childhood. “As the adopted 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 relocated to Boston, busked in the city subway and famed Harvard Square, founded her own record label and began touring. Pamela has since performed on three continents and across the country, gaining fans and rave reviews from Anchorage to Amsterdam, Sydney to Stockholm, San Francisco to Honolulu to New York, breaking album sales records at national festivals and sharing stages with Pete Seeger, Neil Young, Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Gil Scott-Heron, Adrian Belew, Violent Femmes, Holly Near and more. Means has also been the recipient of several nominations and music awards in multiple categories.
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.