Holly Near Is Still Singing After All These Years

She was the first out lesbian in People magazine, an originator of the women's music movement, and a costar in several big-name TV series (like Mod Squad) and films (such as Dogfight, alongside River Phoenix). We talk with Holly Near about her huge new album and a life of devotion to LGBT rights.



Included above: Lily Tomlin, Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Margie Adam and the members of the Alice Stone Ladies Society Orchestra

In all, you worked with 22 different musicians on the album. Is that a record for you?
Probably. It is a two-CD collection. so it is a bit unfair to compare them to single CD projects. But it was wonderful. And I love to hire musicians and pay them. Musicians are so often underappreciated. When I produce a CD, I intentionally hire people who have ideas. I don't just hand them a chart and tell them what to play. I tell them the story of the song, the history, the intent, then I invite them to bring to the table what they are so good at doing, which is playing their particular instrument. I sit close to them and offer some direction as a director would give an actor. Then I step back and enjoy.

Tags: Music