Little Miss Riff: Four more plucky women

Joni Mitchell

The folk queen of Laurel Canyon outshone her male contemporaries in more ways than one and is as accomplished a guitarist as she is a songwriter. Shying away from rock pyrotechnics, she's composed songs in 50 different tunings

Jessie Mae Hemphill

One of the great lost blues singers, Hemphill grew up in Mississippi. She took up the guitar aged seven but didn't release an album until her sixties. She is now regarded as an electric guitar pioneer

PJ Harvey

The Dorset-born rocker is one of our most acclaimed singer-songwriters and underrated guitarists. "I don't see that there's any need to be aware of being a woman in this business," she says. "It just seems a waste of time"

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Born in Arkankas in 1915, Tharpe was performing in church as "Little Sister Nubin, the singing and guitar-playing miracle" aged four. Gospel's first superstar, she was revered as much for her jazz-inflected guitar-playing as her voice

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