Blues Musician Ann Rabson Dies At 67
ann rabson dies

Blues Musician Ann Rabson Dies At 67

Blues musician Ann Rabson has died at the age of 67.

Ann Rabson died yesterday in Fredericksburg, Virginia, following a long battle with cancer. Rabson and her bandmates of Saffire — the Uppity Blues Women were a force in the genre for two decades before disbanding in 2009, and the group had somewhat of an unexpected start.

Back in 1992, Rabson explained how Saffire — the Uppity Blues Women got started — she says that the band came together organically, and that the ultimate harmony achieved was not expected:

“It was all by accident, not intending to be all around the same age, all the same gender, any of that stuff, or different ethnic background … It was who happened to be where, when. And it worked out real well.”

Indeed, Rabson and her fellows managed to reinterpret the risque and bawdy feel of a genre that before modern feminism, had many notable female performers yet remained steeped in ambient misogyny. In a post-feminist world, Rabson and the others in Saffire — the Uppity Blues Women repurposed much of the same content through a new lens.

Ann Rabson didn’t even pick up piano until she was 35 — but the New York-born performer said the blues seed was planted far earlier:

“I can remember like it was yesterday, but it was 1949 … I heard Big Bill Broonzy on the radio. I’d heard a lot of different kinds of music before that — we always had wonderful music at home, but we never had this, blues. I was corrupted for life.”

Ann Rabson is survived by a daughter and husband.

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