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Barbican announces Dawn Landes & Friends performing The Liberated Woman’s Songbook with special guest Peggy Seeger

Photo of country folk music artist Dawn Landes

Dawn Landes & Friends perform The Liberated Woman’s Songbook 

with special guest Peggy Seeger 

Folk singer-songwriter Dawn Landes returns to the Barbican for the first time in over 10 years to reimagine The Liberated Woman’s Songbook – a collection of folk songs from across the centuries published at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement – and to lament the loss of women’s rights since then. 

The Liberated Woman’s Songbook was first published in 1971, two years before the passing of Roe vs Wade, a landmark US Supreme Court decision to legalise the right to reproductive freedom. Fast-forward to 2022 and, reeling from the repeal of Roe vs Wade, Dawn Landes turned to the songbook (picked up years earlier in a second-hand bookshop) for inspiration, wondering what songs of struggle and hope women were singing throughout modern history. The result is a selection of 25 songs from the original 77 produced alongside long-time collaborator and producer Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, Bob Weird, Cassandra Jenkins) reimagined for modern listeners. 

In concert, Landes will invite different guest artists to join her and her band as they embody women from the past. The performance at the Barbican will feature very special guest Peggy Seeger, renowned folk singer and author of feminist anthem ‘Gonna Be An Engineer’.  
The Liberated Woman’s Songbook will be released as an album during Women’s History Month (March 2024) in a presidential election year. Though the women who wrote and sang these folk songs are not household names, their words are a map for survival. Landes comments, “There’s something remarkable about walking around the grocery store in 2024 humming something from the 1800’s that feels like it was written yesterday. It’s inspiring during today’s hard times - these women struggled, resisted, endured and triumphed.”   

Produced by the Barbican 

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