Branscomb, Louisa


  • Originally from upstate New York. Has also lived in the state of Alabama, Washington and at her farm “Woodsong” in Northern Georgia.
  • She was one of the first women to lead a full-time bluegrass band. In 1971, she led an all-female band called Bluegrass Liberation. She later led the North Carolina group Boot Hill, and another all-female band called Cherokee Rose (which also included Missy Raines and Lynn Morris). She has also fronted an Atlanta-based band called Born Gypsy, playing mandolin.
  • She is also considered one of the first female banjo players. Alison Brown credits Louisa as being her inspiration to play banjo (Alison’s first exposure to bluegrass, on her 10th birthday, was Louisa’s band Boot Hill).
  • She has written many songs for other artists. Her “Steel Rails” was a hit record and Grammy-winner for Alison Krauss and Union Station as well as John Denver.
  • She has an M.A. in counseling form Wake Forest University; a Ph.D from Georgia State University. She is a psychologist and author.
  • Hobby: training thoroughbred horses.
  • 2011, Compass Records released I’ll Take Love, an album of Louisa Branscomb songs featuring John Cowan, Claire Lynch, The Whites, Dave Peterson, Josh Williams, Alison Krauss and other artists.
  • 2014, her song “Dear Sister” (as recorded by Claire Lynch) won Song of the Year at the IBMA Awards.
  • 2017, was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement Award” by the IBMA.
  • 2018, was inducted into the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.