folkVOTE Featured Song and Video November 2 2020

“I Got A Lot Riding On These Wheels” by Anya Hinkle and Louisa Branscomb

For the Suffragettes fighting for the right to vote, no symbol was more powerful than the bicycle. The bicycle allowed women to leave home and to get where they wanted on their own power. The bicycle required changes in fashion that allowed them to move more freely. The exercise made them stronger, healthier and more independent. Unsurprisingly, none of these things were popular within the turn-of-the-century power structure.

Award-winning songwriters Anya Hinkle and Louisa Branscomb joined forces to bring this unique connection between women and bicycles to light during the suffragette’s centennial year. “I’ve got a lot riding on these wheels” was born when Anya read an article about an Afghani women’s cycling team, which resonated with her own history riding and racing bicycles. Anya invited Louisa, a pioneering woman in bluegrass, to co-write and co-produce the project, and invited a diverse cast of women to participate: Adilene Delgado on drums, Mary Lucey on clawhammer banjo and harmony vocals, Celia Millington-Wyckoff on bass, Natalya Weinstein on fiddle, Louisa on mandolin and tenor banjo, and Anya on guitar and lead vocals. The project was conducted in a covid-safe- and guerilla- style: Anya brought a portable rig to each player’s house to capture their parts and then assembled the song with help from David Arnold.

During this important election, on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote, it is more important than ever that not only women’s voices are heard, but that all people that are disenfranchised and discouraged from voting are heard. We have to honor those that fought so hard for women’s suffrage, for voting rights in the 60s, by ensuring that voices are not silenced, for it impacts us now and our children later. This video is dedicated to the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her legacy of standing up for the rights of all people.