Notes on Jessie Mae Hemphill’s “She-Wolf”

Hemphill album cover

No More Beatlemania, Once Was Enough!
It’s Time For Jessie Mae Hemphill Mania!
She-Wolf (Vogue, 1981; reissued by HighTone, 1998)

I love reading lists of recommended records. In high school I devoured Rolling Stone lists of the best records of all-time. They were helpful entry points for a curious kid stuck in another “home of classic rock’n’roll!” radio town and no sense that record stores existed beyond the mall. I took the lists at face value, trusting the experts knew more than I did, before gradually developing my own navigating systems. By this point in my life, though, I’ve probably overcompensated for my early naivety, moving from too trusting to too critical, too quick to dismiss.

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