Local Current Blog

Babes in Toyland’s Lori Barbero named one of 20 best female drummers

Lori Barbero performs with Babes in Toyland this spring. Photo by Billy Briggs for MPR.

Los Angeles music blog Grimy Goods has recently compiled a list of the 20 best female drummers. On the list—along with such notables as Dee Plakas of L7 and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney—is Babes in Toyland’s Lori Barbero, who’s been hitting the skins since 1987.

“I think there’s a lot of drummers that have been out there for a long time, and are awesome, that they overlooked,” Barbero wrote to me in response to the list. “There are also a lot of these ladies I am unaware of too. So I’m going to have to check them out.

“What I am really impressed by,” continued Barbero, “is that there were 20 female drummers mentioned, with many more we will hear about in the near future, and ones we’ve heard of in the past that were not mentioned. That, my friend, is just fantastic! Females are born with a natural rhythm, now we just have to use it.”

Barbero will be appearing at the Best of Minnesota Music Festival this Saturday, playing along with students from the School of Rock MN. The event—a fundraiser to support music education—will also have students playing with artists including Sean McPherson (Heiruspecs), Paddy Costello (Dillinger 4), and Mary Jane Alm.

Babes in Toyland will be playing at Rock the Garden this summer. To learn more about why their Rock the Garden gig will be so special, read Andrea Swensson’s interview with the band.