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A Musical Life

A Musical Life: Carla Venable


Carla Venable is a guitarist and vocalist and founding member of Women Without Purses, a band that she has been with since the early 1990s. Along the way group has issued three CDs and performed numerous live shows, including an opening slot for Janis Ian.

“We started in 1992 and you would think that two or three girls would have had a lot of catfights and would by now no longer be friends. But it’s amazing. Here we are in 2018 and we’re still very good friends. We do have disagreements. But we always said the day that we stop having fun we end this. But we’re having a blast. Not only are we having a blast, we’re adding more women to our group. We’re just trying to keep it fresh. As long as we’re having fun we’re going to keep going. I can’t imagine being 92 and doing this but who knows?

The first thing people ask when I say I’m in a band is, ‘What’s the name of the band?’ I always think, ‘Ughh. It’s Women Without Purses.’ Then they’ll say, ‘What on earth? What kind of music do you play?’ Just yesterday somebody asked me, ‘What kind of music would that be?’

We’ve been together for so long that we’re like a family and there’s a lot of bantering that goes back and forth. So, it’s like a show or a performance from start to finish. In other words, I don’t stand there and go, ‘My next composition is called “Time For A Change”’ and then play it. We’re saying all kinds of dumb, stupid things. Lots of jokes about purses. In fact, I carry a murse now. But only when I’m out of the state of Kansas. I cannot be caught dead with a murse since I am the leader of Women Without Purses.”