lifeblood: listlogs: 2004v07n159-news

ig-news-digest        sunday, october 24 2004        volume 07 : number 159

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] article from the oklahoman  [sherlyn koo <]


date: sat, 23 oct 2004 19:44:28 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] article from the oklahoman

hey folks,

here's an article from the oklahoman - you can find it online at


- ---begin forwarded article---
fri october 22, 2004
indigo girls enjoy diverse, loyal fans

by gene triplett
entertainment editor

what becomes an indigo girl most? amy ray thinks it's the audience she attracts.

of course, the beautifully romantic and socially conscious folk rock and pop
she writes and performs is a pretty essential accessory, as well.

ray and emily saliers have been making such music together as indigo girls
since the mid-'80s, when the atlanta-based duo started releasing their
recordings independently. saliers was a little bit joni mitchell, ray was a
little bit clash, and the contrasting influences made for a sound that landed
them a major-label contract in 1988, when similar female acts such as tracy
chapman and suzanne vega were starting to chart big in the mainstream.

sixteen years, one grammy and 11 albums later, the duo has earned one of the
strongest and most faithful followings in the business, without the aid of hit
singles. their current tour behind the new album "all that we let in" brings
them to the civic center music hall on sunday night, in a concert sponsored by
the civic center foundation.

they'll be bringing their get-out-and-vote message and their environmental
concerns, as well.

"we're just getting people to be positive and engaged, and i think at this
point, in our audience, there are just a lot of people that are voting," ray
said last week from a concert stop in east lansing, mich. "i think the more
positive (indigo girls) are, the more people will actually participate in the

ray and saliers recently added their voices to ani difranco's "vote dammit"
tour on three dates and played a sold-out "honor the earth" benefit oct. 1 in
salt lake city with environmental activist winona laduke.

"we had some great speakers, and we were talking about nuclear waste issues and
a better answer to energy needs, supporting solar and wind power in areas where
it was lucrative and prolific," ray said. "there are areas in the country where
it's just incredible how much power we can get from wind and sun, and we

it is also incredible that indigo girls have maintained major-label status for
two decades, without much radio airplay outside the college music world in
recent years. their self-titled 1989 debut achieved platinum status, as did
1992's "rites of passage." the live 1991 live ep "back on the bus, y'all" and
1994's "swamp ophelia" both went gold, but no such shiny sales success has come
to them since.

"i'm not sure why the label hung onto us for so long," ray said. "it's funny.
they support us in this kind of weird way. like, we have friends there that are
really supportive. but as a whole, like from the top down, the really top
people respect us and everything, but they don't really do very much to change
the fact that we don't have any radio play."

despite such strong tunes as the unchacteristically heavy and electric "tether"
(written by ray) and the wistful, countrified ballad "come on home" (by
saliers), the new album will be indigo girls' last on epic. their contract is
up, and ray, who has established her own independent daemon records, is not
interested in renewing. saliers, she said, seems undecided on what to do next.

"i'm not sure how emily feels about it at this point. she's changed her mind a
couple of times, but we're both on our own little journeys with it," ray said.

daemon, a nonprofit label, has released albums by kristen hall, ellen james
society and a remake of "jesus christ superstar" that features ray and saliers
on vocals. ray is also working on a punk-rock solo album called "prom," due out
in april 2005. but indigo girls will not be recording on the daemon label,
because ray thinks that would be a conflict of interest.

"we'll probably go with a major independent," ray predicted optimistically.

meanwhile, the indigo girls' audience remains powerfully supportive, and ray is
at a loss to describe their typical fan.

"i think people think the typical indigo girl fan is a lesbian, but, you know,
i think it's iconic at this point," she said, laughing. "we really have a very
diverse audience, actually. i think a few people who haven't been to the shows
think, 'oh, it's all gay women,' but it's really not. i think if you did a
demographic test or something, you'd have a lot of women, a lot of

"i think they did some kind of marketing test, epic did, and i think they found
something very surprising, that it was like 40-60 men versus women, because
everybody thinks it's like 80-20 (women versus men). but it's not. and it's
really widely diverse agewise, too, which is great."

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