lifeblood: listlogs: 2005v08n006-news

ig-news-digest        monday, january 24 2005        volume 08 : number 006

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] toledo blade article      [sherlyn koo <>]


date: mon, 24 jan 2005 10:29:24 +1100
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] toledo blade article

hey folks,

here's an article about ig/ann arbor folk festival from the toledo
blade.  if you want to check it out online it's at


ps - anybody know what the emily song which *didn't* make atwli
could be?

- ---begin forwarded article---
mood indigo: veteran duo among headliners at ann arbor folk festival

by david yonke
blade staff writer

emily saliers and amy ray will go their separate ways when it comes
time to write songs, but their solo creations are reshaped,
fine-tuned, and refined through collaboration.

"in my mind, the songs become so much better when we arrange them
together. that's when they become 'indigo girl' songs," saliers said
in a telephone interview from her atlanta-area home.

the indigo girls' team effort has proved successful for two decades -
or more, depending on how the duo's "founding" is defined. while the
two musicians made their recording debut in 1985, their first public
performance was for a pta meeting in 1980, when they both were
students at shamrock high school in decatur, ga.

now with eight studio albums and a catalog of favorites that includes
"closer to fine," "galileo," and "become you," the indigo girls will
be one of the headline acts at the 28th annual ann arbor folk festival
next weekend in ann arbor.

the renowned folk festival, featuring an eclectic mix of 18 groups
and solo artists playing friday and saturday, also will feature the
blind boys of alabama, keb' mo', george bedard and the kingpins,
richard shindell, and richard thompson.

most festivals are held during the summer months, so a wintertime
gathering of folk artists is a welcome change of scene for the
artists, saliers said, "especially if we can have the time to listen
to the other people playing and singing."

saying she was looking forward to catching the blind boys in concert,
saliers added that hanging out backstage and talking shop with other
musicians "is like old-home week" for artists who are frequently
going on different paths as they crisscross the country on concert

the indigo girls' roots run deep, as the musicians actually knew each
other in elementary school. but since both played guitar, they viewed
each other as rivals rather than friends. it wasn't until high school
that they began practicing in ray's basement and performing at
amateur nights at local bars.

the musicians split up temporarily after graduating from high school
in 1981, with saliers enrolling at tulane university in new orleans
and ray attending vanderbilt university in nashville.

but neither student felt comfortable at her new school, and the next
year both transferred to emory university in atlanta, where they
rekindled their musical partnership.

ray picked the word "indigo" from the dictionary because, she said,
the definition seemed to fit the duo's musical style: "it's a deep
blue, a root - real earthy."

with their sweet vocal harmonies embellished by the duo's smooth and
fluid touch on guitars, the indigo girls soon began to draw attention
well beyond the local music scene.

their first release was a six-song vinyl ep in 1985, followed by the
1987 album "strange fire," which landed the indigo girls a
major-label contract with epic records.

the duo has earned a devoted following across the country, despite a
musical style that doesn't fit most radio formats.

asked to comment on the state of modern radio, saliers expressed her
feelings in a single syllable: "ugh!"

"we get airplay in the aaa format, but that doesn't really sell
records," she said. "radio's been in a terrible state since 1996 with
deregulation. big companies have been snatching up thousands of
stations and it's become very corporate. people are too afraid of
losing their jobs to do anything different.

"but we've never really been a radio band," saliers added. "we're a
grassroots band. it doesn't matter to me, but i care for the other
artists and for the listeners. i think people deserve better."

the indigo girls' latest release for epic is "all that we let in," a
collection of 11 songs that, as always, alternate between ray and
saliers compositions.

the title track, penned by saliers, is a lonely, lilting melody about
the give and take of life and how everything from small gestures to
cosmic events involve a certain amount of risk.

"it's kind of a purging," saliers said of baring her soul in the
song. but the effort and the rewards are worth it, she feels.

"at this point in our career, having done it so long, i have faith
in the process," saliers said.

"it's hard to write a song," she added. "there's the craft of it, and
just getting in deep with the emotional stuff, and then getting it
all right. when it's finished, it's a great sense of accomplishment."

proof that collaboration is key to the indigo girls, "all that we let
in," the title track of their latest album, almost didn't make the
disc in the first place.

"there was a song i wrote for the last record that, when we got into
preproduction rehearsals, i just couldn't make it right. it ended up
not making the cut, and we put 'all that we let in' on the record in
its place," she said.

one of the reasons her musical partnership with ray has been so
successful, saliers said, is that both artists keep busy with side
projects when they're not doing indigo girls work.

ray founded her own independent record label, daemon records, in
1990, partly out of frustrations with the business side of music.

saliers recently published a book, a song to sing, a life to live:
reflections on music as spiritual practice, which she cowrote with
her father, the rev. dan saliers, a united methodist minister and a
professor at candler school of theology in atlanta.

she also composed the musical score for a short documentary film, one
weekend a month, about a single mother in the national guard who is
deployed to baghdad.

the 28th annual ann arbor folk festival starts at 7 p.m. friday and
6 p.m. saturday in hill auditorium on the campus of the university of
michigan. tickets are $30 and $45 for single nights, or $80 for both

the friday night lineup features emcee susan werner; jeremy kittel;
steppin' on it; martyn joseph; vienna teng; glengarry bhoys; the
blind boys of alabama, and the indigo girls.

the saturday concert again will feature susan werner as emcee, with
whit hill and the postcards; george bedard & the kingpins; lynn
miles; king wilkie; richard shindell; david jones; kruger brothers;
richard thompson, and keb' mo'. information: 734-761-1800 or online

contact david yonke at: or 419-724-6154.

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