lifeblood: listlogs: 2008-081


date:    wed, 5 nov 2008 11:33:09 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <>
subject: burlington free press amy interview

hi folks,

this is from the burlington free press.  you can read it online at


---begin forwarded article---
november 4, 2008
indigo girl brings solo tour to burlington
by brent hallenbeck

amy ray, half of the veteran folk-rock duo indigo girls, will be visiting
south burlington the day after election day for a solo show at higher
ground. the night after a presidential election in liberal-leaning vermont
is a fitting time and place for the politically aware, self-described
"lefty" whose work with fellow indigo girl emily saliers is packed with
urgent messages alternating between anger and hope.

ray's solo material is urgent, too, though more musically than lyrically.
her third solo album, "didn't it feel kinder," rocks in a way indigo girls'
music just doesn't. songs such as "slc radio" are still topical -- in that
case, she sings about life in the underground of seemingly mainstream salt
lake city -- but most of her protesting comes in the form of indie-styled
rock that rebels against the quieter folk that audiences have come to
expect from indigo girls (whose next album is due out in early 2009).

speaking by phone recently from her home in the woods of georgia, about an
hour and a half north of atlanta, ray compared her solo career with her
work in a duo. she also talked about the current political climate and what
her post-election day show could be like, depending on which side prevails

burlington free press: what does a solo album do for you that recording
with indigo girls doesn't?

amy ray: i started doing it back in 2000 because i had been running a
record label for a long time (daemon records) and had all these friends i
was starting to jam with and was influenced by and started writing in that
direction. on a whim i got together with the butchies and had a great time
and started doing a record. it was mostly a different community i had been
with on daemon records and had never recorded with. we (indigo girls) were
on a major label at the time and my heart and soul were really rooted in
the indie community. it's not just a music thing, it's kind of a
philosophical place. i had so much fun doing it i just kept on doing it. it
improved my songwriting and definitely challenged me a lot, not using emily
as a crutch and depending on myself in some ways. the kind of music that i
play with indigo girls, it's really dualistic and about compromise and
harmony. it's magical that way. i need something that's more singular, not
in an ego way but not having a constant peripheral vision. any time people
break away as long as they retain their connection it's a good thing.

bfp: your new album is definitely a rock album, especially the songs "bus
bus" and "blame is a killer." can being in a long-running, successful group
like indigo girls be an albatross, where you're expected to be in a
folk-rock box that you can't break out of?

ar: we (indigo girls) do quite a lot of electric stuff and when we tour
with a band we play a lot of electric, but it's within the context of
acoustic music and i think it's acceptable. i do know a lot of this (solo)
music doesn't appeal to a lot of our audience. but i don't consider the
indigo girls an albatross where i can't create what i want to. emily
doesn't have any boundaries and i can do what i want creatively, but i also
know we have certain strong points and i like to write to them. harmony is
a really strong thing we do and we can approach it in different ways but
it's still the heart and soul of what we do. and i really love acoustic
music. when i play with indigo girls i want to play acoustic music, folk,
stripped down and raw.

bfp: one of the standout tracks on "didn't it feel kinder" is "slc radio."
can you describe the origins of the song?

ar: that originated as a kind of homage to a station in salt lake city
called krcl that's a great community station, ground zero for the dialogue
of the fundamental part of salt lake city and the progressive queer
community that's been brought up in mormonism and that's broken out a
little. that station does a lot of work in that dialogue. when i played
solo there a few times it was always at a little punk club with a great
audience that was very diverse and felt good and were really working for
their progress. i used that station and the environment there as a story
about america and community radio and the need to support that, and also
about traveling and meeting people and the walls that are coming down.

bfp: you're known for socio-political awareness -- what are your thoughts
as election '08 winds down?

ar: i guess i feel kind of excited because i feel like it's been from start
to finish really historical and exciting and interesting and complex on
levels of race and gender and socioeconomics even. it's just been very
historical and it will continue to be until someone wins. i'm not feeling a
lot of negativity the way the campaign is going. i was bummed when hillary
(clinton) wasn't chosen for vp, i thought that would have been super cool.
even if i wasn't for (barack) obama i thought that would have been cool.
but i'm really optimistic. it's a good race and the debates have been cool
so far. but i'm an obama fan because i'm a lefty, and he's even more
moderate than i am, but i find him to be a visionary.

bfp: how will the results affect your show at higher ground the night after
election day? could it be a party if it goes one way and a wake if it goes
the other?

ar: it gives me chill bumps when i think about it. but we're in canada on
election night (for a show in toronto). my band's like, 'we're not coming
back to the u.s.' (if obama loses). i'm like, 'yes, you are.' but i know
obama is going to win. we're going to try to avoid the wake. if it doesn't
go the way we want we'll just have fun playing. i guess it would be an
irish wake. either way, we're getting rid of george bush, and that's the
first priority.

contact brent hallenbeck at 660-1844 or

if you go
what: amy ray, with jennifer o'connor
when: 7:30 p.m. wednesday
where: higher ground ballroom, south burlington
tickets: $15
information: 652-0777,

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