lifeblood: listlogs: 2009-007


date:    fri, 6 feb 2009 10:11:43 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <>
subject: colorado springs independent amy interview

hey folks,

here's an amy article/interview from the colorado springs independent.  you=
can read it online at


---begin forwarded article---
posted on february 5, 2009:

art for heart's sake
indigo girl amy ray answers to a higher calling
by tom lanham

mood indigo: amy ray will remain joyful, no matter what.

creatively speaking, amy ray has a lot on her plate right now, including a=
current tour backing her fourth solo set, didn't it feel kinder, on her own=
daemon records imprint. then there's poseidon and the bitter bug, an=
upcoming return to folk-harmony form with her indigo girls bandmate emily=
saliers. produced by mitchell froom and issued on their new ig label, it's=
divided into two discs, one with full-band versions of 10 new originals,=
the other acoustic and live.

all well and good, says ray, but she feels there's much more to do.

"for me, music is a very immediate kind of vocation where i have a mutual=
exchange with the audience or listener," says ray. "but there are so many=
artists though time who've been great geniuses, and that's a realm that i=
really don't feel a part of."

ray's humility isn't a put-on.

"what i want to be remembered for isn't my art," she explains, "but the=
activism that i've been involved with and the places i've worked =97 that's=
the legacy that's much more important to me."

pals since grade school in atlanta, ray and saliers were taught to give back=
to their community. and once they started performing as a duo in the=
mid-'80s, the indigo girls, she says, "always did benefits, playing for=
soup kitchens, homeless shelters, other organizations. and then we started=
getting into environmental work, and that led us into working specifically=
with the native american activism paradigm, because we felt like that was=
more effective than the white mainstream approach."

the duo's nonprofit, honor the earth, has simple goals, which are all mapped=
out on its web site.

"we work all across the americas, and a lot of what we've done has been with=
energy policy," she continues. "trying to look away from negative policies=
like coal, uranium and logging and replace them with wind, solar and other=
renewables for a more sustainable system that can also be a part of the=
native american infrastructure and economy. so we're still trying to build=
a bridge between the indian and non-indian communities, and initiate=
political and financial support."

everywhere she's toured, ray has stumbled across societal ills: mental=
hospitals losing their funding. reservations with no access to crucial=
resources. even the plight of the zapatistas in chiapas, mexico, where=
she's often visited, "with the military surrounding their villages and=
helicopters constantly overhead.

"in any city, you see people down and out, living in abject poverty," she=
says. "and you feel blessed, but you also think, 'how can i make a=
difference in this?'"

ray's poseidon is scheduled for march release. on it, she perfects the=
protest song with "silver tongue," which denounces everything from darfur=
to the oil industry's callous disregard for nature: "our fine feathered=
friends are singing 'til they bleed / how will we replace that symphony?"

but you'll have to wait a while to fully appreciate her activism, she=
cautions, "because some of the things i've worked for won't even show=
themselves until after i'm dead."

so what does this good samaritan want inscribed on her tombstone?

"'i tried'," she answers in a heartbeat. "or maybe 'be joyful,' because=
that's really what you have to be, no matter what."


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