lifeblood: listlogs: 2006v09n068-news

ig-news-digest        saturday, october 7 2006        volume 09 : number 068

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] post and courier article  [sherlyn koo <>]


date: sat, 7 oct 2006 16:03:38 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] post and courier article

hi folks,

here's an article from the post and courier in charleston.

you can read it online at:


- ---begin forwarded article---
'girls' power endures after 10th studio release
by devin grant
special to the post and courier

they started their career playing cover songs in bars, including right here in
charleston, but eventually rose to fame as one of the most easily identified
female duos in music today.

to say that the indigo girls' career thus far has been successful would be
something of an understatement. amy ray and emily saliers have enjoyed a string
of successful albums, including the indigo girls' big-selling, self-titled
debut, which was released in 1989. that recording won the pair a grammy award
for best contemporary folk recording in 1990. the duo's debut album and
subsequent releases have yielded songs such as "closer to fine," "galileo" and
"least complicated" that have received airplay on radio stations across the

ray and saliers have just released the 10th studio album by the indigo girls,
titled "despite our differences."

speaking to preview from knoxville, tenn., earlier this week, ray took some time
to talk about the new cd, the upcoming charleston show (at the charleston music
hall on saturday night), and the art of combining college term papers with music

the indigo girls have been making music now for more than 20 years. when asked
how it feels to have sustained a professional music career for that long, ray is
pretty humble.

"it just feels lucky, fortunate, i guess," says ray. "i don't know how to really
analyze it or know why it works, but we're just so fortunate, because we have a
lot of friends who do this, and we know how hard it is to keep being able to do

"despite our differences" was produced by mitchell froom, who has worked with
some of the industry's biggest names, including paul mccartney. ray revealed
that getting the chance to work with froom was a great opportunity.

"he's worked with so many people who we love," says ray. "elvis costello, los
lobos, suzanne vega. he was interested in working with us, and we were really
excited about that. he's a keyboard player, so he has a really thorough approach
to chords and harmonies, and how they move through a song and how they emphasize
the song's dynamics. we hadn't ever worked with anybody who really spent as much
time looking at that. he increased the vitality of every song."

the new cd also marks the indigo girls' debut on a new label, hollywood records,
which falls under the disney umbrella.

preview wanted to know if there were any hesitations because of the size and
scope of hollywood's parent company.

"when we were getting ready to sign with (hollywood)," says ray, "we were like,
'is this going to be an issue?' because it's such a big huge media conglomerate,
but it turned out to be the option that really worked best for us out of the
different things we were looking at. (hollywood) was so enthusiastic and so
music-oriented, and really quite a small label. they made us feel like they
would really focus on our project. we really like them. they're really good
people. they have been very supportive."

so is there a chance then that fans might be able to hear an indigo girls song
in a disney animated feature someday?

"it would depend on the movie," advises ray. "we're very interested in doing
soundtrack work - we always have been. we've been offered scripts in the past
that didn't really reflect our values. (with hollywood records) i think that
will happen eventually. that was one of the other things that made us decide to
go with (hollywood). that would be really fun."

while writing and recording an album of songs is a challenging undertaking, ray
is upbeat about the challenges that went into selecting the songs to go on the
album, as well as the recording process.

"the songs were all quite challenging, but in a good way," she says "the record
is still so fresh, and it's hard for me to have perspective on that. i think
there are certain songs that have special things about them for me, like 'three
county highway' has these guitar tones that i really love, or 'rock and roll
heaven's gate' because of the fact that pink sang on it."

while not everyone would expect a pop artist such as pink to show up on an
indigo girls cd, ray says that there was a mutual admiration between the two
acts that resulted in each contributing to the other's project.

as ray recalls, "(pink) sent a request through our manager and said, 'i really
want you guys to do this song with me. i'm a huge fan. i grew up singing your
songs to learn how to sing.' we were just like, 'wow,' because we were huge pink
fans, too. we just didn't realize there would be a connection. so we went in and
did 'dear mr. president' on her record, and we were just blown away by how
talented she is. she has the most amazing voice."

pink returned the favor on the new indigo girls cd by lending her vocals to
"rock and roll heaven's gate." ray says she is happy with the way the song came
out, with one exception. "we wish she could be on tour with us to sing 'rock and
roll heaven's gate.' we miss her when we play it."

ray also revealed that one of the best songs on the new album, "dirt and dead
ends," has a special element that lends to the sound of the piece.

"'dirt and dead ends' is special because we took a demo that i did at home of
that song and built the album cut around it. we stuck to the demo instead of
having me record it again."

ray says that froom worked with her homemade demo, layering on other elements.
the rawness of her original recording is what truly makes the song moving
though. "it's just me sitting at this little table in my writing room with my
tape machine in front of me. it's very stark, because it's the vocal and guitar
on one track."

the indigo girls will have played only a handful of dates on the current tour
before making hitting the lowcountry, but ray is already upbeat about the tour's

"it's going great," she says. "the band is just really great to play with. it's
just awesome. we do a lot of touring alone, but we haven't played with a band in
a few years, and we really wanted the band that played on the record to come
out, so we got them together, and it's really fun."

as for what fans can expect to hear at saturday's show, ray advises, "we'll do a
lot of stuff from the new record, but we'll mix it up. we do some songs all by
ourselves, some stuff with the band, old and new. we always try to cover our
different records. we don't know what the set list will be like because we
change it every night."

when ray and saliers are not busy recording or touring, much of their time is
devoted to supporting various charitable causes, including those that support
gay rights (ray and saliers are both gay), the environment and native american

daemon records, the independent music label ray founded several years ago, also
keeps her busy. past releases have included albums by kristen hall, ellen james
society and three finger cowboy.

"it's going great," says ray of the label. "we're taking some time off from
releasing any new records, just in order to get the records that we have out
already in order. we put out, like, 10 records in a 1 1/2-year time span, and we
really needed to stop for a little while and focus and catch up with our
accounting. i'm definitely going to do another solo record, so that will come
out next year sometime. we're going to do some things over itunes - some digital
releases, as well."

ray says she is anxious to get to charleston, since the city holds some fond
memories from the indigo girls' early days.

"we played charleston a lot when we were coming up, through the late '80s," says
ray. "we played at cafe 99 (now the site of bubba gump's on the market), and at
this really cool place called the breach inlet yacht club on isle of palms. we
must have played there once or twice a month for a long time. i remember,
because i was in college and we would come on the weekends. i just remember this
hotel we used to stay at, i can't remember where it was, but i remember doing my
term papers all the time at the gigs. there would be three people sleeping on
our floor, and i'd be outside in a lawn chair on the back deck of the hotel room
with the little light on working on my term papers. we have really good memories
of walking around the market and seeing women making the baskets. it's a really
interesting place."

if you go

who: the indigo girls w/the weepies.
when: saturday, 8 p.m.
where: the charleston music hall, 37 john st.
cost: $38.
tickets:, millennium music stores, or by calling 800-514-3849.
info: 853-2252.

devin grant can be reached at

this article was printed via the web on 10/7/2006 1:56:05 am . this article
appeared in the post and courier and updated online at on
thursday, october 05, 2006.  

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