lifeblood: listlogs: 2008-076


date:    mon, 13 oct 2008 11:06:36 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <>
subject: article

hey folks,

here's an article from  you can read it online at

---begin forwarded article---
activism fuels indigo girls: politics, environment and health issues still
the heart of folk duo
posted by jessi phillips | special to the kalamazoo gazette october 02,
2008 09:42am
the indigo girls will perform at 8 p.m. oct. 4 at the state theatre.

kalamazoo -- with 15 albums, hundreds of performances and more than 20
years of collaboration, how have the indigo girls managed to keep their
partnership successful?

"it's like a marriage without sex," amy ray said of her relationship with
fellow indigo girls member emily saliers. "we've never been lovers or
girlfriends. we've always been friends. our families are friends, so we're
a part of a larger community."

although their personal lives might be intertwined, ray said she and
saliers compose their music separately, live in different towns and don't
see each other regularly when not on tour.

"we give each other a ton of space, so when we go on tour it's like, 'oh,
hi, nice to see you,'" ray said. "musically, because we write our own
songs, it also gives us the artistic space that we need."

the indigo girls' fall tour will make a stop at 8 p.m. saturday at the
state theatre, with special guest kathleen edwards. the folk-rock duo
recently recorded a new album, which they plan to release independently in
february. the record marks their first independent release since their
first full-length album, 1987's "strange fire." they released their last
album, "despite our differences," through hollywood records in 2006.

"it's done, and we're just thinking about how to get it out there," ray
said of the new record. "when you're funding it yourself, you think about
your budget more."

ray said the album offers a slightly "more lush kind of sound" than
previous albums. the record will likely include both acoustic and full-band
versions of each track, an artistic decision she said might have been
discouraged by a major record label.

in addition to performing with the indigo girls, ray has run her own record
label, daemon records, since 1989 and has released three solo albums,
including this year's "didn't it feel kinder." ray said it's easy to tell
whether a song she's written belongs to the indigo girls or on a solo

"i just kind of know when i'm writing something that feels like an indigo
girls song," ray said. "i hear emily on it. it's singular, orchestrated,
very up front, with two vocals. also, the lyrics in my solo music are a
little more graphic in a way that i wouldn't feel comfortable singing with

ray said she and saliers play about 150 shows together each year, balancing
both new material and "older stuff that we're excited about."

"there are songs that are always fun, that change every night because the
audience is different, and they sing it differently," ray said. "we try to
balance having a few from every record."

in addition to their music, the indigo girls have always been known for
their social and political activism, focusing especially on gay rights, the
environment and american-indian issues. ray said that while "political
music" might not receive as much mainstream radio play, she still finds
that many artists are creating music that is "informed socially."

"i do think corporate radio is not going to play political music, but i
don't know who listens to corporate radio anymore," ray said. "but i know
that there was always this sense, even in the media at large, that it
wasn't attractive to be outspoken as an artist -- unless you're bono. i
think women have a harder time than men in that role."

as for current issues, ray is particularly interested in energy policy,
public-health issues and the upcoming presidential election and said
activism continues to inspire and influence the music of the indigo girls.

"i think our activism, more than a lyrical informing, has energized us and
given us fuel over the years to keep going and keep evolving," ray said.
"it's inspiring to be around people who are working for change, and it's
given us inspiration to keep playing all these years. if we can evolve
musically and become better at what we do, then we can serve the community

(c) 2008 michigan live. all rights reserved.

all listserv commands should be sent to
to unsubscribe issue the command: signoff indigo-girls
for help write to
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date:    mon, 13 oct 2008 11:51:17 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <>
subject: kalamazoo concert review

hi folks,

here's a review of the kalamazoo show, from  you can read it
online at


---begin forwarded article---
indigo girls show teamwork in saturday night's state theatre concert
posted by jessi phillips | special to kalamazoo gazette october 06, 2008

kalamazoo -- the indigo girls may not compose their songs together, but at
their concert saturday night at the state theatre, the duo demonstrated an
outstanding ability to perform their songs as a musically intimate pair.

the group started off the show with the song, "become you," from their 2002
album of the same name. the song's lyrics -- "it took a long time to become
you" -- seemed to point to their onstage connection, and the way each never
allows a guitar solo or vocal styling to overshadow the unique
contributions of the other. occasionally, even their end-of-song
declaration of gratitude, "thanks, y'all," was stated in unison.

both members of the group, amy ray and emily saliers, showed tremendous
talent as guitarists. although they played without a backing band, they
managed to create a fairly full sound, playing both acoustic and electric
guitars, as well as the occasional mandolin and banjo. they played with the
skill and confidence of musicians who've been playing for decades. though
they put energy and effort into their playing, they never resorted to showy
moves in order to gain the audience's attention and respect.

each is also an accomplished vocalist, and their voices complement each
other well.

saliers' voice often acts as the light and sweet counterpart to ray's dark
and edgy one, although occasionally the depth and clarity of ray's voice
overshadows saliers'.

saliers' vocals were strongest when she was at the top of her impressive
range, and her singing only grew stronger as the show went on.

the duo played their most crowd-pleasing song, "power of two," fairly early
in the set, occasionally stepping back from the microphones to let the
audience take over the singing. it remained their most powerful song of the
evening, though "go," "shame on you" and "closer to fine" also put the
audience on its feet, dancing and singing along.

the show lasted for nearly two hours and included a wide range of songs
from throughout their 20-year career, as well as three new songs from their
forthcoming album. the energy of the show waned at times, often when the
indigo girls were playing slower, softer material, but they usually managed
to gain it back by switching to a more energetic, driving song.

although both are known for their social activism, neither offered up any
political banter during the show. instead, the message remained in the
music, with its lyrics about immigration, racism, nuclear annihilation, and
the "strain of the common man."

canadian singer-songwriter kathleen edwards opened the show with her witty
alt-country tunes, and with her rich, bold voice and charming stage
presence, she seemed a bit overqualified to be anyone's opening act.
edwards joined the indigo girls on a few of their final songs, adding some
depth to their vocal harmonies.

after edwards departed, the indigo girls were brought back to the stage for
an encore. they ended their show with their popular song "galileo" and left
no doubts that they will continue to draw dedicated crowds in the years to

(c) 2008 michigan live. all rights reserved.

all listserv commands should be sent to
to unsubscribe issue the command: signoff indigo-girls
for help write to
indigo girls faq and indigo girls mailing list faq:


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