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Indigo Girls find power in their differences

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Georgia based folk duo the Indigo Girls are a study in contrasts.
 The folk icons play the Yates Theatre, Sept. 28 with Jeremy Fisher. It will be the first time they have played Lethbridge.
 Emily Saliers noted part of the reason the Girls have been performing steadily since 1981 is because of the differences between her and co-band mate Amy Ray.

“Amy livesThe Indigo Girls visit Lethbridge for the first time this weekend. Photo Submitted out in the woods,” Saliers said adding while Ray is in the woods, Saliers has been taking care of her eight-month -old daughter.

“We’re very different. Amy was influenced by a lot of the post punk movement and bands like the Clash and Patti Smith, I was more influenced by people like Patsy Cline, Robyn Hitchcock and Alex Chilton,” she said.

“We don’t write together ever. Amy writes more rock songs, my songs are more folk and fingerpicking,” she said.
 She noted their differences have lead to a long and respected career.

“I think it’s because of our friendship. We have a very strong friendship. While we listen to very different music and lead different lives, we also have the same basic values,” she said,
“ But we’ve found a sound that works well together even though we are very different,” she said.

They have had a busy summer.
“We were just  touring with Joan Baez for two weeks. It was amazing. It was a wonderful experience,” Saliers said from her Atlanta home.

They began their most recent tour in Grand Rapids Michigan, Sept. 5 and toured throughout the American midwest, then in Canada from Vancouver to Moncton, before returning home. Then they will begin work on a new CD they plan to release in 2014. Their last CD, “Beauty Queen Sister” was released in 2011.

 They are looking forward to hitting the road together again, playing a variety of smaller centres in the mid-West and Canada.
“ It’s going to be just the two of us driving in an old van,” she said.

“ It will be the first time we’ve played a lot of  these cities. So we’re really excited about it. It’s a great opportunity for us to tour Canada like this. So we’re  just really looking forward to it,” she said.

 They haven‘t chosen a setlist yet, though they plan on playing songs from throughout their career.

“We’ll make a setlist for all of our different years. We always like playing ‘Closer to Fine,” she said.


While motherhood has changed her perspective on the world, she doesn’t expect it to come into her songwriting.

“It has been quite magical. But it is shift in spirit. It really  shifts your perspective. I feel like my world has changed, but just take me out behind the barn and shoot me if I ever start writing songs about babies,” she laughed.
Activism has always been an important part of the Indigo Girls’ life and music.

“We play benefits for groups we feel strongly about. Gay rights for obvious reasons (both women are lesbians),  environmental justice and Native American rights.

 They both grew up in families where  standing up for what you believe was important.
“ We both  had sets of parents who where very different but we were both raised to be citizens and members of the community,” she said.

“ We just want to educate people and get a dialogue going and get people talking,” she said.
“Amy is probably more political than I am, she continued.
 The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45.50

 A version of this  story appears in the Sept. 25, 2013 Edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 September 2013 12:18 )  
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