There’s just something about those two voices both blending, and countering one another at the same time. Of course, I’m talking about The Indigo Girls: Emily Saliers and Amy Ray. The duo have been at it long enough now that they seem to pull it off with ease, but it’s certainly never looks simple. They released their first album, Strange Fire, way back in 1987, during a time that Americana bands hadn’t really even been bestowed a genre as of yet. It was a time of Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Horsnby, etc; artists that weren’t quite rock or R&B, not quite country and definitely not what what was on the kids’ radar at the time. Still, the music resonated with many, particularly a generation looking for something more real and personal. Thus, the rise in popularity of ‘roots’ music, that still captivates many of us today.
So now, here in 2020, The Indigo Girls are poised to unveil their 16th studio album, the highly anticipated Look Long, on Vanguard Records on April 24th. With a new album, we find Emily and Amy Ray back on the road, and music fans in Oklahoma City were quite fortunate to get a rare stop and a chance to catch up with some classic cuts as well as check out a couple of new songs as well.
Taking the stage to the absolutely packed house at the Jones Assembly, The Indigo Girls were warmly greeted, and wasted little time before launching into Shaming The Sun’s “It’s Alright.” Over the next hour and a half, the OKC audience was gifted a beautiful, all inclusive set that covered a wide portion of the duo’s career. Indeed, the set was packed with a wealth of hard hitting classics, (“Land Of Canaan,” “Love’s Recovery,” “Get Out The Map,” “Least Complicated,” “Closer To Fine”) and many more. We also saw two new debuts from the forthcoming album, with “Country Radio” and “Howl At The Moon,” as well as a revisit to Amy Ray’s recent solo stop last year, ( check it out here: https://americanahighways.org/2019/03/05/show-review-amy-ray-at-okcs-blue-door/ ) with “Didn’t Know A Damn Thing” from her 2019 Daemon Records solo release, Holler. Backed up by the incredibly talented Lyris Hung on violin and backing vocals as well as opener, Lucy Wainwright Roche on vocals and guitar, The band closed with a stunning, heartfelt, “Galileo,” before hopping back on the bus to the next stop, leaving quite the memorable impression on those smart enough to pay attention.
The Indigo Girls continue their tour, and you can find out more information on their official webpage. Once there you can also view their preorder bundles for “Look Long”, and reserve your own copy.
All the details are here: https://www.indigogirls.com/
As I mentioned, the talented Lucy Wainwright Roche opened the evening with a short set of her own, that I really found myself enjoying. The daughter of musicians, Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche, the New York singer songwriter, brought a sample of her well crafted songs as well as an abundance of sly humor. Standouts from her short set included, “Little Beasts”, “This Song Is About You 2” as well as a powerful cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”. In fact, now in hindsight it’s apparent just how appropriate the Petty cover was, as Lucy never did back down despite the most disrespectful audience I’ve ever experienced in all my years of attending concerts. Beyond the first seven rows or so of the general admission audience, I doubt there were few really paying attention to the music, and that’s such a shame. In fact, it was really difficult to hear Lucy’s performance, and I don’t know how she managed to keep her focus as a large majority of the audience focused on their drinking and socializing rather than the heartfelt music being shared. Lucy Wainwright Roche and her beautiful songs certainly deserved more.
Sadly, this behavior continued into The Indigo Girls set as well, though, the band were somewhat able to compensate based on numbers and volume. This trend isn’t unique to Jones Assembly or even OKC for that matter. Show talkers and overly inebriated attendees seem to be a growing concern just about everywhere that caters to live music. For many, it seems to be more about the ‘party’ rather than basic manners or appreciation of the music. Regrettably, I don’t know the solution. It’s a known fact that most venues depend on alcohol sales for their business model, and as resources to book bands. Maybe it’s just a new societal standard these days, or maybe I’m just getting crankier as I get older (OK Boomer). Whatever it is, the band should never be “interrupting your conversation”. I hope this trend turns around soon, but I have my fears that it’ll get worse before it gets better. Please do yourself a favor and check out Lucy Wainwright Roche and her music. I think you’ll like what you hear. Visit here for more details: https://lucywainwrightroche.com/