January 12, 2012

Do you like this?

There are so many areas of you to satisfy in this lifetime. Each year we are evolving, either changing our minds or finally making them up. We are a result of our surroundings yet what makes each one of us different is how we handle it. The poor kid rises out of shambles while the rich kid medicates at the idea of being alone.

I learned a long time ago that not one person’s story is more important then the other and there can be no one-upping when it comes to our separate tragedies. Not only is this what I think personally, but it is my interpretation of a song that was being performed and recorded when my life was barely beginning and was a centerpiece of the evolving life of two Southern girls from Decatur, Ga. The song,  “Kid Fears” off a 1987 album would become the song that 24 years later Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls said started it all.

It was that year these elelementary school friends made their minds up and pursue their true love, music. Amy Ray and Emily Sailers would embark on one of the greatest adventures of their lives as The Indigo Girls. From this time on these two women became icons in the world of equal rights and environmental activism, Grammy Award-winning musicians and even dabbled in the role of Jesus and Mary Magdalene to Atlanta audiences. A wild ride I would imagine and while each has carried on solo projects, such as Ray’s Deamon Records, established in 1990 to support independent musicians, and Sailer’s love of publishing and providing unique dining experiences, each has maintained a sense of self.

Currently filling in the gaps between touring with The Indigo Girls, Ray is able to stay close to home as she tours with friends Lindsay Fuller and Jeff Feilder. The trio is performing a limited number of acoustic sets and Chattanooga is on that lucky list when Ray visits Rhythm and Brews on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

I asked Ray what song from her solo career seemed to start it all, a song where a not-so-knowledgeable lad start and really get a sense of her music. “Laramie” was her reply. The title stems from Laramie, Wyo., and shadows the events behind Matthew Shepard, a young man who was tragically killed for being homosexual in 1998. When I touched on how to continue the acceptance of our LGBT friends, Ray said community involvement and living your life as an example of  good no matter your preferences.

In addition to dealing  with her own “kid fears” growing up in the conservative South, her solo side has been able to satisfy her edgier, almost punk rock leaning. During her Chattanooga show, you will hear an even different notion as Lindsay Fuller brings her almost southern gothic and gypsy stylings to the table.

Fuller’s visit to her southern hometown made this a perfect opportunity for the two to get together not only in support of each other but on Ray’s new album, “Lung of Love,” hitting the streets on Feb 28. The album expresses her idea that the lung, not the heart, is where her love evolves and includes many guest vocals and a wide range of sound. When you’ve played with the likes of R.E.M., Joan Baez, Jackson Brown, Patti Smith and Bon Iver, it seems easy to let your head get bigger then your heart, but this down-home Southern Girl has stayed true all of these years by letting her life vibrate through her lungs for all of us.

Amy Ray

8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17

Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St.

(423) 267-4644


January 12, 2012

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