2013-05-14: Note From Emily
Tuesday, May 14th, and Wednesday, May 15th, I will be at the Lee Arrendale
State Prison, recording with the Voices of Hope, and my friend, the
chaplain of the prison and choir director, Susan Bishop.
Bishop is making 2 separate cd’s with the Voices, one which is a gospel/inspirational
collection, the other which is a Christmas album. The cd’s will be
released later in the year, with all proceeds going to support various
ministry and outreach to the women’s prison population at Lee Arrendale.
Some of you may recall that the last cd I recorded with the Voices
of Hope raised money for the Children’s Center at the prison, which
was then located at Metro.
am particularly pleased that we will be recording a version of ‘There’s
Still My Joy’ , a beautiful holiday song that Amy and I put on “Holly
will keep you all updated on release information, but wanted you to
know that I am honored and inspired to be involved again with the
Voices of Hope.
changes everything it touches.
Spring and Early Summer!
2013-04-04: Note From Amy and Emily
our community in regards to Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival
want you to know some of our thoughts about our participation in
Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Indigo Girls have a lot of respect
for protest and dialogue in our feminist and queer movements, and
we want to do our part to encourage growth and evolution in our
community. We care about MWMF deeply, and in our years of playing
the Festival, we have evolved and benefited from the experience.
We have received many gifts from this unique and powerful gathering.
hope for all the past years has been that the Festival would move
towards an intention of Trans-Inclusion. We have continued to search
our selves and look at both sides of this issue and truly respect
the different points of view, but have always come back to our core
belief that Trans Womyn should be included in the Festival, and
their womynhood should be honored by the intentions of MWMF. The
current intention for the Festival to be for “Womyn born Womyn”
only grew out of an important necessity to honor the idea that womyn
have a variety of self expression and appearance and they need a
safe space where their womynhood is not in question as they stand
in many different places on the spectrum from femininity to masculinity.
This intention has a very important historic basis and has kept
the space safe for many womyn over the years. But we strongly feel
that the time is long overdue for a change of intention, to one
that states very plainly the inclusion of Trans Womyn. To us, this
change of intention is the only path to a truly “safe space” for
are in a time of struggle and rapid changes in our movement and
we would be remiss to not recognize that many of the strides that
have been made are a result of Trans Activism and the strength and
perspective they have brought to the queer and feminist revolutions.
We feel that if someone identifies as a womyn, they are a womyn
and should be welcomed into our community with open arms. We will
only be stronger for it.
will be playing the Festival this year in the spirit of change.
We encourage the Founders and the community of MWMF to find the
bravery and compassion that we are all endowed with to create a
space that is Trans Inclusive. We know these changes are complex
and take time and careful consideration. MWMF has a long and important
history of being on the cutting edge of positive change- a torchbearer
for the hard transitions within the feminist and queer movements.
This is the time to fulfill MWMF’s most vital role in our community
and help to honor the Trans Community out in the world, by honoring
them within the world of Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. We hope
in the end that we can all find our “safe space” and comfort on
the sacred land of MWMF.
understand that there are many folks who feel passionately about
these issues, but we encourage people on both sides to act peacefully
when they express themselves. There is nothing to be gained from
hateful rhetoric or aggressive actions. All over the world queer,
and specifically Trans folks are beaten and killed for being who
they are. The community of MWMF has a responsibility to fight this
hate and be a beacon of love and light for all womyn suffering under
hate and oppression, and this includes our Trans Sisters. If you
are against Trans Inclusion at MWMF, that is your prerogative, but
that does not mean you have to be aggressive towards the Trans community.
This kind of hate and aggression will rip our community apart and
we all know who benefits from “divide and conquer” and it’s not
womyn or queers.
we are playing the festival, we honor the current protest against
MWMF and hope that it will help move the community towards change.
Any money that we make playing the Festival will go towards Trans
Activism. We will make a statement from stage at the Festival in
support of Trans Inclusion. We have made it clear that this will
be our last time at the Festival until MWMF shows visible and concrete
signs of changing their intention. We have no animosity towards
anyone in this case but see the deep and fearless legacy that MWMF
has had during its existence and we honor that. We also honor the
prayerfulness that has been a part of this struggle on both sides.
This is not an easy path, so we empathize with all who struggle
to make their decisions. We love Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival
and hope for it’s continued presence and power in our lives.
2012-11-17: Note From Amy and Emily
Victims of Hurricane Sandy still need your help!
are many who are still suffering and reeling from the aftermath of
Hurricane Sandy. You may have been wondering what you can do.
you are interested in helping out, here are three groups that we know
are doing great work to help alleviate the hurt and loss in the aftermath
of this devastating storm.
Thanks for your consideration.
emily and amy
to Hurricane Sandy - Air Traffic Control
Sandy - How You Can Help - HIV Prevention Justice Alliance
Search & Rescue post-Sandy - Humane Society of the United States
2012-08-21: Note From Amy
Thanks for all the support for our summer tour. We’re trying some
new things and we’ll keep on tweaking our songs and sounds until
we get it all fine tuned, so we appreciate everyone that showed
up and listened to new musical ideas.
ended the summer with a couple of cool events. For the very first
time, we played with the backing of a symphony orchestra! Thanks
to the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra for joining us and giving
us such a beautiful experience. I recognized so many folks in the
audience-a lot of long time IG supporters and it was just really
cool that you came out.
had an extremely fun and successful Honor the Earth benefit at the
old Town Hall in Provincetown. Honor the Earth’s work continues
and is stronger than ever and we are proud of the grants we made
this past year to Native groups working on Energy Justice, Youth
Leadership, and Building Resilience within the community.
a photo that our activist friend Susan Alzner took of the finale
with Lucy Wainwright Roche, Zoe Lewis, and Roxanne Layton.
of the main focuses at HTE is still encouraging and funding projects
that move towards sustainable energy. There’s been a lot of talk
about the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Tar-sands oil development
up in Canada. I came across this really informative article in Esquire
Magazine. So if you wanna read about the Tar-sands, hit this link:
have another symphony show in Dallas, TX at the end of August, and
a few strewn throughout September. And we’ll keep these going as
long as we’re able. October-November will see another tour with
The Shadowboxers who will be opening the show and backing us up
for our set. If you haven’t seen this yet, I hope you’ll give it
a try. These shows are a total blast for us, and a fresh experience.
On a personal solo Amy Ray note, I’d love to mention that I will
be playing Atlanta PRIDE on October 14th with my solo band. Atlanta
PRIDE is always a special event with a great balance of community,
celebration, and activism.
Hope you can be there!
2012-07-01: Note From Emily and Amy
you may have already seen in the NEWS
section of the I.G. site, Amy and I have launched the ‘Take Action
Tee-shirt’ campaign. With your help, we are presently raising money
and awareness for three groups who work with Latino community building
and immigration issues:
The Florence Project - http://www.firrp.org
Ethnic Studies - http://www.saveethnicstudies.org
Alliance for Human Rights - http://www.glahr.org
we all know, immigration is a crucial and sensitive issue. Many
opinions are being fostered by fear tactics and racism. We support
grass roots groups who foster and provide a humane and fair approach
to the myriad issues facing immigrants, particularly but not solely,
Latino immigrants in the U.S.
the most recent tour, we completely SOLD OUT of the current tee-
shirts and had to re-order. There are plenty more to be had now,
and the tee-shirt is a powerful design by activist artist Lalo Alcaraz.
time, we will be introducing a new tee-shirt, whose sales will go
to groups working on death penalty issues. Both Amy and I seek to
see the abolishment of the death penalty in the U.S. An inmate on
death row will design that new tee. Please stay tuned for upcoming
the idea of “Take Action Tee-shirts’ is to continue to generate
support for different grass roots groups, whose work is critical
for fostering human rights.
campaign will be ongoing, and we encourage you to check in periodically
for updates and a chance to WEAR YOUR CONSCIENCE ON YOUR SLEEVE.
2011-10-26: Note From Amy and Emily
played the Keefe Auditorium in Nashua, NH as part of an effort to
raise funds for the auditorium’s sound and light systems. We were
welcomed by a supercool array of thank you notes and pictures plastering
the school music room. What an awesome group of students!
show was a blast, the dinner was A-M-A-Z--I-N-G, and we thank the
town for having us.
to see the photos!
2010-12-15: Note From Amy
I know I been talking about this one for a while and it’s finally
Ray MVP Live represents the last couple years of touring I have
done with my all-star band of “most valuable players.” I am lucky
to have this band – they play at a level that always challenges
me musically, but most importantly they elevate the heart and soul
of my songs.
met Kaia Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Melissa York (drums) way back
in 1999 when they were playing with their punk trio-The Butchies.
I had been a fan of Team Dresch and always hoped to make music of
this vein. When they stepped into my life, these dreams came true.
Julie Wolf (keys, vocals) is an amazing player that I’ve known over
the years in many different musical circles. She has played extensively
with the IG’s in the last 5 years and is now the glue that holds
this band together in so many ways. I met Greg Griffith (bass, producer,
vocals) through Melissa York. He has been her rhythmic counterpart
in many projects, since they were young punks running around NYC.
I started with Greg as a producer on my last studio record, Didn’t
It Feel Kinder. He is now a permanent fixture in my musical life.
engineer, Brian Speiser went on a couple of tours to run sound and
record our shows on good days and bad. I combed through the recordings
and found what I thought were our most representative moments. Speiser
mixed the sounds together in a masterful way, always keeping in
mind the point of view of the audience, and the feel of the show
and club. This is a swath of what he captured.
music is a visceral experience that can’t be totally captured with
digital bits or tape, but I am hoping MVP
Live will at the very least reflect the moments that we shared
with the “small but mighty” audiences in the rock clubs where we
play. My strongest hope is that this live record will take you to
the show and then transport you to a place of energy, strength,
artist, Erin Dangar created a primo package that includes trading
cards of the band and tour photos. The CD will be available through
digital sites as well, but this special edition signed package is
only available at our shows and through the Daemon
Records website. I might add that me, Brian, and a few other
folks stayed up through a power outage putting these CD packages