Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been together as the Indigo Girls for nearly three decades. Their career took off with their 1989 self-titled second album, with key songs like “Closer to Fine” and “Kid Fears” reminding us that music can be simultaneously beautiful and thought-provoking. Both Ray and Saliers are amazing songwriters, with some additional song highlights being “Strange Fire”, “Secure Yourself”, “Prince of Darkness”, “Galileo”, “Least Complicated”, “Power of Two”, and “Shame on You”. Over the years their music has evolved – perhaps most notably they started plugging in their guitars more often – but their wonderful lyrics and harmonies have always continued to shine. Their most recent album is 2011’s Beauty Queen Sister. The Indigo Girls are also politically active, and have long supported environmental, Native American, and gay rights causes.
This interview with Amy Ray was for a preview article for the Indigo Girls concert on 7/2/14 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, which they co-headlined with folk music legend Joan Baez. It was done by phone on 6/25/14.
Will Oldham has been steadily releasing records for nearly two decades now, under different names including (rarely) his own, Palace Brothers, and, for most of the last decade, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. His music receives much (well-deserved) critical acclaim: for example, his 1999 album I See A Darkness – the title track of which was covered by the late Johnny Cash – was ranked as the 9th best album of the 1990’s by the influential indie-arbiters pitchfork.com, who say that it “confirm[s] that Oldham is indie’s detached and brilliant DeNiro.”
This is the transcription of a phone conversation with Oldham on 9/20/10, and formed the basis of a preview article for his 10/27/10 concert in Santa Ynez, California.