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Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls insists she is just like everybody
else. I suppose she would be...if everyone else had carved out a career
as one of the most successful folk duos in music history.
When we speak she is preparing for a snowstorm at her home in Atlanta,
Georgia. Outside, the roads are shut down, schools are closed, and she won't
be leaving her house for a couple days at least. She told me, "It's kind of like,
pretend it's Armageddon and it's going to be okay." When it was already
too late to go to the store she peeked into her pantry. "I'm not stocked up. I
have some eggs. And I have an onion and some cheese." I suggested omelets.
She told me there weren't enough eggs for more than one omelet but that's
okay; she likes it because she gets to be creative.
Being creative hasn't ever been a problem for Emily, or for her band
mate, Amy Ray. One of the most iconic musical pairs to come out of the
folk music surge of the 1990s; the two recently celebrated thirty years of
playing gigs together. She said, "A er thirty years, it's just amazing to me
that people come back and their spirits and hearts and voices are there. It's
awesome. Every day I'm thankful for it." e girls are heading to Australia in
April for a tour that will take them around the country. Emily said, "We're
so thankful that there are so many people in Australia who will come to the
shows. When the promoter says people are gonna come, we're like, really?
Okay, let's go! It's just a matter of planning it. It's a long way... but you know
the heart of it is, we're going back to Australia! What a great thing."
It is the fourth time the Indigo Girls have toured Australia. O cially,
it's a tour to promote their live album. But don't expect the set list to just
re ect this, as Emily promised me sing-a-longs of 'Closer to Fine' and
'Galileo'. She said, "We're just going to be doing what Amy and I do --
just playing our shows." e two make a new set list every night, for
every show, "just to feel fresh about it, be excited what we're playing
and we don't pick songs we don't feel like playing."
e longevity of the Indigo Girls is due in part to their energ y and
evolution, and Emily credits their autonomy from each other and the
group as instrumental in their success. "We're like a good marriage
where each person, her and her, has her own creative and interesting
life separate from the group. at's the key. All our di erences have
been the key to our coming together."
With a Grammy, chart-topping songs, and sales of over 12 million
albums to their names, I asked Emily if she ever thought it was
going to end up this way, when she rst met Amy in Georgia as a
kid. "I used to go over to Amy's house because she had Coca-Cola at her
house and we didn't have Coco-Cola at our house and I loved playing with
her. It was so fun. I was always the soprano and she was always the alto or
tenor and I sort of was like the picker and she was the strummer. It's one of
those things that gets fed by itself in a very natural and fruitful way and we
really never had aspirations to be a band or have a career...."
Just before we said our good-byes and Emily went o to hibernate she
made sure to tell me one last thing: "Tell the lesbians we love them!" I told
her I would.
The Indigo Girls play Sydney's State Theatre, April 28 and Melbourne's
Palais on April 29. Tickets now on sale. The Indigo Girls live album is out now.
A brighter shade of blue
Indigo Girls bring their live show downunder.
Jillian Eugenios reports.
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