Culture: Girls Become Women for Latest Album; Indigo Girl Emily Saliers Tells John Whishaw about Her Passions - Music, Gay Rights and Chocolate Cake

The Birmingham Post (England), May 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

Culture: Girls Become Women for Latest Album; Indigo Girl Emily Saliers Tells John Whishaw about Her Passions - Music, Gay Rights and Chocolate Cake


Byline: John Whishaw

Sweet Southern soul with a dash of country - Become You, the brilliant new album from right-on Georgia duo Indigo Girls, is a worthy new addition to their impressive back catalogue.

'A lot of that Southern soul thing comes from us being southerners ourselves,' says Indigo girl Emily Saliers.

'Otherwise it's the influence of our rhythm section. They drive the songs a lot. Our drummer Brady Blade is from Louisiana and he grew up playing in the church. He's got that real soulful rootsy feeling.'

The UK tour, which comes to Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall tomorrow, brings the other two members of the band, Carol Isaacs and Clare Kenny, home to the UK.

'Carol plays Hammond B3 organ Wurlitzer piano, acoustic piano and accordion, as well as penny whistle, recorder and percussion,' explains Emily.

'Clare, who plays acoustic and electric bass, cut her teeth on reggae and she's really into black American music. She's an amazing bass player, the perfect combination between melodic and funky.

'There's a real camaraderie among us, we're like a little family. And then there's the emotional attachment beyond the music. You can't separate them really when you start playing together.'

Emily says The Indigo Girls are happy to be in the UK for their short six-date tour.

'It's great to be back in Britain, we were last here in February when we played in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin.'

The duo are appearing alongside a couple of exciting young Irish exports, doe-eyed Dungiven darling Cara Dillon and Vienna-born Pina Kollars, who now resides in Ardgroom, County Cork.

'Pina is great,' Emily enthuses. 'We did some shows with her when we were in the UK last time. She's fantastic and has a lot of spirit in her music.

'We know Cara Dillon through John Reynolds who mixed her album - she has such a lovely voice.

'We love having great opening acts, we just stand at the side of the stage and watch them. It's a great way for us to hear different music.'

Become You reunites the Indigo Girls with producer Peter Collins, who was at the controls for their platinum-selling Rites of Passage in 1992 and 1994's Grammy-nominated Swamp Ophelia. 'Peter's another Brit - we love our Brits,' says Emily.

Cut in their home town of Atlanta Georgia, the new record is the latest release from Emily Saliers and her partner Amy Ray in a remarkable two-decade career, spanning eight fulllength albums.

'We've stopped counting really,' laughs the singer. 'Amy and I don't keep up with the number of records we've made any more. We're both older as people now, Amy has just turned 38 and I'll be 39 in the summer.

'The worst thing about getting older is the time goes faster. After releasing Retrospective in October 2000, we took some time off and Amy released her solo album Stag, which she put out on her own label Damon Records.

'She toured and played some rock clubs; I just stayed home, wrote songs and hung out with my family and friends.

'I had a good breathing period to collect my thoughts. We usually take breaks between records, but some people thought this was a long time.'

The lay-off gave the girls the opportunity to pursue their outside interests. …

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