Amy Ray

Amy Ray

Michelle Malone

Tue, October 23, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Hargray Capitol Theatre

Macon, GA

$25.00 - $30.00

Amy Ray
Amy Ray
Many artists, musical and otherwise, use their craft to provide a visible platform for the issues they believe in. Their activism becomes interwoven with their art. Indigo Girls have long been known for voicing their political and social views in both their actions and song. From their early days in the 1980’s of raising funds for soup kitchens and HIV/AIDS support in Atlanta, and their co-founding of the indigenous environmental justice organization Honor the Earth in the early 1990’s, Indigo Girls have continued to evolve as activists. In recent years, they have continued to focus on Honor the Earth as well as immigrant rights, voter advocacy, the anti-death penalty movement, gun violence prevention, queer youth rights and support, as well as support for mentally ill populations. They have emphasized the need to work against sexism, racism, queer-phobia, and to work across the lines of rural and urban definitions, within all of their community-based activism, to build coalitions in order to bring true liberation to us all and truth to power.

Amy Ray teamed up with Emily Saliers while in high school, and soon the duo became a staple in the Atlanta music scene. In 1981, their independent music career began with a basement recording called Tuesday’s Children. One thing led to another, and they signed with Epic Records in 1988. Despite almost polar-opposite styles, they met on the common ground of harmony and the love of meaningful music. Ray brought fire and earth, Saliers the wind and water. The alchemy proved magical, and their brand of folk-rock hit at just the right time alongside the successes of Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, and 10,000 Maniacs.

With an extremely loyal and passionate fan base, they sold millions of albums and garnered numerous awards over the years, but that was never really the point. More importantly, they expressed themselves creatively, poetically, politically, and spiritually. Each release pushed The Indigo Girls’ musical boundaries. They incorporated elements of folk, country, rock, pop, punk, and soul into their evolution, giving each album a fresh sound without losing sight of their art or themselves. To give back what was given to them, Ray founded the not-for-profit Daemon Records in 1990. The label’s mission is to support local artists at a grassroots level, to teach young artists how to further their own careers, and to keep the independent spirit alive. Ellen James Society, Kristen Hall, Gerard McHugh, James Hall, Rose Polenzani, pH Balance, John Trudell, Utah Phillips, Danielle Howle, Three Finger Cowboy, and The Rock*A*Teens, among others, have all passed through the school of Daemon.

Inspired by the music of these bands and the Southern punk/indie rock scene, Ray embarked on a solo adventure in 2000. Traveling around the Southeast with guitar and amp in tow, she wrote, rehearsed, and recorded Stag, teaming up with The Butchies, The Rock*A*Teens, Danielle Howle, and 1945, with a quick stop in NYC to play with Joan Jett, Kate Schellenbach, and Josephine Wiggs. Stag hit the streets in March 2001, and changed her trajectory from that point on. The depths and intensity of her artistry and emotions are revealed in awe-inspiring punk performances on its ten songs, giving Ray a forum to more fully express her political stances and questions of self. Stag was followed by the similarly themed Prom in 2005. Ray issued Live from Knoxville in 2007. Following several well-received Indigo Girls albums, she released the introspective solo offering Didn’t It Feel Kinder in 2008, MVP Live in 2010, and Lung of Love in early 2012 – all on Daemon. The latter contained guest vocal spots from Brandi Carlile and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. In early 2014, Ray released Goodnight Tender, her first country album. Guests on the set of tunes include Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Susan Tedeschi. Her current release is a live record from a 2014 show at Seattle’s Triple Door theater, a riff on Goodnight Tender, The Tender Hour covers songs from her country record plus her earlier releases with her stellar and versatile band.

In 2015, Indigo Girls released One Lost Day, and Indigo Girls Live With the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra in June 2018, and will be recording a new album in January of 2019 in the U.K.

Amy Ray and her band’s new country album, Holler will be released on September 28th 2018. It was recorded live to tape at her mainstay Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC, with the added power and swagger of horns and strings that harken back to the country music of the late 60’s. Holler features special guests: Alison Brown on banjo, Kofi Burbridge on keys, Derek Trucks on guitar; Vince Gill, Brandi Carlile, The Wood Brothers, Justin Vernon, Lucy Wainwright Roche and Phil Cook on harmonies. Amy and her band will be hitting the road throughout the Fall of 2018 and beyond.
Michelle Malone
Michelle Malone
Compared to most musical artists in the Americana genre, Malone seems like a pair of distressed blue jeans amidst a sea of pantsuits. Unlike the surplus of self-professed rootsy rebels, one listen to this woman from Dixie and you know you’re hearing the real thing. Credit Michelle Malone with doing things her own way for the better part of the past three decades, and defying expectations in the process.

She’s had her share of success, courtesy of some 15 studio albums, her own independent SBS Records label, numerous top flight film and TV soundtracks, kudos from the critics and collaborations with a remarkable roster of amazing artists, among them, the late Gregg Allman, ZZ Top, Ellen DeGeneres and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Chuck Leavell, the master keyboardist who has backed both the the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers, cited her as “One of the best female vocalists I’ve ever heard.” It’s little wonder that Guitar World once hailed Malone as “Equal parts guitar slinger and sweet songstress, with masterful lyrical introspection – sublime to raucous.”
Malone isn’t content to simply acknowledge her accomplishments.

A singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer whose music is informed by blues, roadhouse rock & roll and Georgia soul, Malone’s stunning and stirring new album Slings and Arrows (Due February 16 via SBS Records) pushes the parameters even further. It’s upbeat, defiant, and jubilant, flush with the raw energy and emotion that’s always been a part of her signature sound all while nudging her deeper into some personal territory she hasn’t explored before. Malone deals with issues that have been burned into her psyche and affected her deeply. These songs speak to desire and disappointment, optimism and awareness, all with a driving and fiery conviction. “It wasn’t planned that way”, she insists, “but inevitably, that’s how the album evolved”.


“The past year seemed to alternate between darkness and light,” Malone reflects. “It’s kind of been the arc of my life in general, but even more so over the past year. In a very real sense, this album is a microcosm of issues that I’ve rencountered, and in writing this record, it became a kind of therapy. It helped change my perspective, and I suspect that there are messages here that can offer affirmation to others as well.”

While it’s not a concept album in the strictest sense, Slings and Arrows does look at a myriad of scenarios from the perspective of the characters that populate these songs. It’s through their hardships that Malone draws parallels with situations she’s encountered in recent years with her friends and family. In that way, Malone offers both a connection and a catalyst for dealing with these universal difficulties.

Slings and Arrows is more than mere meditation or rumination. Malone, an Atlanta native, describes it as a “Georgia record,” due to the fact that the musicians, studios, and even those responsible for the visual art are all Georgians. ”I take a lot of pride in Georgia and the importance that Georgia music has played not only in my music but also in American music in general,” she says. “Georgians such as Little Richard, James Brown, Ray Charles all laid the ground work. Without them, we would never have had Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones - there would be no rock and roll.”

As the New York Times once pointed out, Malone is "The kind of singer and songwriter who can jolt things into overdrive." That’s best evidenced by the fact that the record was recorded quickly live in the studio. It took all of five days to get the songs on tape. “I aim for authenticity,” Malone insists. “I don’t know how to do it any other way. I’m at my best when I’m just being me.”

Produced by Malone herself, recorded by Jeff Bakos and mixed and mastered by Gerry Hansen, Slings and Arrows finds her handling vocals, brandishing electric and acoustic guitars (including her signature slide guitar), harp, and mandolin, with additional support from guitarist Doug Kees, bassist Robbie Handley, drummer Christopher Burrows and percussionist Trish Land.

Malone slyly adds half jokingly and half seriously, “These Slings and Arrows have the power to defeat your blues, move your shoes and put you back together, too!” Who doesn’t want that?
Venue Information:
Hargray Capitol Theatre
382 Second Street
Macon, GA, 31201
http://www.hargraycapitoltheatre.com/