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Indigo Girls

While they came into prominence as part of the late-'80s folky singer/songwriter revival, the Indigo Girls had staying power where other artists from the same era quickly faded. Their two-women-with-guitars formula may not have seemed very revolutionary on paper, but the combination of two distinct personalities and songwriting styles provided tension and an interesting balance. Emily Saliers, hailing from the more traditional Joni Mitchell school, boasted a gentler sound, was more complex musically, and leaned toward the abstract and spiritual. Meanwhile, Amy Ray drew heavily from the singer/songwriter aspects of punk rock, citing influences such as the Jam, the Pretenders, and Hüsker Dü for her more abrasive and direct approach. Throughout two decades of music, they managed to garner respectable mainstream success and maintain their rabid core following.

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first took the name Indigo Girls while living in Atlanta in 1985, although they had been performing together since the early '80s, at times under the name "the B-Band." In 1986, they recorded an independent self-titled EP and followed in 1987 with the full-length Strange Fire -- only 7,000 copies were pressed, however, and very little interest was generated. Things changed quickly in 1988 when, in the wake of the success of Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, and 10,000 Maniacs, the duo seemed to fit nicely into "the next big thing." Appropriately, Epic Records was quick to sign them.

Indigo Girls, released in 1989, was an excellent national debut. A guest vocal by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe ("Kid Fears") gave them initial college radio credibility, and the single "Closer to Fine" was a hit -- buoyed by those strengths, the album eventually broke the Top 30 and earned a Grammy for Best Folk Recording that year. By the end of 1991, it achieved platinum sales. Strange Fire was reissued in the fall, with a cover of "Get Together" replacing one of the original tracks. The follow-up, 1990's Nomads Indians Saints, didn't fare quite as well. Although it was nominated for a Grammy and eventually reached gold status, the material wasn't nearly as strong. A live EP, Back on the Bus, Y'All, was released in 1991 while the women regrouped; it, too, was certified gold and garnered a Grammy nomination.

In spring of 1992, the Indigo Girls made a comeback with Rites of Passage, which debuted at number 22 and went platinum by the year's end. The album showed an increasing diversity and some of their strongest songs to date. Almost exactly two years later, Swamp Ophelia was released and entered the charts at number nine; it went gold by the end of the year. A double live album, 1200 Curfews, was released in 1995 and the much awaited follow-up to Swamp Ophelia, Shaming of the Sun, followed in 1997. The duo's next effort, Come on Now Social, appeared two years later.

Released in 2002, Become You was stripped down in comparison to the orchestration of the Girls' more recent work, and 2004's All That We Let In was generally regarded as their strongest album in years. A rarities set appeared the following year, marking Saliers and Ray's 20-year anniversary as Indigo Girls, as well as their last release on the Epic roster. Shortly thereafter, Saliers and Ray signed a five-album deal with Hollywood Records, although the songwriters only released one record -- the Mitchell Froom-produced Despite Our Differences, issued in 2006 -- before Hollywood dropped them from its roster. The Indigo Girls took to their website to assure fans that the band would move onward, and 2009's Poseidon and the Bitter Bug marked their first independent release in over 20 years.

Released in 2010, the double-disc Staring Down the Brilliant Dream featured live performances from shows between 2006 and 2009, and the duo wrapped up the year by releasing a holiday-themed bluegrass album, Holly Happy Days. Issued in 2011, Beauty Queen Sister, the Indigo Girls' 14th studio album and the fourth to be released on their own IG Recordings imprint for Vanguard Records, reunited them with producer Peter Collins, who helmed the duo's earlier albums Rites of Passage and Swamp Ophelia. After an extended tour and a lengthy break, Ray and Saliers went back to work, this time in various Nashville recording studios with producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin. One Lost Day was released in June of 2015, in the middle of a nationwide tour. ~ Chris Woodstra
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: One Lost Day

1. Elizabeth

2. Happy In The Sorrow Key

3. Southern California Is Your Girlfriend

4. Texas Was Clean

5. Alberta

6. Olympia Inn

7. If I Don't Leave Here Now

8. Spread The Pain Around

9. Learned It On Me

10. The Rise Of The Black Messiah

11. Findlay, Ohio 1968

12. Fishtails

13. Come A Long Way


Track List: Beauty Queen Sister

1. Share The Moon

2. John

3. Beauty Queen Sister

4. We Get To Feel It All

5. War Rugs

6. Gone

7. Mariner Moonlighting

8. Birthday Song

9. Feed And Water The Horses

10. Making Promises

11. Damo

12. Able To Sing

13. Yoke


Track List: Poseidon And The Bitter Bug

1. Digging For Your Dream

2. Sugar Tongue

3. Love Of Our Lives

4. Driver Education

5. I'll Change

6. Second Time Around

7. What Are You Like?

8. Ghost Of The Gang

9. Fleet Of Hope

10. True Romantic


Track List: Despite Our Differences

1. Pendulum Swinger

2. Little Perennials

3. I Believe In Love

4. Three County Highway

5. Run

6. Rock And Roll Heaven's Gate

7. Lay My Head Down

8. Money Made You Mean

9. Fly Away

10. Dirt And Dead Ends

11. All The Way

12. They Won't Have Me

13. Last Tears


Track List: All That We Let In

Disc 1

1. Fill It Up Again

2. Heartache For Everyone

3. Free In You

4. Perfect World

5. All That We Let In

6. Tether

7. Come On Home

8. Dairy Queen

9. Something Real

10. Cordova

11. Rise Up

Disc 2

Track List: Become You

1. Moment Of Forgiveness

2. Deconstruction

3. Become You

4. You've Got To Show

5. Yield

6. Collecting You

7. Hope Alone

8. Bitterroot

9. Our Deliverance

10. Starkville

11. She's Saving Me

12. Nuevas Senoritas


Track List: Retrospective


Track List: Come On Now Social

1. Go

2. Soon Be To Nothing

3. Gone Again

4. Trouble

5. Sister

6. Peace Tonight

7. Ozilline

8. We Are Together

9. Cold Beer And Remote Control

10. Compromise

11. Andy

12. Faye Tucker/ Sister (Reprise)/ Philosophy Of Loss


Track List: Shaming of the Sun

1. Shame On you

2. Get Out The Map

3. Shed Your Skin

4. It's Alright

5. Caramia

7. Leeds

8. Scooter Boys

9. Everything In Its Own Time

10. Cut It Out

11. Burn All The Letters

12. Hey Kind Friend


Track List: Swamp Ophelia

1. Fugitive

2. Least Complicated

3. Language Or The Kiss

4. Reunion

5. Power Of Two

6. Touch Me Fall

7. The Wood Song

8. Mystery

9. Dead Man's Hill

10. Fare Thee Well

11. This Train Revised


Track List: Rites Of Passage

1. Three Hits

2. Galileo

3. Ghost

4. Joking

5. Jonas & Ezekial

6. Love Will Come To You

7. Romeo And Juliet

8. Virginia Woolf

9. Chickenman

10. Airplane

11. Nashville

12. Let It Be Me

13. Cedar Tree

14. Three Hits (Live)

15. Love Will Come To You (Live)


Track List: Nomads - Indians - Saints

1. Hammer And A Nail

2. Welcome Me

3. World Falls

4. Southland In The Springtime

5. 1 2 3

6. Keeper Of My Heart

7. Watershed

8. Hand Me Downs

9. You And Me Of The 10,000 Wars

10. Pushing The Needle Too Far

11. The Girl With The Weight Of The World In Her Hands

12. Welcome Me (Live)

13. Interview

14. You And Me Of The 10,000 Wars (Live)


Track List: Indigo Girls

1. Closer To Fine

2. Secure Yourself

3. Kid Fears

4. Prince Of Darkness

5. Blood And Fire

6. Tried To Be True

7. Love's Recovery

8. Land Of Canaan

9. Center Stage

10. History Of Us


Track List: Strange Fire

1. Strange Fire

2. Crazy Game

3. Left Me A Fool

4. I Don't Wanna Know

5. Hey Jesus

6. Get Together

7. Walk Away

8. Make It Easier

9. You Left It Up To Me

10. Land Of Canaan (Early Version)


Track List: Live At The Austin City Limits Music Festival 2007


Track List: Making Promises (Single)

1. Making Promises


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On the nearest Friday you'll be kissed on the love your life. Tomorrow be the best day of your life. Don't read this and ignore it or you will have bad luck. Post this on 15 other songs in 144 minutes then press space. Your crushes name appear on the screen in big letters.
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Inspired from the first harmony to touch my soul - forever true.
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This has been a favorite of mine for a couple decades. Beautiful lyrics and lovely harmonies. I love the Indigo Girls. Their music is inspiring and uplifting.
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Love has won!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
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Thank u 4 being....... . . . .
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Sad sack but how can't love him, forever young.
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It's really hard to listen to a CD of the Indigo Girls, but to catch a single on the 'radio' is bliss. Always loved Galileo, even after thinking about the lyrics and realizing that they were absolute nonsense. And the bridge is SO weak. But the harmony...!! !
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Been a while since I heard this... it's in my CD collection. Their harmonies are pure bliss. So talented. No auto-tune or studio tricks. Just two lavishly talented artists doing what they were born to do.
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Been a while since I heard this... it's in my CD collection. Their harmonies are pure bliss.
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One of my favorite Artists. First CD is especially moving and strong.
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they do a great version of Don't think twice, it's allright
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Saw them in Glendale, PA two nights ago. I love these girls. Been a fan since day 1!
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Listening now in preparation for seeing them in concert tonight for the first time. So excited!
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I've been a fan for twenty years! Their incredible talent and ability to reach people on an intellectual , as well as a spiritual, and emotional level make them one of my favorites. As long as they keep making music, I'll keep listening to it!
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LOVE the Indigo Girls...I was first introduced to them in the late 80's and I've been hooked ever since. Deep meaningful lyrics that speak to my soul every time I hear one, even a song I've heard hundreds of times.
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Dylan sung well
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Taylor swift
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just breath taking when i hear the swirwl of their voices and guitars with a little drum. such strong yet gentle voices almost makes you want to cry at the pureness what a treat with todays platic sounds and totally made for music television please keep making music together for us to purchase god bless you both
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Love the indigo Girls cannot wait to see them for the first time this summer at the Xpn concert in Camden NJ . I hope to see and speak to them at the meet and greet ��
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How long till my soul gets it right?
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?...
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Had the great pleasure of their experience at the Little Five-Points Pub in Atlanta before they became known
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My ex introduced this song to me, Cami thank you for that.. It warms my heart when I hear it:) smile your beautiful!
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Love when they pop up always like home
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bayareaarabi a n s
Some of my fondest memories are sitting around a campfire singing their songs. I found my place in the world through the Indigo Girls in the late 80's... A life touched is more valuable than any platinum album and mine most certainly was in a profound way. Thank you Emily and Amy for your persistance, passion, and voice!
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I've enjoyed their music ever since I was eleven and I got to see you in concert in 1996. The songs remind me of true stuff that I've seen. Shame On You I find like a anger relieve song.
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Been enjoying them for nearly 25 years! Seems they have been around almost as long as I have dug Indie music
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Seeing them tomorrow night in Nashville... b e e n a fan for along time. So excited!!
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Some of these comments are fantastic. Nice to see music inspire so many. Harmony helps us all balance :-D
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Bearbait. I remember the first time Romeo and Juliet hit the radio. I freaked, went straight to a record store and still listen to that disc often. Saw it live years later. I listen to the dire straights version differently now ;-)
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Their cover of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet will always be my favorite song.
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They are my absolute favorite musicians.
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Love the Indigo girls. In 98 or 99 I saw them at the Karl Marx theater in Havana. A bunch of bands there. They were a highlight for me. We were there covering the Orioles vs Cuban National team. Hung out with Buffet, Raitt and the girls afterwards. A picture from that night surfaced a few months back. We were all younger. Such a great memory :-)
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I heard Closer to Fine randomly on the radio with a friend and we struggled to figure out who it was, sounded like Paul Simon but was girls. Bought the Cas-single that weekend. Been a huge fan ever since.
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Thanks girls I took your help and it propelled me into heaven. Coming back not as much fun but all part of a spiritual journey with god.
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Their music saved my life, and spoke to me in dark times to rescue me many times.
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I wrote their fan club asked fir an autographed photo. I got one. How many bands would do that? They are cool.
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Love these ladies, loved them before they got big, great voices, great lyrics. Saw them live in 1990. Holy s**t, that was a show!
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I was named after Emily Saliers. Not many people can say that. :D
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jennifer_luc i a n i
Indigo Girls and ARay's solo work = best damn music ever!!! I've seen their solo shows, with a full backing band (the Shadowboxers - the best!) and symphony shows. You can't go wrong no matter the venue/show set.
Most recently was in Lowell, MA the night DOMA was shot down. The best venue and celebration ever!
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anniecraxmeu p
Can't wait to see their friend, the incredible Michelle Malone at Red Clay Theatre in Duluth, GA tonight. If you haven't heard Michelle're welcome!
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anniecraxmeu p
Some of my best memories in live music was seeing these wonderfully talented home town girls kill it on stage over and over. They delivered every time, and still so!
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I like them, but not a huge fan. With that said, I think both Rites of Passage and Shaming of the Sun are classics albums, and of course Closer to Fine is a great song. Got to see them in concert a lot in the Bay Area, as it seems they were always touring. Loved how they closed their shows soon after 9/11 with Paul Simon's American Tune.
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The 2 are a perfect balance and compliment each other like nothing I have heard since the first time I heard them in college in the late 80's, catch them everytime they are in town, great show EVERY time!
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Surprised there's no mention in their bio of the song that made me curious...bu r y my heart at Wounded knee.
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Been a fan since I heard the first song 20 some years ago. I have seen them live with a full band, just the two of them on stage with guitars, and most recently with a symphony. The music moves me like no other and will always b on my playlist.
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Listened to this with my dad when I was younger, and fell in love with it then. The girls sound like home to me :)
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fell in love in 1989, watching them perform Closer to Fine on (can you believe it?) the Today Show. i was on vacation, in some disposable chain hotel waiting on my turn in the shower - and i suddenly had to sit down. i've been to every live performance in a 100 mile area that i could go to and have been in love ever since.
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