For more than twenty-five years, Amy Ray has been renowned as one half of the Grammy-award winning folk duo Indigo Girls. She is also a community activist, and has had an indie label, Daemon Records, since 1989. With her debut solo album, Stag (2001), Ray turned in her acoustic for an electric and delivered a critically acclaimed album that showed her love of punk and rock. Since then, she has released two live records and four more solo studio albums: her rock/punk records, Prom, Didn’t It Feel Kinder, Lung of Love, and her country record, Goodnight Tender, her first foray into traditional country music. Her newest live recording is called The Tender Hour and was recorded at Seattle’s Triple Door. The record features her top-notch country band playing all the tunes from Goodnight Tender as well as a few songs from her earlier releases.
(photo credit: Paul Dunlap and Denise Plumb)
The 2015 Talkies — the Talkhouse Music’s yearly best album poll — revealed that our contributors have some pretty eclectic taste. So, we decided to ask a few of our musician-writers to dive deeper into their lists and make us a playlist featuring their favorite tracks from their favorite albums of the year. Amy Ray, of Indigo Girls, is up next.
— the editors of the Talkhouse Music
Yelawolf – “Best Friend” from Love Story
It’s hard to pick a favorite from this record — seriously, this is one of the best things I have heard in years.
Algiers – “Blood” from Algiers
Punk meets black gospel, with some Joy Division thrown in — how could it go wrong? I went crazy for this record.
Screaming Females – “Ripe” from Rose Mountain
This band doesn’t get the airtime it deserves, but the critics and listeners that take notice consistently point out that Screaming Females write and play pure, unadulterated punk rock — a rare thing in these days of celebrity punk-authenticity. It’s worth discovering.
Soak – “B a noBody” from Before We Forget How to Dream
This artist is a little treasure. So fragile yet so powerful. A friend turned me on to this — my first listen was in my car and I just… kept driving.
Chris Stapleton – “The Devil Named Music” from Traveller
This guy writes such classic country songs and we need him around for sure.
Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass” from Title
I love her story and her perspective. This record comes in handy when you have a two-year-old who loves a good dance party!
Phil Cook – “Belong” from Southland Mission
Full disclosure: this guy is a good friend of mine, but all the musicians that surround him and borrow from his incredible gifts have been waiting a long time for him to make this record. Phil is the key to so many bands rolling around these parts; I’m glad he’s finally done something that is all about him!
Alabama Shakes – “This Feeling” from Sound & Color
I like the crazy soul-rock tunes, too, but this one is so groovy, and shows off that incredible voice.
Iris DeMent – “And This You Call Work” from Trackless Woods
She’s a quiet storm. I’ve loved Iris for years and am always intrigued by her artistry and exceptional oddity.
Liz Longley – “Camaro” from Liz Longley
Longley is new on the scene — she’s got something special to offer the Americana music world.
(photo credit: Jeff Fielder)