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      Amy Ray Band in Missoula

      • Amy Ray Band Photo #1
      1 of 1
      February 24, 2019

      Sunday   7:00 PM

      134 West Front Street
      Missoula, Montana 59802

      Amy Ray Band

      with Ashleigh Flynn & the Riveter
      A lot of artists defy categorization. Some do so because they are tirelessly searching for the place they fit, while others areconstantly chasing trends. Some, though, are genuinely exploring and expressing their myriad influences. Amy Ray belongsin the latter group. Pulling from every direction Patty Griffin to Patti Smith, Big Star to Bon Iver Ray's music might bestbe described as folk-rock, though even that would be a tough sell, depending on the song.Ray's musical beginnings trace back to her high school days in Atlanta, Georgia, when she and Emily Saliers formed the duothat would become the Indigo Girls. Their story started in 1981 with a basement tape called Tuesday's Children and went onto include a deal with Epic Records in 1988, a Grammy in 1990, and nearly 20 albums over more than 30 years.Rooted in shared passions for harmony and justice, the Indigo Girls have forged a career that combines artistry and activismto push against every boundary and box anyone tries to put them in. As activists, they have supported as many great causesas they can, from LGBTQ+ rights to voter registration, going so far as to co-found an environmental justice organization,Honor the Earth, with Winona LaDuke in 1993. As artists, they have dipped their toes into a similar multitude of waters folk, rock, country, pop, and more but the resulting releases are always pure Indigo.Ray's six solo sets and three live albums have charted even wider seas, from the political punk of 2001's Stag to thefeminist Americana of 2018's Holler. Each effort seems to lean into her influences in different ways, whether it's the AllmanBrothers or the Carter Family. One album finds the Butchies on full blast, another features Alison Brown on bluegrass banjo.Both Stag and its follow-up, Prom (2005), found Ray addressing societal woes, ranging from the dangers of homophobia tothe machismo of rock & roll, all while channeling her inner Replacements into a Southern punk sound that she has called"subversiveness with a smile." Ray softened her sonic stance a bit for her next two efforts, 2008's Didn't It Feel Kinder and2012's Lung of Love, both of which felt closer in tone to her work with Indigo Girls, confronting cultural issues alongsidepersonal ones.In retrospect, it's easy to see how songs like Lung of Love's Bird in the Hand and The Rock Is My Foundation served assignposts of what was to come next for Ray. With Goodnight Tender in 2014, she recorded in Asheville, North Carolina, andstepped squarely into the country music that has been a part of everything she's done. But it's not the kind of country heardon the radio; it's the country music culled from folk, bluegrass, gospel, and Southern rock, going so far as to title a tune afterDuane Allman.For 2018's Holler, Ray recorded, once again, with her Carolina country kin, adding horns and strings to all but split themusical distance between Kinder and Tender to create a soulful, country-tinged, gospel-infused Americana sound. Morecohesively than her prior releases, Holler encompasses and imparts all the disparate aspects of Ray's influences in asingular offering.Ray's vast artistic inspirations are matched only by the deep peer admiration that is reflected in her albums' guestappearances, which have included Vince Gill, Brandi Carlile, Justin Vernon, Jim James, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, PhilCook, and others. That kind of good will is something only built from a lifetime of good deeds and great music.While she partnered with Compass Records to issue Holler, Ray's home base is Daemon Records, the not-for-profit label shefounded in 1990 to support grassroots artists, including Kristen Hall, Rose Polenzani, Girlyman, John Trudell, GerardMcHugh, the Rock-A-Teens, and others. With Daemon, as with everything, Ray aimed to give something back to thecommunity from which she has gotten so much.Solo or duo, with a band or an orchestra, together and apart, both Ray and Saliers pour themselves into every performance,and their audiences still soak up every ounce of that generosity, spilling their own hearts and souls out as they sing along toevery song. Theirs isn't a fanbase; it's a family

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