Amy Ray

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Amy Ray
Amy Ray at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ 04202012 2sm.jpg
Amy Ray performing at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ, USA, during the tour promoting her 2012 solo album, Lung of Love.
Background information
Birth nameAmy Elizabeth Ray
Born (1964-04-12) April 12, 1964 (age 57)
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Origin Georgia, U.S.
Genres Folk rock
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
  • mandolin
  • harmonica
Years active1985–present
Associated acts Indigo Girls

Amy Elizabeth Ray (born April 12, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the contemporary folk duo Indigo Girls. [1] She also pursues a solo career and has released six albums under her own name, and founded a record company, Daemon Records.



Amy Ray Amy Ray.png
Amy Ray

Born in Decatur, Georgia, Amy Ray met Emily Saliers when they both attended the same elementary school. [2] They began performing together and recorded a demo in 1981. After graduation, Ray and Saliers went to different colleges with Ray attending Vanderbilt University. [3] By 1985, both women had transferred to Emory University in Atlanta and formed the Indigo Girls. [3] In 1986, Ray graduated from Emory with majors in English and Religion.[ citation needed ]

In March 2001, Ray released her first solo album, Stag , a southern and punk rock album. The Butchies, a punk band whose members include Kaia Wilson, Melissa York, and Alison Martlew, provided support for five songs, and Joan Jett played on "Hey Castrator". In April 2005, Ray released the softer edged [4] Prom , and in December 2006, she released Live from Knoxville . Her fourth solo album, the melodic [4] Didn't It Feel Kinder, was released in August 2008. Lung of Love, which has more of an indie-rock sound, [4] was released in 2012. [4] [5]

Her backup band for her Stag tour was The Butchies. In 2004, when she embarked on her Prom tour, she brought Les Nuby (guitar), Will Lochamy (drums), and Jody Bleyle (bass). Tara Jane O'Neil replaced Bleyle when she began maternity leave in October. [ citation needed ] Ray's backup band for her 2012 Lung of Love tour was The Butchies. Jenn Stone, former keyboard player for Kesha, also performed on the tour. [5]

Side projects

Kaia Wilson and Amy Ray on stage Kaia Wilson and Amy Ray on stage at The Saint sms.jpg
Kaia Wilson and Amy Ray on stage

In addition to the Indigo Girls [6] [7] and her work as a solo artist, Ray also runs an independent record label, Daemon Records, which she founded in 1990 and which is based in Decatur, Georgia. [7] Some performers signed to Daemon include Girlyman, Magnapop, Nineteen Forty-Five, Michelle Malone, Three Finger Cowboy, Danielle Howle and the Tantrums, Gerard McHugh, New Mongrels, Grady Cousins, The Oblivious, Snow Machine, Utah Phillips and Rose Polenzani.

She often collaborates with The Butchies, a punk band featuring drummer Melissa York and vocalist/guitarist Kaia Wilson. She has contributed the live track "Lucy Stoners" on Calling All Kings & Queens (2001) and the Mr. Lady Records sampler album as well as a live recording of "On Your Honor" on a compilation for Home Alive.

Ray is also an activist involved in multiple political and social causes, including gay rights, low-power broadcasting, women's rights, indigenous struggles, gun control, environmental protection and the anti-death penalty movement among others. She has made several trips to Chiapas, Mexico to support the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

In 1993, she and Emily Saliers co-founded Honor the Earth with Winona LaDuke. Honor the Earth's mission is "to create awareness and support for Native [American] environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native [American] communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard." [8]

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) appears on her 2014 album Goodnight Tender, and she and Vernon continue to maintain a friendship. [9]

Ray was also a judge for the 3rd [10] and 11th Annual [11] Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

Personal life

Ray lives in the foothills of North Georgia, where she and her partner, Carrie Schrader, have a daughter, Ozilline Graydon. [12] [13] In March 2021, Ray, a lesbian, spoke on the LGBTQ&A podcast about having gender dysphoria and identifying as genderqueer (though she uses she/her pronouns). [14]


Studio albums

Track listing for Goodnight Tender

  1. "Hunter's Prayer" – 3:36
  2. "Oyster and Pearl" – 4:00
  3. "The Gig That Matters" – 3:41
  4. "Time Zone" – 4:26
  5. "Anyhow" – 3:03
  6. "Duane Allman" – 2:51
  7. "More Pills" – 3:35
  8. "Broken Record" – 3:11
  9. "Goodnight Tender" – 4:01
  10. "My Dog" – 2:23
  11. "Let the Spirit" – 4:05
  12. "When You Come for Me" – 3:47

Live albums

Related Research Articles

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Emily Ann Saliers is an American singer-songwriter and member of the musical duo Indigo Girls. Saliers plays lead guitar as well as banjo, piano, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki and many other instruments.

The Butchies were an all-female punk rock band from Durham, North Carolina, that existed from 1998 to 2005. They reunited from their hiatus to tour with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls promoting Ray's new album in 2010. The frequent focus of their lyrical content concerned lesbian and queer themes.

Team Dresch

Team Dresch is an American queercore/punk rock band from Portland, Oregon, originally formed in Olympia, Washington, which was initially active from 1993 until 1998. The band made a significant impression on the DIY movement queercore, which gave voice through zines and music to the passions and concerns of those in both the LGBT community and the punk subculture. All bandmembers were open lesbians. Washington Post writer Chris Richards called their debut album, 1995's Personal Best, "a fiery, all-but-forgotten punk masterpiece." In the early 2000s, Team Dresch reunited, and they continue to perform. In March 2019, the band announced they would be reissuing their entire catalogue via Jealous Butcher Records. Along with reissuing their catalogue, the band is also plotting an upcoming tour, though dates haven't been announced. This came alongside the release of a new video for the band's classic track "Fagetarian and Dyke." The new visual featured never-before-seen live footage of the group, offering a glimpse into the wild moshpit-filled shows of their heyday.

Melissa York

Melissa York is a rock drummer noted for her work with iconic lesbian bands such Team Dresch, The Butchies, and Amy Ray. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Kaia Wilson

Kaia Lynne Wilson is an American musician from Portland, Oregon, best known as a founding member of both Team Dresch, a revered 1990s queercore punk band, and The Butchies, a pop-rock spin-off from her solo work. In addition to singing, songwriting and guitar, Wilson co-established and operated Mr. Lady Records from 1996 to 2004.

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Live from Knoxville is the third solo album and first live release by Amy Ray of Indigo Girls, released in 2006 on her Daemon Records label.

<i>Stag</i> (Amy Ray album) 2001 studio album by Amy Ray

Stag is the debut solo album by Amy Ray of Indigo Girls, released in 2001 on her Daemon Records label. On it she is accompanied by The Butchies, the Rockateens, Joan Jett, Josephine Wiggs and Kate Schellenbach. She attributes the Butchies with contributing a punk rock influence to some of the songs.

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  2. Burns, Rebecca (June 2003). "From Brenda Lee to Ludacris: A Sonic Portrait of Our City". Atlanta Magazine. Emmis Communications. 43 (2): 80. ISSN   0004-6701 . Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Malkin, John (2005). Sounds of freedom: musicians on spirituality & social change . Parallax. p.  48. ISBN   978-1-888375-47-3.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Baca, Ricardo (March 3, 2012). "Amy Ray: An Indigo Girl gone solo — but only temporarily". The Denver Post.
  5. 1 2 Rodman, Sarah (April 13, 2012). "Amy Ray's 5 top things about touring as a solo girl". The Boston Globe.
  6. Caramanica, Jon (June 17, 2009). "Where the Outdoors Are Humming With Melodies and Messages". New York Times.
  7. 1 2 Mina Carson; Tisa Lewis; Susan M. Shaw (2004). Girls rock!: fifty years of women making music. UP of Kentucky. p. 144. ISBN   978-0-8131-2310-3.
  8. "Campaigns". Honor the Earth. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  9. "Episode 22 – Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)". Cigar City Management. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  10. "3rd Annual IMA Judges" Archived November 12, 2015, at the Wayback Machine . Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  11. "11th Annual IMA Judges. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  12. Ruggieri, Melissa (January 10, 2014). "Amy Ray talks new country album, new baby and Indigo Girls". Access Atlanta. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  13. "Indigo Girls' Amy Ray on tattoos and coming out - Windy City Times News". Windy City Times. November 2, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  14. "Amy Ray, the Indigo Girls, and the Soundtrack of Our Gay Lives". March 30, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  15. "Amy Ray Band On Mountain Stage". March 7, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.