Amy Ray Talks About Her Solo Show

Singer/Songwriter Amy Ray is performing at the Triple Door in Seattle this evening. Tickets are still available for this amazing country show. Don’t miss it! Get tickets here.

Earle Dutton: Who were your musical influences growing up?
Amy Ray: It runs the gamut. Neil Young, Janis Joplin, The Allman Brothers, James Taylor, Patti Smith, The Pretenders, Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, it’s like all over the map.

ED: What made you decide to go solo in addition to the Indigo Girls?
AR: I have an indie label and at the time I was putting out a lot of people’s records that were punk rock. That is a kind of music that really influenced me heavily. I just started writing some songs that weren’t totally fitting in with Indigo Girls and I would jam with some of my friends in different styles. I started jamming with The Butchies a little bit too. They opened for the Indigo Girls a couple times and I would jam with them on the side. Then I played a couple songs with them and it turned into a whole solo project. That is when I made Stag. I basically picked all these bands that I loved and had worked with in one capacity or another. I wrote some songs that fit what I would like to play with each one. I kind of created this montage record of the great punk experiences that I wanted to have. I did that and really enjoyed it. It started out as a one time off just to get my yaya’s out but then I just kept writing songs that I would consider to be more solo songs. I started exploring different topics than I would with the Indigo Girls. I think I really enjoyed that whole infrastructure. I enjoyed the whole independent scene. It became this thing that I really wanted to do on the side and explore everything in that realm.

amy ray

Amy Ray

ED: How would you describe the difference between your solo show and an Indigo Girls show?
AR: My solo shows are very small. It is like 200 people instead of 3000. That is a big difference. It is much more gritty, sweaty and very DIY. I think musically there are some things I definitely do differently solo.

ED: How would you describe you current solo show?
AR: Well, right now it is totally different than when I started. Right now, it is country. It is pretty raw. It is pretty organic. I think I would say that to me the songwriting, musicality and passion are most important. I always play with interesting people. The people in my band right now are interesting and talented people. I really want people to come and have a great musical experience. I want them to feel that we drew something out of them. I want them to forget about boundaries and differences. Maybe just forget about the outside world. Just be in the room and in the moment.

ED: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
AR: I really like a band called Shovels and Rope. They do that sort of garage country. I would love to collaborate with them. I would love to just play mandolin and sing. That is somebody that is new that I would really like to collaborate with. As far as people that have been around a while, I would die and go to heaven if I could sing with Dolly Parton (laughter). In my punkier world, I have played with Patti Smith but never collaborated with her. I would really love to collaborate with her. She is someone that I think would be really interesting to collaborate with. Nick Cave would be a great one. There are a lot of people that I love.

ED: If you could give your younger self a message, what would it be?
AR: I could definitely give myself some fashion advice (laughter). I think I would probably tell myself to pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff. I had a bad temper when I was younger. I would also say get out of your head and don’t have such a big ego. I think my ego really held me back when I was younger. I wasn’t open to as many experiences because of my ego. If I didn’t have Emily to help me and temper me, I would never have gotten to where I am today. I would have imploded or burnt too many bridges. I think for me it was a lot of ego and temper. But, I think those things also let me have a lot more compassion for the struggle. They have a certain energy to them. I don’t know that I would want to change anything but I did spend a lot of time aching over it. I caused myself a lot more trouble than I needed to. I would hit a wall and break my hand and spend the next two months in a cast. That is just unnecessary. Now I do yoga or go hike for three hours. You just have to find your place.

We love Amy Ray!

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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of He founded in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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