Our Indigo Girls – The Timeless Appeal of Our Favorite Lesbian Folk Rock Duo

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Alright, my friends—fellow music lovers! One of the most, okay, the most—iconic lesbian folk-rock duo ever is back on tour—the Indigo Girls! While you may know even more about their unstoppable success waking up the record industry over the past 30 years than I do—they are undoubtedly an amazing part of our culture and collective story.

I mean look, we show up at their show like its church made by us for us, gathering  ‘round the stage like a choir, shout-singing almost every single word. With hit songs, “Closer to Fine”, “Galileo”, “Love of Our Lives,” and “Power of Two” just to name a few, we become part of the band, back-up singers at the tops our lungs. Because those songs are our songs. Our fears, our struggles, our outrage, our triumphs, our love, our stories –  over decades. 

Couples hold each other close. Families embrace. And for a moment, the world feels almost as it should be: surrounded and upheld by a great, inclusive, multi-generational community. Whether this sounds like preaching to the choir, or you’re a new convert, we can all agree—there’s something timeless and magical about the Indigo Girls.

Amy Ray and Emily Sailers first met in Decatur, Georgia, where they actually sang in a choir together as kids (no wonder their concerts are such sing-a-longs). They started gigging in Atlanta pubs, still underage in high school. Right away they felt something “click”, a tingling-knowing about their connection as musicians. They established a musical-partnership as a lesbian grassroots band (before that was a thing). As trailblazers, they held onto that raw-edgy, “take me as I am,” grassroots soul through thick and thin—garnering three gold albums, three platinum albums (one double-platinum), and a Grammy.

Couples hold each other close. Families embrace. And for a moment, the world feels almost as it should be: surrounded and upheld by a great, inclusive, multi-generational community. Whether this sounds like preaching to the choir, or you’re a new convert, we can all agree—there’s something timeless and magical about the Indigo Girls.

Even if you are brand new to the Indigo Girls it’s not hard to imagine that when Amy Ray and Emily Sailers first exploded onto the mainstream music scene in the late 80s, being out was not a pretty thing to be.

Signed to Epic Records in 1988, Ray and Sailers never gave in to industry pressure to change their image, to look how women in music were “supposed” to look (i.e. heterosexual). And they didn’t waver either on using their success for social and political advocacy, including gay and lesbian equality, Native American rights, and environmental protections. 

This may have been why they rarely received the same radio play or media coverage as other hit mainstream artists in 90s, which Ray discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose. They were a raging success out the gate all the same and have played with the likes of REM, Neil Young, and the Violent Femmes. They sang at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and most recently, at Brandi Carlile’s “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” festival in January of this year.

The Indigo Girl’s latest release was an unbelievably beautiful and emotional live double album,Indigo Girls Live with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra.”

Catch them on tour now and pre-order the live album!

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