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Amy Ray and the Volunteers

Live from Knoxville

(Daemon; US: 1 May 2007; UK: Unavailable)

As one half of the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray has always reigned in a fair amount of her rock tendencies in service of the group’s folksier tendencies. As a solo artist, however, Ray has freely embraced her electric guitar and tough political stance. Both are on display during this live performance from 2005 at Blue Cats in Knoxville, with songs taken from Ray’s Prom and Stag albums. Tracks like “Driver Education” and “Let It Ring” might have found their way onto an Indigo Girls album like Shaming of the Sun, but it’s the fiercely defiant pro-gay tracks like “Rural Faggot” and “Laramie” and the out-and-out rockers like “Black Heart Today” and “Mountains of Glory” that are the greatest departure, and ultimately the most charged. Ray’s voice, both as singer and writer, are as raw as ever, and fans will certainly enjoy this live capture, but like most live albums, it’s not going to win over droves of new listeners. That’s fine, though, cuz with every familiar “Thanks, y’all”, you can tell Ray’s having fun.

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Patrick Schabe is an editor, writer, graphic designer, freelance copyeditor, and digital content manager, depending on the time of day. He has also worked in a gas station, at a smoothie bar, as a low-level accountant, taught college courses online, and cleaned offices, so he considers his current employment a success. Under his unassumed identity, Patrick holds a BA in English -- Creative Writing from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master of Social Science with an emphasis in Popular Culture Studies from the University of Colorado. He's currently at work on a first novel and a non-fiction piece on cultural theory. Patrick lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Jessica, who makes everything worthwhile.


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