Thursday, December 2, 2010

An introduction to the Indigo Girls

Just listened to the Indigo Girls' new CD "Happy Holly Days" and I have to say it was pretty good.  This is coming from someone of course who isn't a big fan of Christmas music.  If the Indigo Girls put out a CD there is no way that I can pass it up.  The girls have been a huge inspiration ever since I first heard them in Peni Lotoza's car after we got out of work at Terror on Church Street back in '93.  'Blood and Fire' was the first song I had ever heard and though many had tried to introduce me to them previously, it was that night with Peni and Amy Ray that started the fire.  Peni has since passed from this world, to the sadness of many.  In the book there is a piece written for her called 'Comedy and Tragedy.'  She was a happy and jovial person with a terrific laugh and a kind heart.  We all miss her very much.

I went out after that night and bought all of the Indigo Girls' CD's, at that time, Rites of Passage was their newest album.  I remember the day that Swamp Ophelia was released and I first heard Amy wail on 'Touch Me Fall.'  Those two women have written some amazingly diverse songs in their career.  From acoustic folk, to rock n roll to Amy even writing a semi hip hop song on her solo album, Didn't it Feel Kinder.  Amy and Emily inspired me to want to  move to Atlanta back in '94 when I needed a change from Orlando life.  "There'll be cider up near Helen off the roadside and boiled peanuts in a bag to warm your fingers and the smoke from the chimney meets its maker in the sky.  With the song that winter wrote his melody lingers, and there's somethin' 'bout the Southland in the springtime, where the waters flow with confidence and reason." --Emily Saliers 

It was this desire for change, the desire to see Helen, GA and the need to see Little Five Points where their career first took off that sent me shuttling to Atlanta with hardly any money and no plans except to see what happens when we get there.  If the best laid plans go wrong, I now know how it works out when you have no plan.  Not that it was all for naught, I wouldn't change that experience for anything in this world.  I thoroughly enjoyed the women's writers groups at Charis Books and More in Little Five.  Three copies of my book will soon be sitting on the shelves at Charis and, to  me, that is one of the biggest accomplishments I have had so far.  Charis is important to me, most  of the poems about Atlanta were written right there in the square across the street from  Charis.  Though I walked in the footsteps of Amy Ray, through stories from strangers on the street, I was never fortunate enough to meet her and Emily until they came to Tipitina's in New Orleans.  That was an amazing day and I'll never forget it!  I was inspired to include excerpts from four songs that seemed to fit in with my book at the start of each chapter.  I was very lucky that their manager, Russell Carter was able to grant permission to use those lyrics.  It was another  milestone in the creation of the book.  I have always been inspired by the Indigo Girls and I know that I always will be.   Another poem from the book, 'Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon' is about the concert and our Line Crew that are always waiting in line hours before the show is scheduled to start.  There's nothing better than a soundcheck through the front doors of Tipitina's, except the actual concert from the front row with a group of friends!
If you don't know the Indigo Girls, look them up and at least download some songs from them.  Better yet, buy a CD to get acquainted with them.  If you are an Indigo Girls fan, kick off your shoes and do a little jig to 'Get Out the Map!'  How can you bear to keep your feet still when you hear those songs?

Looking for a copy of I Wandered from New Orleans?  It's available at my website, signed of course, it's also available in eBook format at Barnes and Noble (NOOKbook), Amazon (Kindle) and at Smashwords.

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