Indigo Girls 

June 11, Robinson Center Music Hall

LADIES NIGHT: Ray and Saliers delighted the crowd at Robinson.
  • LADIES NIGHT: Ray and Saliers delighted the crowd at Robinson.

Folk power duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, depending upon whom you ask, are many things: musicians, proponents of the environment, hippies, political activists, lesbians, lovers. Save the false assumption that two homosexual women who have made music together since 1985 must be a couple, the rest is true. 

Their musical genesis began in Atlanta, as evidenced by a Southern attitude that surfs the edge of blues, alt-country and rock. Whether their poetry sings to the listener like a signal in the fog or sends the average straight dude screaming in the opposite direction, there is no understating the profusion of talent this twosome shares. So wipe that smirk off your face, naysayer — this wasn't a mere hair braiding, bra burning, cry-fest. 

 “Our first time in Little Rock,” they admitted. “But we really like camping here.” Their new material from “Despite Our Differences,” was very similar to the rest of their 20-plus year discography — soulful, poignant and gorgeously composed.  Make no mistake, not only can these women wail, they can write the hell out of some lyrics.

Saliers and Ray thread a mutual and unwavering affinity for the natural world though their songs, both old and new.  “Emily always writes the cheesy, sad shit,” our girlfriend whispered. Which is true, but no one noticed, considering the blinding spell the duo cast with pitch perfect vocals and words that smash you in the heart like a sledgehammer.

During the show, I was reminded of a simpler time, when mitigating my problems only required a heavy sobbing session with our boom boxes and the closest Indigo Girls CD I could get my hands on. Thirteen years later, I felt the same tender solace. I understand that this is not everyone's bag — but to me, therapy this pure is priceless.

The crowd was decidedly mixed but unified with a knowing glow, although I won't take bets on which sex outnumbered the other. I was upset that the show wasn't sold out, but encouraged by the surprising number of men present.

Highlights included “Prince of Darkness” and a brilliant rendition (and three-part harmony with opening act Brandi Carlile) of Dylan's “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.” The show was mostly acoustic guitars, with the exception of Ray's deft hand on the mandolin, a cellist and keyboard player.

Saliers and Ray thanked the representatives from the Stonewall Democrats of Arkansas and the Centers for Artistic Revolution for manning booths in the lobby. Voter registration was available.

In the end, it was an outstanding performance, finalized with hugs for all the collaborating performers on stage and their song-ending trademark, “Thanks Ya'll!”

Saliers and Ray expose the cracks in life with such sincerity and beauty, it's almost unnerving. Rustic and faithful, they climb so far beyond just singing pretty songs. Their music is born from old souls and it has never echoed more lovely or true.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jennie Swanson

  • Wild Kayakers I Have Known

    If there is a basic truth in Sean Penn’s latest film, “Into the Wild,” it’s that freedom is not necessarily measured by the possessions or money that allow us access to society’s pleasures. The universal need to escape — to vacate your mind — is a theme t
    • Oct 25, 2007
  • The Rat Pack: A Symphonic Celebration

    Somewhere, in between lip-synching entertainers and paparazzi, in an industry that relies on fashionable looks and pairs them with questionable talent, the innocence and beauty of pop music has been lost. But it was found again Saturday night at Robinson
    • Oct 10, 2007
  • More »

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Fear 'It'self

    • Bill Skarsgrd comes from a family of actors and they were all born and raised…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bumbling Bielema

    • The person named Allen with the canning co just filed bankruptcy, if any one is…

    • on September 19, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation