Born in Decatur, Georgia, Amy Ray met Emily Saliers when they both attended the same high school. They began performing together and recorded a demo in 1981. After graduation, Ray and Saliers went to different colleges with Ray attending Vanderbilt University. By 1985, both women had transferred to Emory University in Atlanta and formed the Indigo Girls. In 1986, Ray graduated from Emory with majors in English and Religion.
In March 2001, Ray released her first solo album, Stag, a southern and punk rock album. The Butchies, a punk band whose members include Kaia Wilson, Melissa York, and Alison Martlew, provided support for five songs, and Joan Jett played on "Hey Castrator". In April 2005, Ray released the softer edged Prom, and in December 2006, she released Live from Knoxville. Her fourth solo album, the melodic Didn't It Feel Kinder, was released in August 2008. Lung of Love, which has more of an indie-rock sound, was released in 2012.
Her backup band for her Stag tour was The Butchies. In 2004, when she embarked on her Prom tour, she brought Les Nuby (guitar), Will Lochamy (drums), and Jody Bleyle (bass). Tara Jane O'Neil replaced Bleyle when she began maternity leave in October. Ray's backup band for her 2012 Lung of Love tour was The Butchies. Jenn Stone, former keyboard player for Kesha, also performed on the tour.
Ray currently lives in the foothills of North Georgia.
In addition to the Indigo Girls and her work as a solo artist, Ray also runs an independent record label, Daemon Records, which she founded in 1990 and which is based in Decatur, Georgia. Some bands signed to Daemon include Girlyman, Magnapop, Nineteen Forty-Five, Michelle Malone, Three Finger Cowboy, Danielle Howle and the Tantrums, Gerard McHugh, New Mongrels, Grady Cousins, The Oblivious, Snow Machine, Utah Phillips and Rose Polenzani.
In her solo life, she most often collaborates with The Butchies, a punk band featuring drummer, Melissa York and vocalist/guitarist Kaia Wilson. She has contributed the live track "Lucy Stoners" on Calling All Kings & Queens (2001) and the Mr. Lady Records sampler album as well as a live recording of "On Your Honor" on a compilation for Home Alive.
Ray is also an activist involved in multiple political and social causes, including gay rights, low-power broadcasting, women's rights, indigenous struggles, gun control, environmental protection and the anti-death penalty movement among others. She has made several trips to Chiapas, Mexico to support the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
In 1993, she and Emily Saliers co-founded Honor the Earth with Winona LaDuke. Honor the Earth's mission is "to create awareness and support for Native [American] environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native [American] communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard."
Ray was also a judge for the 3rd annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard (March 1, 1996)
Amazon: Indigo Girls
10 songs from their debut album, including: Closer to Fine * History of Us * Land of Canaan * Prince of Darkness * Secure Yourself * more.
More LGBT Couples at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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