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Amy Elizabeth Ray (born April 12, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the contemporary folk duo
Indigo Girls Indigo Girls are an American folk rock music duet (music), duo from Atlanta, Georgia, United States, consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. The two met in elementary school and began performing together as high school students in Decatur, Geo ...
. She also pursues a solo career and has released six albums under her own name, and founded a record company, Daemon Records.


Biography

Born in
Decatur, Georgia Decatur is a city in, and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Townsh ...
, Amy Ray met
Emily Saliers Emily Ann Saliers (born July 22, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the musical duo Indigo Girls. Saliers plays lead guitar as well as banjo, piano, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki and many other instruments. Early life and educatio ...
when they both attended the same elementary 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 Vanderbilt University (informally Vandy or VU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, aft ...
. By 1985, both women had transferred to
Emory University Emory University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two dec ...
in
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

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 Deer or true deer are hoof A hoof ( or ), plural hooves ( or ) or hoofs , is the tip of a toe Toes are the digits (fingers) of the foot of a tetrapod. Animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organis ...
'', a southern and punk rock album.
The Butchies The Butchies were an all-female punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s. Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk bands rejected the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced shor ...
, a punk band whose members include
Kaia Wilson Kaia Lynn Wilson (born 1974) is an American musician from Portland, Oregon, best known as a founding member of both Team Dresch, a revered 1990s queercore punk band, and The Butchies, a pop-rock spin-off from her solo work. In addition to singing ...
,
Melissa York Melissa York is a rock and roll, rock drummer noted for her work with iconic lesbian band (rock and pop), bands such Team Dresch, The Butchies, and Amy Ray. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, Durham, North Carolina. Biography York first began ...
, and
Alison Martlew The Butchies were an all-female band, all-female punk rock band from Durham, North Carolina, that existed from 1998 to 2005. They reunited from their Sabbatical, hiatus to tour with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls promoting Ray's new album in 2010. Th ...
, provided support for five songs, and
Joan Jett Joan Jett (born Joan Marie Larkin, September 22, 1958) is an American Rock music, rock singer, songwriter, composer, musician, record producer, and actress. Jett is best known for her work as the frontwoman of her band Joan Jett & the Blackhear ...

Joan Jett
played on "Hey Castrator". In April 2005, Ray released the softer edged ''
Prom A promenade dance, commonly called a prom, is a dance party A dance party (also referred to as a dance) is a social gathering where dancing is the primary activity. Some dance parties are held in a casual setting and open to the public, such ...
'', 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.


Side projects

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 performers 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 (band), Snow Machine, Utah Phillips and Rose Polenzani. She often collaborates with
The Butchies The Butchies were an all-female punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s. Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk bands rejected the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced shor ...
, a punk band featuring drummer
Melissa York Melissa York is a rock and roll, rock drummer noted for her work with iconic lesbian band (rock and pop), bands such Team Dresch, The Butchies, and Amy Ray. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, Durham, North Carolina. Biography York first began ...
and vocalist/guitarist
Kaia Wilson Kaia Lynn Wilson (born 1974) is an American musician from Portland, Oregon, best known as a founding member of both Team Dresch, a revered 1990s queercore punk band, and The Butchies, a pop-rock spin-off from her solo work. In addition to singing ...
. 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 peoples, indigenous struggles, Gun politics in the United States, gun control, Environmentalism, 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." Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) appears on her 2014 album ''Goodnight Tender'', and she and Vernon continue to maintain a friendship. Ray was also a judge for the 3rd and 11th Annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.


Personal life

Ray lives in the foothills of North Georgia, where she and her partner, Carrie Schrader, have a daughter, Ozilline Graydon. In March 2021, Ray, a lesbian, spoke on the ''LGBTQ&A'' podcast about having gender dysphoria and identifying as Non-binary gender, genderqueer (though she uses she/her pronouns).


Discography


Studio albums

*''
Stag Deer or true deer are hoof A hoof ( or ), plural hooves ( or ) or hoofs , is the tip of a toe Toes are the digits (fingers) of the foot of a tetrapod. Animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organis ...
'' (2001) *''
Prom A promenade dance, commonly called a prom, is a dance party A dance party (also referred to as a dance) is a social gathering where dancing is the primary activity. Some dance parties are held in a casual setting and open to the public, such ...
'' (2005) *''Didn't It Feel Kinder'' (2008) *''Lung of Love'' (2012) *''Goodnight Tender'' (2014) Track listing for ''Goodnight Tender'' #"Hunter's Prayer" – 3:36 #"Oyster and Pearl" – 4:00 #"The Gig That Matters" – 3:41 #"Time Zone" – 4:26 #"Anyhow" – 3:03 #"Duane Allman" – 2:51 #"More Pills" – 3:35 #"Broken Record" – 3:11 #"Goodnight Tender" – 4:01 #"My Dog" – 2:23 #"Let the Spirit" – 4:05 #"When You Come for Me" – 3:47 *''Holler'' (2018)


Live albums

*''Live from Knoxville'' (2006) *''MVP Live'' (2010) *''The Tender Hour: Amy Ray Live From Seattle'' (2015)


References


External links


Amy Ray's Official Site
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ray, Amy 1964 births American women guitarists American female singers American folk singers American harmonica players Record producers from Georgia (U.S. state) Songwriters from Georgia (U.S. state) Emory University alumni Female rock singers Indigo Girls members Lesbian musicians LGBT musicians from the United States LGBT people from Georgia (U.S. state) LGBT singers from the United States LGBT songwriters Living people American mandolinists Singers from Georgia (U.S. state) Daemon Records artists Feminist musicians People from Decatur, Georgia Guitarists from Georgia (U.S. state) 20th-century American guitarists 21st-century American women singers American women record producers 21st-century American singers 20th-century American women guitarists