The Indigo Girls with full band and special guest The Shadowboxers will perform on Sunday, October 28, at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
On their fourteenth studio album, Grammy-winning folk-rock duo Indigo Girls deliver a beautifully crafted batch of songs that revel in spirited simplicity. Alternating richly textured storytelling with moody ruminations on modern-world worries, BEAUTY QUEEN SISTER (released October 4, 2011 on IG Recordings) reveals a fierce longing for a more idyllic existence while still celebrating the extraordinary in everyday living. Thanks to its graceful mix of openhearted songwriting and lush, intricate arrangements—not to mention powerful performances by the band and their brigade of guest musicians—BEAUTY QUEEN SISTER ultimately allows the listener to slip into the sort of dreamy serenity that Amy Ray and Emily Saliers sing of striving for throughout the record.
BEAUTY QUEEN SISTER is the fourth Indigo Girls album released on IG Recordings, the independent label that Ray and Saliers launched after putting out nine albums on Epic Records and one (2006’s widely acclaimed DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES) on Hollywood Records. While the loss of major-label spending power might cripple less accomplished artists, both Ray and Saliers find that their tightened budget actually feeds the album-making process. “Nowadays we need to record much more quickly, so there’s not time to belabor every little decision like we did in our earlier years,” says Ray. “We just put our heads down and throw all our emotion into it and it’s magical—the heart rules our performance more than the head.”
That heart-over-head approach is no doubt suited to the material on BEAUTY QUEEN SISTER, a stunning 13-song selection that touches on topics as disparate as the 2011 Egyptian revolution (in Ray’s plaintive “War Rugs,” featuring guest vocals by singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche), the ins and outs of the music industry (“Making Promises,” a defiant, guitar-driven banger also authored by Ray), and the recent massive deaths of Arkansas red-winged blackbirds (“Able to Sing,” in which Saliers cleverly swipes a lyric from the English nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” to lend the track a slightly whimsical feel). Tackling such weighty matters as tenderly as each intimate love song, BEAUTY QUEEN SISTER grips from the get-go and crests at the epic “Yoke.” With its centerpiece of hauntingly urgent strings (supplied by violinist Luke Bulla) and a gorgeously mournful vocal performance by Ray, this spellbinding slow-burner makes for a masterful closing track.
Tickets are available now by calling 603-225-1111, online at www.ccanh.com, and at the Box Office, located at 44 South Main Street, Concord, NH 03301, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 6 pm, and Saturday 11 am to 2 pm. Tickets are priced at $45.00.