AMY RAY PAYS TRIBUTE TO PIONEERING QUEER DJ RITA HOUSTON WITH HER VIDEO “SUBWAY” FEAT. BRANDI CARLILE. SHOT ON LOCATION IN NYC BY FILMMAKER SCOTT LANSING
WATCH AND READ HERE AT THE ADVOCATE
THE AMY RAY BAND WILL MAKE THEIR GRAND OLD OPRY DEBUT ON MAY 5 AMY RAY AND MADISON CUNNINGHAM CONVERSE AT SIRIUSXM THE VILLAGE
“Penned in tribute for influential, beloved WFUV DJ Rita Houston—a tireless champion of Ray’s music who passed away in 2020 from cancer—the lilting and sepia-toned ‘Subway’ is steeped in loving, soulful reverence, upholding the impact that her late friend had on her life and career.” —Country Queer
“’Subway ‘is my favorite song on the album.” —Holler
February 2, 2023: Indigo Girl Amy Ray pays tribute to late WFUV DJ Rita Houston, an early champion for queer artists and a NYC legend and tastemaker, with this video for “Subway” from her acclaimed new album,
If All Goes South. The video is premiering today at The Advocate and was shot by Atlanta filmmaker Scott Lansing (Flint: The Poisoning of an American City , Electric Jesus). The wistful song features longtime friend/collaborator Brandi Carlile on backing vocals and celebrates the freedom Ray felt as a young queer Southerner visiting New York City for the first time. Ray tells The Advocate, “I met Rita in the ’90s. She was so dynamic and true to herself at a time when homophobia was well-established in the music industry. Rita rooted for artists in the queer community and ended up driving a lot of people’s careers.”
Ray explains, “I was sitting at home during the pandemic and missing NYC, thinking about how liberated I always felt there as a young queer person just starting to get comfortable with myself. And I was thinking about what I would say to Rita if I wrote her a letter — sort of a letter from all the young queer songwriters.I still treasure the unfettered joy of the nights I would walk the city streets to and from shows, or just walk for the feel of it, not wanting to miss a beat, and taking in all the action. Rita embodied that action and that joy.”
Shot on location in NYC and Atlanta with two young queer actors — one playing a young Amy Ray and the other her love interest — the film alternates between the “young” Amy strolling the streets of NYC and Amy now, 35 years into a hugely successful career as half of the Indigo Girls as well as a respected solo artist with 10 albums to her credit.
SiriusXM CH 741 The Village Folk Show is featuring Amy Ray and songwriter Madison Cunningham this week as part of their “2 x 4” artist conversations where two artists share four songs which each other and discuss each other’s work. The show is live now on the SiriusXM app; subscribers can access the show directly at https://siriusxm.us/villagefolkshow; non-subscribers will be asked to fill out an email for free 30-day trial after which they’ll be sent to the page.
It’s been a banner year for Ray and the Indigo Girls. As half of iconic folk duo, she received the Americana Music Association’s Spirit Award along with a heartfelt introduction by longtime friend Brandi Carlile. The Indigo Girls new documentary, It’s Only Life After All, screened to rave reviews opening night at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month and the duo will make their NPR Tiny Desk Concert debut on February 7. Indigo Girls will also be returning to SXSW; stay tuned for details.
The Amy Ray Band are touring later this month with longtime friend Kevn Kinney (Drivin’ N Cryin’) supporting. They’ll be supporting the Tedeschi Trucks Band on two Tennessee dates: Knoxville’s Civic Auditorium on February 21 and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on February 23, and headline shows in her native Georgia, including the legendary 40 Watt in Athens and Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. On May 5, the Amy Ray Band will make their debut appearance at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville followed by a return to NPR Mountain Stage for an episode taping on May 7.
Go to www.amy-ray.com for updates.
RECENT PRAISE FOR IF IT ALL GOES SOUTH
“Ray clearly possesses an emotional clarity as well as the innate ability to shift the settings, a skill that results in a varied set of songs that can be, by degrees, both tender and tempestuous.” —American Songwriter (4/5)
“Amy Ray has reached another milestone” —Relix
“There’s nothing quite like watching people do the thing they’ve spent a lifetime training to do: Winning Wimbledon, dancing lead in Giselle, breaking a 1,000-year-old Viking weightlifting record, cooking dinner in 8 minutes and 37 seconds. Listening to If It All Goes South, the latest solo outing from Indigo Girls co-founder Amy Ray, falls under that umbrella.” —No Depression
“She always finds a powerful and often positive spin to drive her songs, whether they talk of community, inclusivity, social justice, the climate emergency or coping with loss.” —Holler UK
“the production captures the energy and immediacy that you only get from a band flying live and without a net” —Salvation South
“One of this year’s finest local releases as well as a highlight of Ray’s work, both as a solo act and even with her full time Indigo Girls gig.” —Creative Loafing Atlanta
“Ray’s band is cooking with the sort of rich, instinctive chemistry here that less seasoned players only dream about…” —Country Queer