Indigo Girls: Live with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra

The veteran folk rockers chart new territory

IG UofColoradoSypmphony RGB R3
Photo credit: Rounder
INDIGO GIRLS: 'Live with The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra'

Most serious artists welcome experiments, and the Indigo Girls are no exception. By pushing forward, altering approaches, and widening boundaries, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers maintain the essence of what made them popular, and provoke fans to follow them into new, unexplored territory.

It’s no surprise that Atlanta’s creatively restless veteran folk rockers would expand their music with orchestration. Ray and Saliers have been playing dates backed by various symphonies since 2012, finally recording this April’s show for commercial release.

They flesh out their hits with frilly background strings, and dig into their hefty, three-decade history of 14 studio albums, cherry-picking 22 tunes and dusting off deep tracks like 1990’s “World Falls” and 2015’s “Happy in the Sorrow Key.” Some songs, such as “Virginia Woolf” and “Yoke,” were already string enhanced in their studio versions, but others, like the Celtic-influenced “Love of Our Lives” and “Damo,” are boosted by the alternately romantic and explosive playing of the 64-piece University of Colorado Orchestra. Like Paul Buckmaster’s stunning orchestral arrangements on early Elton John albums, the swelling strings and often percussive horn charts punctuate and infuse the tunes with fresh life. The singers’ complex mix of harmony and interlocking lead lines, combined with the lavish backing, creates stirring and unpredictable versions of their intricate folk rock. Verdict: The Indigo Girls revisit, refresh, and revive their catalog by challenging their fans to join them in breaking new ground.★★★★☆

Indigo Girls with The War & Treaty. $35.50-60.50.Thurs., July 19. 8 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Dr. N.W., Atlanta. 404-233-2227. www.chastainseries.com.

★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother

More By This Writer


Tuesday March 3, 2020 02:25 pm EST


TRIGGER HIPPY, Aisle 5. Returning soon after their December 2019 appearance, the revamped Trigger Hippy features ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (who recently penned a book about his time and misadventures with the band) and Nashville bassist Nick Govrik, now joined by lead singer and occasional sax player Amber Woodhouse. The result is soulful, bluesy, and...

| more...


Tuesday March 3, 2020 10:52 am EST
The CD release party for “Cabbagetown Chronicles” celebrates the musical influences of Atlanta’s historic neighborhood | more...


Monday March 2, 2020 05:12 pm EST
Mudcat’s long-running Chicken Raid weekend returns  | more...


Tuesday February 4, 2020 12:05 pm EST
Blues journeyman Tinsley Ellis gears up for more roadwork in support of a new album | more...


Friday January 3, 2020 01:10 pm EST
Atlanta guitar icon Sean Costello gets a belated tribute, Willis goes big time | more...
Search for more by Hal Horowitz