Oregon Zoo Presents
4001 SW Canyon Road
Portland, OR, 97221
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Twenty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers
have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and
countless U.S. and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way
in the music business. Selling over 14 million records, they are still going strong. Amy & Emily
are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s.
In 2012, Saliers and her Indigo Girls partner Amy Ray embarked on a bold new chapter,
collaborating with a pair of orchestrators to prepare larger-than-life arrangements of their songs
to perform with symphonies around the country. The duo found an elusive sonic sweet spot with
the project, creating a seamless blend of folk, rock, pop, and classical that elevated their songs to
new heights without scarifying any of the emotional intimacy and honesty that have defined their
music for decades. Now, after more than 50 performances with symphonies across America, the
experiences has finally been captured in all its grandeur on the band’s stunning new album,
‘Indigo Girls Live With The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra.’
The power of unity, both in music and in life, has been an Indigo Girls calling card ever since
they burst into the spotlight with their 1989 self-titled breakout album. Since then, the band has
racked up a slew of Gold and Platinum records, taken home a coveted GRAMMY Award, and
earned the respect of high profile peers and collaborated from Michael Stipe to Joan Baez. NPR’s
Mountain Stage called the group “one of the finest folk duos of all time” while Rolling Stone
said “they personify what happens when two distinct sensibilities, voices, and worldviews come
together to create something transcendentally its own.”
The duo has balanced their long, successful musical career by supporting numerous social causes
– the Indigo Girls don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Both on and off the stage, Emily
Saliers and Amy Ray have secured their spot as one of the most legendary musical acts of this
Across her four critically-acclaimed albums, Seattle artist Sera Cahoone has become known for creating stirring, hushed Americana music that embodies raw emotionalism. Her songs have always been the sort that grab the listener by the collar and pull them close. And yet fans may not even realize they’ve yet been held at arm’s length until they hear the revisited arrangements on her new, forthcoming EP, The Flora String Sessions, due for self-release on April 20, 2018.
The Flora String Sessions revisits some of Cahoone’s most beloved fan favorites from across her remarkable career, with just her starkly honest vocals and guitar plus violin, viola, and cello. It’s somewhat of a greatest hits collection, albeit with more intimate, stunningly beautiful arrangements by Led to Sea violist Alex Guy.
The trio Guy assembled to support Cahoone on this effort serves to augment the space between notes, drawing the listener into the essence of heart-rending selections like “Couch Song” (from 2006’s Sera Cahoone), “Baker Lake” (from 2008’s Only as the Day Is Long), and “Worry All Your Life” (from 2012’s Deer Creek Canyon).
In fact, the arrangements are so stirring, even Cahoone was delighted and surprised about how her songs came out. “The first time I heard the string trio at rehearsal,” she says, “I couldn't believe how beautiful it sounded. I’ve always played by ear. … It hurts my head trying to imagine how Alex arranged all these parts and put them on paper. It's been a really great experience.”
Cahoone has always been a master of intense lyrical intimacy. And while her exquisite live band has provided her previous recordings with lush, intuitive instrumental support, there is something remarkably pure about hearing some of the best songs of her career delivered in this more nuanced manner.
As she has steadily gained a wider audience over the past twelve years, the Denver-native-turned-Seattle-mainstay has toured with Son Volt, Kathleen Edwards, Blitzen Trapper, and Gregory Alan Isakov, to name a few; but it was a duo tour with Guy that set the pair spinning toward this project.
In 2017, they set out for a brief tour of the Southern US, which quickly grew into a five-week jaunt out West. Once Guy had arranged violin parts for that outing, it seemed natural to her to expand them into string trios for a special performance back home at Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral.
To prepare for that evening, the pair combed through Cahoone’s back catalogue to determine which songs would best lend themselves to being played with a trio. Once they had nailed down 16 songs for the set, Guy spent the next few months completing the arrangements.
“Each of Sera’s songs has its own beautiful character,” she notes. “It was a challenge and a real pleasure to try and bring that character even more to life through the string parts, … without overwhelming the beauty of the original guitar and vocals.
But, she adds, “the best moment for me was at our first rehearsal with the string trio. Sera hadn't heard any of the arrangements live yet and I really wasn't sure what her reaction would be because there were so many new elements that she wasn't used to. At the end of each song her eyes were on fire, and she'd say 'Woah! That was awesome!' I knew I'd been on the right track."
$39.50 GA, $69.50 Reserved, $99.50 Terrace
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