Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are Indigo Girls. Rolling Stone describes them as the “ideal duet partners. Their voices soar and swoop as one, alternately raucous and soothing. When they sing together, they radiate a sense of shared purpose that adds muscle to their lanky, deeply felt folk-tinged pop songs”. Together they write, arrange, record and perform music which over the course of twenty five years has become a vital part of the lives of their legion of devoted fans around the world, informing and rewarding them day to day.
With twelve original studio albums, three live records, various Greatest Hits compilations, a Rarities and a Christmas record to their credit, the iconic duo continues to challenge itself creatively, over and over again, adding to a body of work that contains such contemporary classic songs as Galileo, Shame on You, Closer To Fine, Kid Fears, Love of Our Lives, Making Promises, Get out the Map, Moment of Forgiveness, Least Complicated and Go. After numerous Grammy nominations and awards and gold and platinum certifications and decades of touring in clubs, arenas and everything in between, Indigo Girls remain active and relevant, always viewing their music as a fresh opportunity for exploration and discovery. “We really work hard to not lean on any tried and true path in making our albums,” says Ray. “So when it comes to writing new songs and working and performing with different musicians, every record and every tour feels like a completely different adventure for us.
Amy and Emily first met as fifth and sixth-graders in Decatur, Georgia and began singing together during high school. Originally billed as Saliers & Ray, the pair adopted the name Indigo Girls during their undergraduate days at Atlanta’s Emory University. The Indigos were attending classes by day and performing as an acoustic duo in local clubs by night when they made their first stab at recording in 1985 with the single Crazy Game / Everybody’s Waiting (for Someone To Come Home) which they issued on their own label, followed by an EP and in 1987, their first full length LP, Strange Fire, produced by John Keane.
In 1988, the big-time beckoned Indigo Girls. Signed to Epic Records and EMI Music, they recorded Indigo Girls with producer Scott Litt at Ocean Way Studios in L.A. With Amy and Emily on vocals and acoustic guitars, Indigo Girls featured contributions from REM, Hothouse Flowers and Luka Bloom. The record was released in 1989 (the Boston Globe stated “The Indigo Girls have simply made the best debut album so far this year”) and the Indigo Girls began criss-crossing the country on tour (a process that has continued without pause throughout their career) headlining or supporting the likes of REM, Neil Young and the Violent Femmes.
Decades into their career, the Indigo Girls still amaze conventional pundits with their ability to grow and thrive no matter what the state of the music industry is at any given point. The duo’s constant touring, as well as staunch dedication to a number of social and environmental causes, has earned them a fervidly devoted following over the years. So many artists who launched their careers in the late 1980s have slipped from our collective memory. In contrast, the Indigo Girls stand tall, having earned the lasting respect and devotion of a multi-generational audience which continues to experience their creative evolution in the studio and on stage. The adventure may take the form of an adrenaline-fueled live CD or a warm reflective holiday album or a collection of songs that can veer from the raucous to intimate in the blink of an eye. No matter where their creative journey takes them, they hold out a hand to their listeners and we get to feel it all.
“ahhhh... organic and rich like good soil ... makes me want to listen
and hear it grow. the songs are honest and dimensional.
it’s music to my ears.” - amy ray, the indigo girls
Michigan-based, Pleasantly Aggressive Folk Duo Nervous but Excited (Kate Peterson & Sarah Cleaver) is two songwriters, two singers, three guitars, a mandolin, a violin, a ukulele, a few harmonicas, dead-on harmony, some vaguely choreographed dancing, an impressive amount of laughter and a glockinspiel. Their original repertoire ranges in topic from smart, introspective narratives to the tactfully political… interspersed with songs of love and loss that will undoubtedly tug on your heart.
Road warriors to the core, their endless passion has landed them on stages with folks like Ani Difranco, Iron and Wine, Utah Phillips, Ben Gibbard, Catie Curtis and Cheryl Wheeler to name a few. Their live show will bounce you through a variety of emotions always keeping you guessing which is coming next. You might cry, you’ll definitely laugh, and they hope you’ll leave feeling that your heart has grown just a little bigger than it was before you arrived.
When Kate and Sarah take the stage (or living room), you won't be able to deny the power of their laughter, combined with their genuinely emotive lyrics and arrangments. They are not afraid to sing loud and sing hard. The sensitive tug of their voices will pull you through worlds of progressive politics, and their harmonies have been described as the kind that build so smoothly until suddenly they start to shake your insides.
"...harmonies that would make Dolly Parton swoon." - afterellen / MTV / Logo
NBE’s presence was humble and the music filled with a powerfully bittersweet honesty of love lost and distance felt - accompanied by an acoustic guitar and mandolin, their intertwining harmonies were wound together as tightly as a rope, strengthening each melody in an incredible way.- 1000x/minute
About Just the Two of Us: "A well-executed treat for acoustic music fans… gorgeous throughout, featuring beautiful harmonies and accomplished playing."- Ann Arbor.com
About Anchors: "A shining example of their mastery of melody, harmony and heart wrenching lyrics."-Curve Magazine
“Kate and Sarah deliver high-quality, intelligent tunes with the skill and passion of legendary folk singers in the making.- Off Our Backs Feminist News Journal
"Nervous But Excited is a homegrown duo that cuts like the Michigan winters....their words have a bite to them...while the vocal harmonies of Kate and Sarah soothes the listener like a warm summer breeze coming off the lake....blending it all together to create music that is touching and moving." -Laney Goodman-host/producer of Women in Music
“...blending progressive politics, sharp wit, and deep introspection with nuanced harmonies...”-Curve Magazine
“Nervous but Excited combines a down-to-earth point of view, progressive politics, and resonant, ringing vocal harmonies.” – Ann Arbor Observer
"Nervous but Excited is the best of what I want in a duo.... passion, integrity, originality, hard work, musicianship, wit, and soul..... Kate and Sarah have a lot of great music and some serious soul."-Kiya Heartwood
"Kate and Sarah's blend of fluid vocals and real-life lyrics are so compelling that I couldn't stop listening. The first time I heard them, they stopped my heart."- Chicago Free Press
"These two singer/songwriters have something to say that audiences want to hear... and they deliver their heartfelt messages with an irresistible musical flair that moves people to the core. Their aggressive acoustic style and honest, thought-provoking lyrics have been winning over crowds throughout the country. Together, their harmony is powerful and uniquely beautiful. Sarah and Kate left our audience on their feet and begging for more."
- Cheryl VanDeKerkhove, Producer, East Lansing Women In The Arts Festival
...a musical deep sigh if ever there was one... - FAME/Acoustic Music.com
"...how I feel about the whole thing - so real. This music comes from such an honest, beautiful place. Their voices sound beautiful together and the production is great - sparse and lush at the same time. I love how their voices can be soft yet retain their strength. Just beautiful. "- Natalia Zukerman, Singer Songwriter
A Sensation! With a phenomenal performance record that includes an Off-Broadway show, an extended run in Vegas, two feature films, seven albums and appearances throughout the Us, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, the Kinsey Sicks hardly need an introduction. For over 16 years America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet has served up a feast of music and comedy to audiences at performing arts centers, music venues and comedy festivals in every kind of town you can imagine, in over 40 states! Their award-winning a cappella singing, sharp satire and over-the-top drag have earned the Kinsey Sicks a diverse and devoted following.
Humble Beginnings. The Kinsey Sicks began in 1993 as a group of friends who went to a Bette Midler concert in San Francisco dressed as the Andrews Sisters. Assuming they'd be among many drag queens, they found themselves to be the only ones (other than Bette, of course). They were approached that night to perform at an upcoming event. Their reply - "we don't sing" - was quickly disproved when they realized that all of them had musical backgrounds. They began singing and harmonizing that night, and the seed for the Kinsey Sicks was planted.
Becoming a Phenomenon. In July 1994, the Kinsey Sicks drew a large and enthusiastic crowd at their first public performance on a street corner in San Francisco's Castro District. Since then, the Kinsey Sicks have produced and performed full-length theatrical productions around the country in such prestigious venues as the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, the Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle, the Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale, the Hobby Center in Houston, the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Their earlies shows, such as "Sicks Appeal," "Sicks-Tease," "The Balled Sopranos," "Motel Sicks: A Dragapella Summer Vacation," "Everything But the Kitsch 'n' Synch" and "GreatesTits," all premiered at San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre Center. Their more recent musicals - "I Wanna Be a Republican," "Condoleezzapalooza," "Oy Vey in a Manger," "Wake the F@#k Up America", "Each Hit & I", "Electile Dysfunction", and "America's Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild!" have toured internationally and have drawn the attention and devotion of unexpectedly diverse audiences.
Off-Broadway and Las Vegas. In 2001, the girls produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, "Dragapella! Starring the Kinsey Sicks" at New York's legendary Studio 54. That production received a nomination for a Lucille Lortel award (the Off-Broadway Tony) as Best Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lyrics. In 2001, their work with OUTmedia began, and in 2005, they were inspired by Shelly Weiss, OUTmedia's founder and accepted her challenge to do a tour limited to only rural, southern, and conservative campuses, called "Changing Red States into Rosy Shades of Purple". Together this partnership made history in moving queer culture from the margins to the campus core, and forever changed the visibility of LGBTQ culture on college campuses. It played 52 conservative colleges including Methodist Rhodes, Baptist Furman, and 80% Mormon Salt Lake Community College. In 2006 the girls wowed audiences with a much- coveted extended run at the Las Vegas Hilton. The show was ranked by critics as one of the best shows in Vegas, and heralded by reviewers as "a feast for the eyes, the ears and the funny bone."
Recordings, TV and Print. The Kinsey Sicks have recorded eight albums: Dragapella, Boyz 2 Girlz, Sicks in the City, I Wanna Be a Republican, Oy Vey in a Manger: Christmas Carols and Other Jewish Music, Sicks! Sicks! Sicks! Each Hit & I, Electile Dysfunction. They have been profiled on national television, including "20/20" and "CBS Early Show with Bryant Gumbel," and were the subjects of a lengthy cover feature in the arts section of the New York Times.
Film. The Kinsey Sicks are the subjects of two feature films: a concert film, "I Wanna Be a Republican" and a behind-the-scenes documentary, "Almost Infamous," chronicling the adventure of the group's extended run at the Las Vegas Hilton.
The Boyz Behind the Girlz
When the Kinsey Sicks began in 1993, its founders were a group of refugees from successful careers as professionals and activists. Member Ben Schatz ("Rachel") is a Harvard-trained civil rights lawyer, former Director of the national Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and one-time presidential advisor on Hiv issues. Schatz created the first national Aids legal project and authored Clinton's Hiv policy during the 1992 presidential campaign. Irwin Keller ("Winnie") is a University of Chicago-trained lawyer and linguist and former director of the Aids Legal Referral Panel of the San Francisco Bay Area. Keller authored Chicago's gay rights ordinance, passed into law in 1989. In 2004, the Kinsey Sicks were joined by actor/singer/designer Jeff Manabat, who is responsible for Trixie's inordinate glamour and soaring counter-tenor, as well as the entire group's hot couture. Beginning in October of 2008, the Kinsey Sicks are joined by the hilarious and talented Spencer Brown ("Trampolina"), a Kansas City-based actor and singer, already known for his drag character Daisy Buckët (pronounced, of course, "bouquet"). www.kinseysicks.com
Lucky came out February 10, 2004, and a full-band "super club" tour of America began two days later. Melissa Etheridge is at the top of her game now, with arguably the most spirited and joyful album in a 15-year career that has included more peaks than any small-town girl could have dreamed of. She's sold 25 million albums worldwide, grabbed a dozen Grammy nominations (and two statuettes) and sung with some of her biggest heroes. To this day, her fans are among the most loyal and appreciative in rock & roll, with one of them bidding nearly $12,000 at a recent charity auction-simply for the privilege of having lunch Melissa. "To have somebody pay so much money just to spend an hour with me is.," she pauses, punctuating her words with an uncomfortable laugh, "unusual."
With every accolade she's attained, with successes too numerous to completely account for and with a catalog of nearly 100 songs to rest on, Melissa Etheridge is still focused on one thing only. "I love to rock," she declares, dragging the sentence out for emphasis. "When I'm singing, and I've got people in the audience throwing their head back and their hands up, I want to do that as long as I can."
New Improved Sandy…
a compelling performer who loves to engage her audience with personal provocative and deeply emotional content.
Sandra Bernhard began her career at L.A.’s famed Comedy Store in the ‘70s, and since then has written and starred in numerous one-woman shows, acted in movies and on television, recorded albums and authored books.
Her first one-woman show, the groundbreaking Without You I’m Nothing, ran for 6 months off-Broadway in 1988 and served as inspiration for the film and Grammy-nominated album of the same name. The critically acclaimed I’m Still Here… Dammit! opened off-Broadway in 1997, moved to Broadway a year later, and was filmed for an HBO special. The New York Times described Bernhard as a “living, breathing bonfire” and applauded the show, calling it “an angst driven, foul-mouthed, poison-laced joy ride that banks and careens frenetically through the worlds of fashion, celebrity, rock, and religion.” In 2006, Bernhard’s Everything Bad and Beautiful also opened to raves. “Give the dame her due, it’s invigorating to be in the presence of a true original.” (New York Times, 6/06) Her most recent show, I Love Being Me, Don’t You? played to sold-out crowds for an extended run last summer in Los Angeles. The album version of the show was released on Rooftop Records last fall, and she has been touring it with since. “She has chutzpah to spare, but it’s her articulate intelligence that earns our attention … It’s [her] combination of glamour and accessibility that accounts for Bernhard’s enduring appeal,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.
From 1991-1996 Bernhard played Nancy Bartlett—the first openly gay character on a network sitcom—on Roseanne. And she has had guest starring or recurring roles on numerous other shows, among them: Good Christian Belles, Hot in Cleveland, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order: SVU, Will&Grace, The Sopranos, The L Word, Ally McBeal, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Richard Pryor Show. She has appeared more than 30 times on Late Night with David Letterman and has been a regular guest of Howard Stern’s since the early ‘80s.
Bernhard’s film credits include Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, for which she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by the National Society of Film Critics, Nicholas Roeg’s Track 29, Hudson Hawk, Dinner Rush, and Dare.
Bernhard’s music albums include: I’m Your Woman (Polygram, 1986), Excuses for Bad Behavior (Epic, 1994) and the world music album Whatever It Takes (Mi5). She has also sung with or opened for various musical acts, including: The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper, and the Scissor Sisters. Other notable performances include her participation in the Stormy Weather Benefit, the Rainforest Benefit, and The Elton John Tribute for Broadway Cares. “She has musicality to die for,” the L.A. Times wrote recently, “a voice that swoops from the bluesy basement to a top-floor falsetto and a campy soulfulness that can compellingly reinterpret the Isley Brothers’ “That Lady” or just go nuts with “Lady Marmalade.”
“A performer of stunning originality. Funny but foxy, super smart and slightly mad!” (WCBS) Bernhard’s live performances are a thrilling hybrid of stand-up comedy and rock ‘n roll, a raucous mix of political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret. “The experience is like hanging out with a hip and funny friend who never fails to lift you up with her outrageous freedom.” (Los Angeles Times, 8/11)
Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (born November 2, 1961), known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress.
Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine". She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has teamed with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray and Jane Siberry. Lang is also known for being a vegan as well as an animal rights, gay rights, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.
k.d. lang is that rare performer who, over 25 years as a major-label artist, has matured before our very ears. The Western Canada native launched her career with a blend of country-rock stylings and playfully punk-like attitude, by turns whimsical and subversive; back then, she practically put the alternative in alt-country. But from the very beginning, her bravura singing belied her kitschy cowgirl outfits and spiky hair; anyone lucky enough to attend very first appearance in the United States, on a triple bill of unsigned artists at New York City's Bottom Line, could hear that she was marked for greatness.
Ben Lerman sings hilarious and catchy songs about love, pirates, Amish fashion, sex, and a violent bus ride in the Bronx. If Bo Burnham and Cam from “Modern Family” had a lovechild, it’d be this guy. He is an award-winning comedy musician and songwriter. Ben plays colleges, clubs and festivals as a solo comedy musician. He’s popular guest on radio and podcast shows like The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM and the Keith & the Girl Podcast, and he has appeared on Logo TV and Here TV. His debut music video was featured on Atom.com. Ben was nominated for an Excellence in Comedy in New York Award for Best Musical Comedy Act in 2011. He won the award for Best Male Comedy Musician at the 2012 New York Funny Songs Festival.
In 2012, Ben started Big Band Hot 100, a monthly music party at the Ace Hotel where a 12-piece band plays covers of the current Billboard Charts with guest singers from all over the New York City performance map, including Jackie Hoffman, Julie Klausner, and Xavier.
In 2013, Ben started a comedy podcast called Serving Reelness with fellow gay comedian, David Smithyman. They watch films streaming on Netflix (seperately) and then discuss them (together) with funny and knowledgeable (sometimes both) guests.
Some of the nice things the press has said about Ben Lerman:
“Brilliant.”—New York Magazine
“Gripping.”—The New York Times Magazine
“So damn funny!” —Time Out Chicago
“Sick and brilliant ukulele comedy.” —The Bastion, Chicago
“Ben Lerman and his ukulele make one funny pair.” —Time Out New York
“Hysterical…” —Next Magazine