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Sister Ray 

The Indigo Girls' Amy Ray goes Stag with a rocking solo debut

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"At some point it was just like, 'We gotta put some records out that will fund the label,'" she says. "It's got to be self-contained. It can't just be this thing where I'm putting all this money in and it's basically a granting organization."

As a by-product of making a record on her own label, Ray says she's reconnected with her own past as an indie artist. "I understand some things better, like havin' to deal with my own artwork or my own pressing, things I'd kinda lost touch with over the years because someone else might have made it happen," she says.

Though she eventually sees even Indigo Girls headed to an indie label once their contract with Epic expires, she admits that right now, "I've kind of got the best of both worlds. I get to do this indie thing but I still have an infrastructure to fall back on, of all the experience with Indigo Girls, people that have helped Indigo Girls."

As with any partnership, success requires compromise. And if the partnership is strong enough to allow a little independence, there are benefits to be reaped, too. "Making a solo record is important for growth," says Saliers, who plans to embark on her own project. "It's sort of like a marriage. What's good for the individual is good for the whole, because it's all about growing and experiencing and bringing more to the table. At this juncture for Amy, it's really important to do that, and I completely celebrate that. And when it comes time to make my solo record, she'll be the same way for me."

Amy Ray and the Butchies play the Echo Lounge Thurs., March 29. Advance tickets for the show are sold out. For more information, call 404-681-3600.

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