GA Voice

Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers Discusses ‘Revival’ Event and the Pair’s Huge Last Year

- Jim Farmer

Indigo Girls have never rested on their laurels. Even now, with a new documentar­y about them out and “Closer to Fine” an integral part of Greta Gerwig's “Barbie,” Emily Saliers and Amy Ray are taking time to headline the August 28 “Revival” event at the Fox Theatre.

It's a benefit that means much to both women. Hosted by Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin and featuring special guests, “Revival” will raise money to help to restore and preserve historic theaters in Georgia, as well as Fox's educationa­l programs.

They felt honored to be invited, Saliers told Georgia Voice.

“Kevn and Drivin N Cryin gave us a spot on the stage when we wanted to play clubs instead of folk,” she said. “He has been such an inspiratio­n. It will be great to join him. It will be a whole hootenanny because we have Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet, and we look forward to meeting the guys from Blackberry Smoke.”

She calls the Fox one of the greatest venues in the country, a place where she has seen the likes of Janelle Monae, “Hamilton,” and many more artists and events. Saliers bristled when rememberin­g there was once talk of tearing it down.

“Revival” raises money for community and small theaters.

“For the sheer goodness of the benefit itself, I am in 100 percent and so is Amy,” Saliers said. “This is the way we grew up playing at Little 5 Points with a bunch of people just sharing the stage. It's a very community-oriented event, so it is in our wheelhouse for sure.”

The night is billed as a celebratio­n of the area's rich music and theater culture.

“Amy and I started when we were babies — we started when we were in high school,” she said. “There were all these opportunit­ies to play all over Atlanta and then we got settled into Little 5 Points clubs and we started recording independen­t albums with John Keane, who was working with R.E.M. There was a strong connection between Atlanta and Athens' music scenes, almost like sister cities.” She loves the rich culture and diversity of the live music scene, which she added also includes the rap and hip-hop scenes.

Saliers also acknowledg­ed how much theater means to her. A fan of the local playhouses, her daughter is in a community theater — Decatur Community Players. The musician has also started to write music for musical theater.

“Everywhere I look there is an example of how live theater and live music enriches the community and Atlanta is chock-full of that,” she said. “To get on the grand stage of the Fox with some local homeboys and play in celebratio­n of that culture of art and the history of it is super cool.”

“It's Only Life After All,” director Alexandria Bombach's documentar­y about the musicians, recently played in film festivals and had a one-night national theatrical release. Saliers said Bombach edited “for like 3,000 hours or something inhuman” and was able to use Ray's treasure trove of all their history.

“Alexandria did a brilliant job of telling the story of why we are who we are because of our community,” she said. “We have this career and this music and we have our politics and activism all because of being where we are from and meeting at elementary school, growing up at the same place. I think Atlanta and Georgia [are these] wonderful place[s] to be from and grow up and experience arts and culture — and the queer community was always so vibrant and alive in Atlanta. It was the perfect way to grow up in the arms of a rich, challengin­g at times, environmen­t.”

The film will eventually be available on VOD and, Saliers hopes, streaming.

Their signature track, “Closer to Fine,” was also prominent in the blockbuste­r hit “Barbie.” The two had no idea how much so until they saw the film.

“Greta did not contact us personally,” Saliers said. “I wish she had — I might have died if she had. We are such fans of Greta Gerwig. She went through the channels and our manager said, ‘What about this?' We knew [the song] was going to be in the trailer, which was exciting enough, but we didn't know if it was going to be in the movie or how much. To have it be an integral part of the story — I still feel like a kid in a candy store. We have been doing this for 40 years, and these gifts keep dropping out of the sky for us. ‘Barbie' was very exciting; we are not often part of mainstream pop culture in that way. And then to admire Greta's work and have the song fit into the story was validating and thrilling and exciting, like – how did this happen?”

The pair's music was also prominent in the recent gay-themed film, “Glitter + Doom,” and Saliers and Ray had cameos in it as well.

Indigo Girls are touring now before the Fox event and in August will tour with a band and Melissa Etheridge for a few weeks. “We've crossed paths but it's been a long time. We've never done anything like this together. [Everyone] is very excited.”

With so much happening, people ask Saliers if there will be a new Indigo Girls album soon — and she is hopeful the duo can release one in 2026.

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