Singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco kicks off her new tour with a solo show in North Little Rock on Friday.
“It’s really exciting because I don’t do it so much anymore, I just stand and deliver without my rhythm section,” she says from her home in New Orleans. “I can’t wait to be there. It makes the connection with the public even more intense.”
DiFranco has released more than 20 albums, all on his own Righteous Babe label, and his latest studio album, “Revolutionary Love,” is out in 2021. Fans of Friday’s concert can expect to hear songs from his impressive career .
“I have about 22 albums now, so it’s cool to have so many songs and Ani to draw from,” she laughs. “I like to change it.”
DiFranco’s career took her from tiny clubs to stadiums, and she maintained her independence throughout, eschewing the mainstream recording industry early on with Righteous Babe and following her own musical muse.
In July, on lithub.com, author Elisa Albert’s essay, “Where’s the Respect for Ani DiFranco?”, demanded more attention to DiFranco’s impact and influence, calling her “…the greatest living folksinger of the post-Dylan era” before adding “and the only reason most people don’t give a damn is because she’s a woman .”
“Ani embodied the idea that you could resist what was forbidden to you in any context,” Albert wrote, “and that you could have unpopular, idiosyncratic, or entirely new perspectives, and you could share them. And dancing and groaning and stomping and bouncing and screaming and giggling all the time.”
DiFranco calls the essay “incredible.”
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Lately, the singer has delved into her past. “Living in Clip,” the historic double live album that was the gateway for many fans to DiFranco’s powerful and fiercely independent hybrid of folk, punk, jazz, hip-hop and rock, turned 25. This year. A new mastered version was re-released on September 23 and is available on disc, CD and streaming.
“It’s a really sweet time for me to sign up for the trip, like birthdays ask you to do,” she says. “I think it was through that record that a lot of people first connected with my songs. I almost feel like they first came out on that record.”
The remastering work of “Living in Clip” as well as revisiting his earlier work brought back memories of time spent in the studio and with bandmates.
“Part of the process for me was the ‘This Is Your Life’ kind of thing that’s happening to me now. I’ve digitized a lot of my old master tapes…what that means is I’ve been seriously looking back, reliving old recording sessions, listening to the bands and the dynamics…it’s been a real record.”
DiFranco, 52, released her memoir, ‘No Walls and the Recurring Dream,’ in 2019, in which she chronicled her life leaving her Buffalo, NY home as a teenager, releasing her first album at 18. years, building her career as a musician, running her record company and becoming a respected activist and feminist.
“The book was about every 20 discs in a stack,” she laughs. “I’m kind of known for being naked in my songs and writing, but the book was just another level. hundreds of songs, writing prose was a whole other bag of donuts.”
And now mother-of-two DiFranco has written a children’s book, “The Knowing,” which was illustrated by Julia Mathew and will be published by Penguin Kids on March 7, 2023.
“I had to write once again in a whole new way. My songwriting relies heavily on cliché, double meaning and connotation, lots of cultural references, which doesn’t make sense to a child – gloriously.”
- First part : Diane Patterson
- When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
- Where: the Center for Humanities and Arts, UA Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock
- Admission: $35-$75
- Information: (501) 812-2831 | uaptc.edu