For more than 30 years, she’s been one half of the beloved musical duo, Indigo Girls. Saliers and her bandmate, Amy Ray, have been playing music together since attending high school together in Decatur. Throughout their career, Ray has released six solo records.
We start with the question that’s on everyone’s mind: What took Saliers so long to produce her own album?
In many ways, “Murmuration Nation” was Saliers’ chance to draw upon the music of her youth. Her first album was a Jackson 5 record, which she bought with the money that her father gave her for picking dandelions out of their yard. “I’ve been very influenced largely by hip-hop and rap and African-American gospel, R&B,” she shares. She says this album is a return to the “more rhythmic-centric” music that she grew up with.
Saliers picks up her guitar and performs some of her new sound for us. She plays “331,” which is named after U.S. Route 331 in Florida, a highway that runs along the Panhandle coast. She guesses she’s been vacationing in Florida’s Emerald Coast for over 35 years but says these trips don’t always relax her. “331” is about what’s on her mind as she’s sitting down at the shoreline. This is one of a handful of moments that turn musical in our conversation with Saliers
We also talk spirituality. Saliers’ father, Don. E. Saliers, is the Theologian-in-Residence at the Emory Candler School of Theology. She explains why “Saturday night music”—her music—and “Sunday morning music”—her father’s music—have more in common than you might expect.