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Live Music


Feb. 24

Ray of light rock

Some people say they have no regrets, but Amy Ray of the folk rock duo Indigo Girls is not one of them.

Looking back on the 1980s, she admits she’s chagrined she let the times affect her footing — as in her footing on a guitar chorus pedal.

“I would never use the sound of chorus pedal on an acoustic guitar again,” she says. “It’s so dated and kind of doesn’t sound good to me.”

In a fairly lighthearted phone interview from her home in Georgia, where she first met fellow Indigo Emily Saliers, Ray is gearing up for a tour that includes a stop in Portland on Wednesday, Feb. 24, for a sold-out show with Lucy Wainwright Roche at Revolution Hall, 1300 S.E. Stark St., No. 110 (revolution hallpdx.com). She and fellow singer-guitarist Saliers have released 14 studio albums since 1987, including last year’s “One Lost Day,” which included such tunes as the Joni Mitchell-meets-Everly Brothers number “Happy in the Sorrow Key.”

Along with the singles that put them on the map, including 1989’s Top 100 hit “Closer to Fine,” Indigo Girls will play a variety of old and new numbers in Portland, Ray says, noting the group’s fans were invited to vote on this tour’s set list. Fans picked such songs as 2004’s “Free in You,” as well as 1997’s ballad “Hey Kind Friend,” which Ray wrote.

“It’s a simple kind of feel-good song that Emily and I like to play, but I never thought anybody liked it that much,” Ray says.

The women enjoy playing together, but rarely co-write, generally bringing their tunes to each other and then collaborating on arrangements. Ray is Lennon to Saliers’ McCartney, Ray says with a slight chuckle — “Emily’s more pop-y than I am.”

They credit such artists as Simon and Garfunkel, Heart and the Roches for inspiring their music, which they’ve employed to promote various progressive causes but which they never use to officially endorse a political candidate. It’s more important that people vote, period, Ray says.

Quick hits

• Grammy nominated Nashville Americana quartet Della Mae joins bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters for a 9 p.m. show Friday, Feb. 19, at the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.

• Drawing comparisons to such artists as Lucinda Williams and REM, Cincinnati’s Wussy shares a bill with Rubella Graves at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $10. Info: 503-226-6630, danteslive.com.

• DJ Prashant Kakad celebrates six years of Bollywood Jai Ho! dance parties with a show featuring live violinist Raaginder “Violinder” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Bossonova Ballroom, 722 E. Burnside St. The event features free henna by Heart Henna from 8-10 p.m., as well as a free dance lesson at 10 p.m. $10 in advance, groups of four or more $8, $15 day of show. Info: 503-206-7630, www.bossanovaballroom.com.