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Amy Rigby


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Rock, folk, folk/rock, country rock, and alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, (as Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby), A Working Museum (2012)

See also:

Amy Rigby's site

Comparisons:

start with the likes of syd straw, amy allison, kate jacobs and you'll be in the ballpark. (dmw@mwmw.com)

Covers/own material:

Writes own material

General comments:

she rocks. a little bit country a little bit rock. people should check her out. some people will list her in the fast-growing (bargain) bin of angry woman rock (ani difranco, PJ Harvey, tori amos, and their second wave of wannabees, alanis morissette, meredith brooks, leah andreone, alana davis, etc.) but she probably fits in more with the whole no depression countryrock scene more than anything else. Her best songs aren't necessarily bitter songs about men, but rather songs about her own life experiences (having a crush on the guy at the bookstore, having to go to work at the corporate office). Similar to a good folk singer, Amy Rigby knows a good tune, and knows how to write about life. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Rigby's work is underlined with lots of honesty and straightforwardness, but also with lots of wit and cleverness. Her songwriting is marvelously entertaining, and both her albums are very solid. A thin voice and occasional poor production doesn't overshadow the fact that she is a great, witty songwriter who deserves greater success. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Comments about live performance:

Amy Rigby's edgy, skewed outlook was a perfect contrast to other performers I saw on the same bill. Her killer wordplay was really highlighted by the absence of her band ("You left the conversation dangling like a bare lightbulb in a cheap hotel"). She seemed a somewhat awkward performer, sort of nervous and jittery, but really brought her songs to life. (neal)

When I saw her play CMJ, I found her music and onstage persona charming. (tugboat@channel1.com)

Recommended first album:

Diary of a Mod Housewife

Recordings:

As Amy Rigby:

  • Diary of a Mod Housewife (1996)
  • Middlescence (1998)
  • The Sugar Tree (2000)
  • I've Got the World on a Broken String (live, 2002)
  • 18 Again Anthology (compilation, 2002)
  • Till the Wheels Fall Off (2003)
  • Faulkner, Dylan, Heinz & Me (live, 2004)
  • Little Fugitive (2005)
As Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby:

  • Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby (2008)
  • Two-Way Family Favourites (covers, 2010)
  • A Working Museum (2012)

Diary of a Mod Housewife

Release info:

1996—Koch Records

Availability:

Widely available

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Amy Rigby—vocals, guitar
Elliot Easton—guitar, toy piano, organ, bass, background vocals
Jay Sherman-Godfrey—guitar, background vocals
Greg Leisz—dobro, pedal steel guitar
Steve Gunner—piano, organ, keyboards
Ira Kaplan—organ
Tony Maimone—bass
Don Heffington—drums, tingelschlagen, percussion
Doug Wygal—drums
Will Rigby—cowbell, percussion
Sue Garner, Andy Paley—background vocals

Guest artists:

John Wesley Harding—vocals

Produced by:

Elliot Easton

Comments:

diary of a mod housewife blew me away the first time i heard it. start with the likes of syd straw, amy allison, kate jacobs and you'll be in the ballpark. production by ex-car elliot easton is far less slick than you might expect and the hooky melodies and clever lines just keep coming.... (dmw@mwmw.com)

diary of a mod housewife is al dente crunchy, but with more twang to her. I can fully understand this album in the state that i am in with my life. leave me alone. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

I love the song "Knapsack". Just Rigby and her guitar, and it's a lovely, clever, and heartfelt ode to a crush. Beautiful. I also love the rock tunes here, like "20 Questions", "That Tone of Voice", and "Beer And Kisses"...lots of fun, and you really get the feeling that Rigby has lived all her tales. There's lots of honesty here. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

I finally got a copy of Diary of a Mod Housewife this weekend, and was impressed. The songs, which are obviously more instrumentally fleshed-out than at the solo acoustic show, ring with hook and melody and plumb the depths of being both a wife and mother who isn't ready to give up such youthful amusements as rock and roll. I want to listen to it some more before I give a full review, but I like the way she's rewriting the storybook of aging gracefully in rock and how that experience is different for some women. I also like the album on its musical merits, which I would recommend to fans of Peter Holsapple and the dBs. (tugboat@channel1.com)


Middlescence

Release info:

1998—Koch Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Amy Rigby—vocals, guitar
Elliot Easton—acoustic & electric guitars, bass, background vocals
The Bell Canyon Stompers—horns
Tom Canning—piano, organ, harmonium, Theremin
Don Heffington—drums, percussion
Kelley Ryan—background vocals

Produced by:

Elliot Easton

Comments:

Treads a lot of the same territory as Diary of a Mod Housewife, and doesn't include a show-stopper like "Knapsack". But it's still a fine effort, and contains plenty of Rigby's wry wordplay and blue-collar subject matter. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

This one is an overall darker album, seemingly about divorcing her husband. The production is nifty, but this is a true hit-and-miss affair—there are some serious clunkers on there ("What I Need" in particular left me cold). The album has some real winners, and I'm glad to say that my two fave songs from when I saw her, "The Summer of My Wasted Youth" and the hidden bonus track "I'm Gonna Give the Drummer Some", have made it to disc. There are also some winners in the form of a lounge/samba experiment called "Laboratory of Love" and the heartbreaking "Ivory Tower", but some tracks just don't work. I find myself skipping over the annoying spoke-sung "What I Need", and the bouncy rhythm can't hold my interest when the lyrics to "As Is" (about bargain shopping) are so painfully bad. If you haven't heard her but are intrigued with what you may have heard ABOUT her, go with Diary of a Mod Housewife first—while I like some of the songs on Middlescence better, the album sounds like an odds and sods collection. (tugboat@channel1.com)


Further info:

Formerly in the country-rock, no-depression group The Shams, and ex-wife of Will Rigby of The Replacements.

Info on a Yahoo! Fan Club exists at http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/amyrigby.


Thanks to Mark Miazga for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2013-12-14 20:35:08.
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