Chicks With Guitars

Not a fetish. Just an appreciation.

Monday, December 12, 2005

AMY RIGBY



Although on her new record, “Little Fugitive,” Amy Rigby claims, ““I Don’t Want To Talk About Love No More,” that’s just about all she talks about.

Rigby began her solo career as the Mod Housewife (as in, “The Diary of”), hailed for her keen eye and sharp wit in tracing the vagaries and victories of modern romance. She was a desperate housewife before they became trendy.

Rigby co-produced the album with her longtime guitarist Jon Graboff, leading the band of players through a whirlwind two-day recording session.

“We just sat down, went over a list of songs and talked about what we were going to do, and then went in the next day and did it,” she said. “It was a great experience. Time seemed to expand and contract to allow us to do what we needed to do. I just enjoyed every minute of it.”

The result is a collection that continues to prove Rigby to be the ultimate rock girl next door – strong-willed, sharp-tongued and ready to wrestle you to the barroom floor.

Yet it also reflects the wisdom of a grown woman who has made her mark as a consummate artist, penning songs with an emotional honesty and rare incisive humor. 

Informed not only by the heart, but also Russian history and American punk rock culture, on “Little Fugitive” Rigby colors her songs with stylistic splashes that include bright folk chords to stomping rock and ’60s psychedelia.

Rigby grew up in Pittsburgh but ended up in New York for art school amidst the fertile downtown scene of the late 1970s.  She describes herself as a “casual listener” before happening upon CBGB’s, the legendary punk rock club on the Bowery.

“That was the turning point,” she said. “Suddenly, I was more actively involved with music. I was a part of a scene. And music became the motivating force in my life.”

She revisits that heady time on “Dancing With Joey Ramone.”

“It was a dream I had,” she said, “one of those dreams that felt like it was happening, like maybe it did happen. I got up and immediately wrote the song.”

As the album closes with “The Things You Leave Behind” - the first cover song Rigby has recorded, written by Patti Smith consort Lenny Kaye - one can sense Rigby’s creativity pondering new challenges beyond the series of peaks on her five solo albums. It takes but a listen to Little Fugitive to hear that it’s the work of a masterful and original musical artist in full bloom.

For the making of “Little Fugitive,” Rigby returned to New York City, where she first struck solo gold with “Diary Of A Mod Housewife.”

“It felt like home,” she explains. “Going back to New York was like putting back together the pieces of my past and wondering, who am I going be for the rest of my life?”

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