Described as a folkie in punk rock clothes with a fierce independent spirit, she has embodied the do-it-yourself aesthete; she formed her own label, Righteous Babe Records and used it to launch her career. Touring relentlessly and using the singer-songwriter confession as a platform for her very vocal feminist opinions on political, social, cultural and sexual issues, Difranco’s frankness and honesty - along with her invigorating and entertaining live shows - have always been at the core of her appeal.
To fans of Difranco who have been following her career, its not unusual that she has a new album. What is unusual is her decision to work for the first time with a co-producer. With Joe Henry, a remarkably talented musician and artist himself, Ani has brought a new, yet subtle ambience to her recordings as well as new collaborators like drummer Jay Bellarose, keyboardist Patrick Warren, singer Noe Venbale, and Andrew Bird who have joined Ani’s usual stable of excellent musicians including bassist Todd Sickafoose.
Knuckle Down isn’t too much of a departure from Ani’s previous work but there is an audible depth to her sound that brings a welcome freshness to her songs. At the center though stands Difranco’s wondrously frantic, innovative and percussive guitar playing and songs crafted with lyrics that tell remarkably revealing short stories.
Written by Bruce Warren
Release Date 1/25/2005
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