NEW ALBUM KNUCKLE DOWN - Irish Release Jan 28th
Irish Release
Jan 28th


Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco is about to release a new album. It’s called Knuckle Down,and it’s due in stores January 285, 2005. Now, if you’ve followed Ani’s career for a while, that may not sound like news; after all, she’s been putting out at least one CD a year since 1990. But this time—for the first time in her career—she has invited a fellow musician to co-produce the new record with her. That honor goes to Joe Henry, an acclaimed performer and songwriter with nine highly regarded solo discs to his name. “I invited him out to share the stage, and we just struck up a friendship and started talking about making records — which both of us do, serially [laughs] — and really hit it off. We had a real lively creative dialogue going, so I took that as my cue to step out of my solitude and work with a co-producer for the first time — invite collaboration back into my life,” Ani says. Another major change: Ani composed new songs with their role in the future album in mind, “This time, I had not only a deadline, but a context to write for: the group of musicians that I was gonna work with, and the where, how, and when of the record. I knew I wanted to have string accompaniment on this record — I thought I’d get string-y with it rather than get horn-y with it like I have in the past — use those kinds of colors.”

On her last album, Educated Guess (2004), DiFranco performed completely solo, playing all the instruments, recording the tracks in her own home, and even engineering the disc herself. This time around, while a few songs are still primarily one-person affairs, she’s also joined by more than half a dozen guest musicians throughout the album. Many of their names will be recognizable to people who have followed Ani’s recent career: current stage partner Todd Sickafoose (on bass), former band member Julie Wolf (melodica), occasional openers Tony Scherr (electric guitar), and Noe Venable (voice), as well as Righteous Babe recording artist Andrew Bird (violin, glockenspiel, whistling). Less familiar to fans but equally notable are the contributions of Patrick Warren (piano, samples, chamberlin), Jay Bellerose (drums and percussion), and Niki Haris (voice).

The music Ani has created with their help is as stunning as ever, from such poignant yet instantly irresistible tunes as “Studying Stones” and “Recoil” to the spoken-word piece “Parameters” a harrowing account of a woman finding an uninvited stranger in her bedroom one night. On “Paradigm” Ani recalls helping her mother’s efforts at grassroots activism, when she was “just a girl in a room full of women/ licking stamps and laughing,” an image that becomes a perfect symbol of “the feeling of community brewing / of democracy happening.”

Through twelve new songs as intricately crafted as short stories, Ani DiFranco creates another unforgettable musical self-portrait of a woman coming to grips with love’s twists and turns, confronting the legacy of her family, and learning to live on her own terms.



If you’ve never been introduced to the music of Ani DiFranco, let her be the first to say “Hello, and thank you for coming” in this 90 minute live concert DVD of her Washington, DC shows in May, 2004. Joined for the occasional song by noted New York guitarist and sideman Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Sex Mob), Ani and upright bassist Todd Sickafoose take you on a musical journey there and back again.

Unlike Ani’s 2002 Render release, this DVD is a complete concert experience, shot over two days and seamlessly integrated by Danny Clinch, renowned photographer (Rolling Stone, Spin, The New York Times Magazine) and filmmaker (Ben Harper’s “Pleasure and Pain”, 2003 Bonnaroo documentary “270 Miles From Graceland”). With the help of cinematographers JoJo Pennebaker, Paul Greenhouse, and Elia Lyssy, Clinch captures the experience of these two days from all sides with a visual style as eclectic as Ani’s guitar tunings.

This live DVD also features new songs “Manhole,” “Modulation,” and “Knuckledown,” all from Ani’s upcoming studio album, scheduled for release in January 2005.

Including over twenty songs from the days of Not So Soft to her most recent Educated Guess, this film evokes the community and intimacy of your favorite Ani show. With words from Congressman Dennis Kucinich and an eye on the recent Vote Dammit! tour, Trust illustrates Ani DiFranco’s belief that the political is personal while she deftly draws you into a world of sound and substance.

See Ani DiFranco Live in Dublin
with guest Gail Ann Dorsey

November 5th at Mahony Hall, The Helix
Tickets from €25.50 + booking fee on sale now from the Helix Box Office on 01 7007000

Ani Di Franco is a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist perpetually on the move. From the raw ‘Folk Punk’ of her early albums through the jazz/funk grooves she created during her years touring with a five-piece band to the twists and turns of her current work as a solo artist. Ani’s restless creativity continually leads her and her listeners into ever more exciting territory.

Ani Di Franco’s career has been full of surprises, she’s no stranger to change both sudden and slow. But some things remain unchanged, like her commitment to speaking the truth, as she sees it. She has repeatedly lent her time and her voice to such diverse pursuits as opposing the death penalty, upholding women’s reproductive rights, promoting queer visibility and preserving historic buildings.
Ani Di Franco’s new album ‘Educated Guess’ was released in January to critical acclaim, Ani plays all the instruments and provides the lead and backing vocals but for the first time in her career she single-handedly did all the recording and mixing.

Album release date in Ireland: January 16, 2004

Ani DiFranco has been “on her own” for a long time. But not since the release of her second album back in 1991 has she been quite as much a solo act as she is on her latest CD, Educated Guess. On it, Ani not only plays all the instruments and provides the lead and backing vocals, but for the first time in her career she singlehandedly did all the recording and mixing. So if it weren’t for Greg Calbi (who mastered the album, as he has done with almost all of Ani’s recordings for the last decade), we would be talking about a one woman album. Educated Guess is truly a singular sensation.

Its contents are pretty singular, too. On songs like “Bubble” and “Swim,” the first-person narrator revisits past loves and reflects on the lessons learned from them. Elsewhere, particularly on the spoken-word track “Grand Canyon,” Ani addresses the oft-misunderstood connection between patriotism and dissent (“i love my country / by which i mean i am indebted joyfully / to all the people throughout its history / who have fought the government to make right”) and issues a rallying cry in support of “the coolest F-word ever”—feminism, which she sees as the birthright of men and women alike. The package also contains a small book including artwork by Ani and three additional poems currently unavailable anywhere else.

Educated Guess was recorded on vintage reel-to-reel equipment in a shotgun shack in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans and back home in Buffalo. Deliberately restricting herself to 8 tracks of audio and happy to incorporate such accidental accompaniment as falling rain and passing trains, Ani uses the self-imposed limitations of her minimal set-up the way poets embrace the formal restraints of a sonnet: as a vehicle for personal expression. The end result is an album as intimate and fresh as the very best of her work has always been.

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