Performing Inspiration in a Tough Economy

While being a musical vagabond is in Ani DiFranco’s blood, the changing face of the music industry in a sinking economy has made touring for this feminist icon a financial necessity. The widespread use of the internet for filesharing has decimated indie record sales, which means playing live shows has recently become the DiFranco family’s livelihood. Ani is widely known for being an enthusiastic performer, though since the birth of her daughter in 2007, she has been simultaneously juggling another more challenging type of performance: non-traditional motherhood.

While many of us will never know what it’s like to travel the world with a two-year-old, DiFranco will travel from Sydney, Australia to Aspen, Colorado—all with a toddler in tow—playing nearly fifty live shows in five months on her <a href=”>2009 world tour Fortunately she has her partner and producer Mike Napolitano by her side to share the parental responsibilities. The couple is learning to navigate the muddy waters of childrearing while simultaneously figuring out a plan for their family’s (and her record label’s) financial future on and off the road.”I have to play shows like I’m 21 and…try to keep Righteous Babe afloat. So that’s what I’m doing a lot of,” said DiFranco.

In these tough economic times, everyone is struggling with how to make ends meet, and Ani’s situation is no different. She is using her time on the road wisely by testing the waters on new songs for another album-in-progress. One such tune that has been making a nightly appearance is “Nov. 4, 2008,” which DiFranco says is a celebration of Barack Obama’s presidential election. She wrote the song to share her own sense of empowerment and hope for the future with her fans.

Always leading by example, if you aren’t able to see DiFranco perform the song live, check it out (above) when you’re in need of inspiration.

by Mandy Van Deven
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