Song Of The Week: “Closer To Fine” by Indigo Girls

Sometimes all you need is a guitar and a porch in Vermont.

Amy and Emily first met in elementary school in Georgia, but didn’t become close friends and performance-mates until high school. After going their separate ways to separate states for their first year of college, the two transferred to Atlanta and reunited as Indigo Girls.

Playing as a folk duo wasn’t the surest way to fame and fortune in the mid-80’s, a time when slick synth-pop still ruled and hair metal was about to take over the teenage hearts, but there existed a folk-infused underground scene – growing in popularity, especially on college radio – led by such acts as 10,000 Maniacs, Cowboy Junkies, and Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians.

When Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman both scored Top 10 hits, Epic Records decided they needed to get in on the folk-rock action and signed Indigo Girls to record their major label debut in 1988. The duo re-recorded a few tracks from their earlier indie record, and Emily had a new song she wrote during a vacation with her family in Vermont.

While sitting on the porch of a rustic cabin, strumming her acoustic guitar and gazing upon the wooded majesty of the Green Mountain state, Emily waxed philosophical about the multiple pathways to solving a problem and approaching the state of “fine.” Pretty heady stuff for a radio hit. Numbers-wise, it’s not their biggest charting single, but when released in 1989, “Closer To Fine” put Indigo Girls on the musical map, and it remains their most enduring song.

So be fine with who you are and how you get there, and let Indigo Girls sing you on your way.

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