Emily Saliers

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Emily Saliers
Saliers performing in 2002
Saliers performing in 2002
Background information
Born (1963-07-22) July 22, 1963 (age 58)
New Haven, Connecticut
OriginAtlanta, Georgia
GenresFolk rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, restaurateur
InstrumentsVocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, bouzouki
Years active1985–present
LabelsIG Records
Associated actsIndigo Girls

Emily Ann Saliers (born July 22, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the musical duo Indigo Girls. Saliers plays lead guitar as well as banjo, piano, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki and many other instruments.

Early life and education[edit]

Saliers was born in New Haven, Connecticut as the second eldest of four daughters—to Don and Jane Saliers (née Firmin; a librarian).[1] Since approximately age 11,[1] she was raised in Decatur, Georgia (in metro Atlanta). Don Saliers was the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University; he is currently Theologian-in-Residence and a professor emeritus.[2] In addition to teaching theology and worship,[3] he directed the master of sacred music program there.[4]

Emily attended Laurel Ridge Elementary School[5] in Decatur, Georgia. She later attended Shamrock High School, which she did not like.[6] She began her college education at Tulane University but transferred to Emory University, graduating in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in English.

Musical career[edit]

Indigo Girls[edit]

Saliers first met her future Indigo Girls counterpart Amy Ray when they were students at Laurel Ridge Elementary School[5] in Decatur, Georgia. As students at Shamrock High School, they started performing music together at talent shows and local venues (including bars when she was still under age[4]) under the band names of "Saliers & Ray"[7] and the "B-Band".[8] When Saliers (the elder of the duo) left Georgia for college in Louisiana, Ray frequently visited her. They would play together for tips in New Orleans' French Quarter. Saliers and Ray eventually reunited when they transferred from their respective colleges to Emory University. At Emory they settled upon the band name Indigo Girls; Ray came across the word indigo in the dictionary[8] and "thought it sounded cool".[citation needed]

Performing as Emily Saliers[edit]

In 2004, Saliers composed her first film score for the independent short film, One Weekend a Month.[9] She occasionally performs solo at benefit shows or as a guest with friends' bands. She and her father Don Saliers performed together once at the Washington National Cathedral in 2007.[4]

In 2014, she began working on her first solo album, Murmuration Nation,[6][7] which was released on August 11, 2017[10] and was produced by longtime friend and Juilliard-trained violin player for Indigo Girls, Lyris Hung. The album was recorded in New York City and engineered by Ryan Kelly and Tom Morello. Appearing with Saliers are drummers Robert "Sput" Searight and Will Calhoun, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and keyboardist Rachel Eckroth, along with guest vocalists Jonatha Brooke, Jennifer Nettles, and Lucy Wainwright Roche.[11]

Non-performance career[edit]

Saliers was a co-owner of Watershed, a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, from its founding until she sold her share in April 2018.[12] Emily was one of the initial investors in the Flying Biscuit Cafe. She was a co-founder of the (now-defunct) Common Pond environmental gift shop in Atlanta, Georgia.

Saliers has co-written a book with her father, Don Saliers, a retired theology professor at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, called A Song to Sing, a Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice.[4] Emily and her father attended book signings and church appearances around the US in support of the book, including the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in May 2005 and October 2007.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Saliers married her longtime girlfriend,[7] former Indigo Girls tour manager Tristin Chipman at New York City Hall[13] on August 20, 2013.[14] Chipman, a Canadian, is from Calgary, but she spent most of her adult life in Toronto, according to Saliers between songs when performing onstage in Vancouver in 2013.[14] The couple already had a daughter, Cleo, born in November 2012[6][14]

Saliers had a passion for wine collecting, with a wine cellar that was reported to be at 2,000 bottles, but in 2015 she announced that she had given up drinking.[15] She has since disclosed that she became sober in 2011, calling it her "biggest challenge."[16]

Saliers assisted in funding a music room at Emory University's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts which was named for her parents Don and Jane Saliers.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Biographical Sketch: Don E. Saliers". IWS.edu. The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Don E. Saliers". Emory University. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Tooley, Mark (June 6, 2006). "The Indigo Girl and God". American Spectator. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ties That Bind: A Folk-Rocker and a Theologian Make Heavenly Music". nationalcathedral.org. Washington National Cathedral. October 14, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Burns, Rebecca (June 2003). "From Brenda Lee to Ludacris: A Sonic Portrait of Our City". Atlanta Magazine. Emmis Communications. 43 (2): 80. ISSN 0004-6701. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c McKee, Jenn (June 18, 2015). "Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers talks about motherhood, her solo record and more". MLive.com. Ann Arbor, Michigan. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Rogers Nazarov, Amy (May 20, 2014). "The Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers On Parenthood, Mary J. Blige and Naps". AmericanSongwriter.com. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Douglas-Brown, Laura (September 24, 2015). "Indigo Girls come home to Emory". Emory Report. Emory University. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  9. ^ One Weekend A Month at YouTube.com
  10. ^ 'Murmuration Nation,' Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers Goes Solo Georgia Music News, June 28, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls to Release Solo Album Georgia Music News, June 28, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  12. ^ McKibben, Beth (April 6, 2018). "Change Is Coming to Watershed, Now Under New Ownership". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Tupica, Rich (June 2, 2015). "Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers Talks Motherhood, Marriage and Yelawolf". ReviewWM.com. Michigan. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c MacNeil, Jason (September 24, 2013). "Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers Announces Marriage To Canadian Girlfriend at Vancouver Gig". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Mansfield, Brian (May 31, 2015). "Playing Catch-Up: Indigo Girls". USA Today. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Saliers, Emily (October 1, 2019). "This Much I Know: Indigo Girls musician Emily Saliers". Irish Examiner. Retrieved April 14, 2021.

External links[edit]