Amy Rigby | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Amy Rigby was a fixture on the New York/Hoboken indie-pop scene of the 80s long before she started performing in the Last Roundup and the Shams; she's now four records into a solo career that's hardly as one-dimensional as her admirers might cause you to believe. Countless pundits have gushed about how sensibly the 43-year-old Rigby chronicles the angst of a middle-aged divorcee, but in fact this calmly persevering woman--who can write circles around most current pop-rock songsmiths of any age, gender, or career positioning--expounds intelligently on a great range of subjects. Anything on her current mission statement, Til the Wheels Fall Off (Signature Sounds), recorded in her new hometown of Nashville, could smoke out whatever's atop the adult rock charts these days--Sheryl Crow would be lucky to stumble across a song with as much heart as the lead track, "Why Do I." Whether she's doing poignant ("Breakup Boots"), fearful ("How People Are"), guardedly hopeful ("The Deal"), slightly frustrated and snide ("Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?"), or just plain gorgeous ("Believe in You"), Rigby makes it seem so easy and natural it's scary. And there's something righteous about refusing to stomp off the stage just because the world never gave you the grand living you deserve. Saturday, May 17, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Glen Rose.

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