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Ani DiFranco: “I needed an outlet”

Ani DiFranco: “I needed an outlet”


[SMITH] Your love of music also happened as
a kid growing up in Buffalo. [DIFRANCO] Yeah. [SMITH] Right? [DIFRANCO] Yeah, I needed an outlet, you know,
troubled family, stress to the system, so, like any kid, any human, I needed an outlet. [SMITH] Yeah. [DIFRANCO] So in the beginning, I was dancing,
I was painting, I was anything I could, you know, express myself with. But music, won. [SMITH] What kind of music, before you were
playing yourself, interested you, when you listened to music? [DIFRANCO] Well– [SMITH] ‘Cause I know you’ve
had many influences over time, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. [DIFRANCO] Yeah. [SMITH] Joan Armatrading. [DIFRANCO] Yeah. [SMITH] There were a lot of people whose work
is obviously evident in your own work later, who influenced you, but what did you like
when you were growing up– [DIFRANCO] Yeah, early on, the only recorded music that I heard
was my father’s records, and he was an Italian immigrant, and he loved all things American. So his records were, I mean, Aaron Copland,
John Fahey. [SMITH] I mean, classically American stuff. [DIFRANCO] Yes, yeah. [SMITH] Right? [DIFRANCO] Yes, celebratorily American. You know, Americana, before it was cool. Yeah, John Fahey, you know, the guitarist,
that kind of, uh, you know, alcoholic, uh, character, who made these instrumental acoustic
guitar records. I think his playing had a deep, subliminal,
effect very early on for me. There were Blue Note Records, there were Smithsonian
Recordings.

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