Ani's story begins in Buffalo, New York, a rust belt city perched precariously on the edge of the Great Lakes, known best for its terrible snow storms and lost superbowls. It is here that our heroine, Ani (pronounced A-NE) DiFranco was reared on a mid-eighties diet of oat bran and radio mayonnaise, and launched into the world somewhere in the interim between Woody Guthrie's "Pastures Of Plenty" and MTV's unplugged."
O.K. Just the facts. Ani is a punk folksinger who writes songs that can appeal to old folkies and simultaneously climb the college radio charts. She tours on the acoustic, college, and rock club circuits, shattering stereotypes and winning over unsuspecting fans everywhere. But of course, like all overnight success stories that were ten years in the making, the beginnings were much more humble.
Ani started playing Beatles' songs in local bars at age nine but didn't start writing her own material until age fifteen when she moved out of her mother's apartment. Living on her own, she played every Saturday night at the Essex Street Pub, and at sixteen she graduated from the Visual and Performing Arts High School. By the time she was eighteen she had played every bar in Buffalo a gazillion times and moved to New York City for a change of scenery. Now, five years and six albums later, she is still a steadfast independent.
To finance her first album, Ani looted her bank account and borrowed the rest from friends. She rejected offers from indie and major labels alike, and instead started her own record company, Righteous Babe Records, in an industry dominated by multinational corporations. Ani has since sold over 100,000 albums on her own. She not only writes and publishes her own songs, but also produces her own recordings, creates the artwork, and releases them. She employs like-minded people in management and staff positions, supports local printers and manufacturers in her hometown, and utilizes a network of independent distributors in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She tours extensively and damn near constantly on both sides of the Atlantic, repeatedly setting on-sight album sales records at music festivals and concert venues.
With a voice that can rock an ocean liner one minute and sooth you to sleep the next, Ani DiFranco has a sound like no other. In
performance she never ceases to stun and stagger her audience with her famous hundred-fifty watt smile and easy laughter juxtaposed
against the brutal poetics of her lyrics and the reckless manhandling of her guitar. She has played to packed houses and rave reviews
from Boston's Somerville Theater to San Francisco's Great American Music Hall, and from Toronto's Phoenix to a twelve-hundred-seat
sell-out at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre. As a writer in Tampa exclaimed, "If folk music has a future it's Ani DiFranco."