As influential for her funk- and punk- (and NOLA and Afro- and…) inflected take on singer/songwriter acoustic rock as for her rigorous self-determination and relentlessly energized activism, walking the talk where so many others are content merely to talk it, Ani DiFranco is simply important. She’s a lightning rod for polarized opinion as well, but that just comes with her territory. Artists as well-known for their extramusical work as for their music are prone to having their art overlooked, and that’s unfortunate, for DiFranco has remained a vital, productive and stylistically restless writer throughout most of a career that is now approaching the end of its third decade.
DiFranco’s latest release Binary (released on her own Righteous Babe label) is a lively effort: street-tough as ever, rhythmically happening in ways that are current and global. Her guitar playing, always excellent, has grown new dimensions. And her spiel remains, as ever, vibrant, funny, smart and combative.
Ani DiFranco performs at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie on Friday, October 6 at 8 p.m. Andrea Gibson opens. Tickets cost $50 and $60. For tickets and additional information, visit www.bardavon.org. The Bardavon is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie.