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Friday Oct 28

Amanda Shires

$26 - $149
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN
Oct 28
Friday
8:00 PM
Doors Open

More about this event

NO HEALTH CHECK REQUIRED
Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 10/28/2022 09:00 PM10/28/2022 11:59 PMAmanda ShiresMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/amanda-shires/HI-FI
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ARTIST PROFILE | Amanda Shires

Americana/FolkCountrySinger/Songwriter

Grammy and Americana-award-winning singer-songwriter and virtuoso violinist Amanda Shires has pushed the reset button, releasing an album that is so unlike anything she has ever recorded before that you would be tempted to think it’s her debut album instead of her seventh. Take It Like a Man is a fearless confessional, showing the world what turning 40 looks like in 10 emotionally raw tracks, and as the title track intimates, not only can she “take it like a man,” but more importantly she can “Take it like Amanda,” as the last line proclaims-- the clue to the entire album, and perhaps Shires herself.

“I wrote that last line, ‘take it like a man,’” says Shires from her barn/studio located about 30 minutes outside of Nashville. “Then I changed it. I realized you can try and do what they say and take it like a man and show that you can withstand anything. But truly you can only take it like yourself.”

There are few musicians of Amanda Shires’ stature who would be willing to sacrifice so much of their privacy and personal life for the sake of a record. But for her, art isn’t meant to be constrained, ever since her earliest days.

The native Texan got her start playing fiddle with the legendary Texas Playboys at 15. She toured and collaborated with John Prine, Todd Snider, Justin Townes Earle and others, and has long been a member of husband Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit band. Winner of the Americana Music Association’s 2017 Emerging Artist of the Year award, she has released a series of rapturously received solo albums.

In Shires’ world, music is how the tribe communicates. It’s that sort of communal thinking that inspired her to form The Highwomen – a concept that was born in 2016 which Amanda envisioned as an all-women supergroup intended to share the same swashbuckling spirit as ‘80s outlaw country outfit The Highwaymen. That band, consisting of country music legends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, was a successful reaction to a prevalent ageism in Nashville circles. The Highwomen – Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby -- aspired to redress the scarcity of women artists on country radio, and released a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2019.

“I realize I have a responsibility to tell the truth and if it empowers someone, all the better,” Shires says, who is often seen donning one of her trademark hats from her vast collection. “My goal is to accurately explain my feelings to myself and hopefully find folks out there that feel or have felt the ways that I do. I share so much personal information so that others don’t have to feel alone.”

That’s something she has achieved superbly on her new album, thanks in large part to a creative rebirth inspired by a chance encounter. Shires had no plans to record an album during the pandemic ... if at all. A couple of events left her disenchanted with some of her choices, musical and otherwise, and had her wondering if she should continue.

“I just wasn’t thinking about recording or performing, because I was protecting myself from what I thought could be the loss of music and touring altogether,” Shires admits. “Even when it was clear this wasn’t the bubonic plague, I wasn’t letting myself think of what the future looked like.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence Rothman, an extravagantly talented gender-fluid singer-songwriter and producer, was in the process of recording their sophomore album, Good Morning, America. Rothman, who has also worked with the likes of Angel Olsen, Girl in Red, Courtney Love and Kim Gordon, wanted Shires to sing harmonies on one of the tracks.

“When I discovered Amanda’s music it was the first time I heard a voice where I said to myself if I ever had to get in the studio with anybody other than myself to produce my own music, it would definitely be this fairy over here, this little bird of a woman. I was just mesmerized. I thought she was the new Dolly Parton; Dolly for a new generation,” remembers Rothman on the phone from Los Angeles.

While Shires hadn’t heard of Rothman, she responded to their request because of something her late mentor and friend John Prine taught her. “John listened to everything that crossed his desk, and that’s why he took a chance on me. Lawrence Rothman’s manager sent my manager a song, and because of John I listened to it. ‘Wow, OK,’ I thought after I heard it. Plus, I loved that they wanted me to sing. Usually people just want me to play violin.”

In November 2020, Shires got in touch with Rothman. The two began a conversation by text that continued for hours. By day’s end they had cowritten a song on their phones. The two worked for three “trial” days right before Christmas, and ended up with three songs.

“Those just clicked, but other than that, I had nothing else written,” explains Shires. “We decided to meet up after Christmas and continue working.” That collaboration also resulted in 2021’s critically acclaimed For Christmas album, the rare holiday record that explores the full range of emotions people cycle through during a season that’s not all comfort and joy.

“I wasn’t going to take any of that ‘I’m giving up on music’ from her,” says Rothman. “I do know that she was on the brink of like throwing the towel in. The whole time I stood by her, right by her mike while we did everything. I was never in the control room. I said to her, ‘I’m like your hype girl. I’m like your cheerleader. I’m your f------coach.”

“Lawrence talked about feelings in music and about sounds for hours all day, and it rekindled in me the warmth I have for music and the love I have for words -- and reminded me that the music business isn’t all just a grimy slimeball,” explains Shires. “Everything just seemed to fall into place.

“The problem was,” she laughs, “When we came back after our trial days, I had to write more songs.

“I had plenty of things written down between my journals and my index cards,” says Shires. “My writing process is I take the journals that I’ve kept and I go through with a highlighter and pick out words, partial lines, ideas or themes. Sometimes just a metaphor or something my daughter has said or an observation. Then I copy all highlighted words onto an index card with a black Sharpie and I put the index cards in a box. Then I put the journals in the shredder and I put the shredder in the compost, which goes to my tomatoes in the summer.”

By the time Rothman came back a month later, the compost box was overflowing and the walls of Shires’ barn were covered in index cards that she’d attached with painter’s tape (doesn’t ruin the paint!). In less than a month Shires had written 26 songs deciphering what had been going through her mind, from 2018, where her To the Sunset album left off, to the present.

The result is a song cycle of ruthlessly candid tunes written as a document about her life as a woman, a wife (to husband Jason Isbell) and a mother during a tumultuous time. Produced by Rothman, and featuring Isbell on guitar on several tracks, it’s an album filled with revealing autobiography, sexual tempestuousness, resentments and recrimination, spun out with a logic and sequencing as obliquely plotted as an Agatha Christie mystery. Each song reveals either a hidden passage to another song or an insight into the marriage, the crimes that were committed, the accusations sparked but never uttered, and the love that exists between them still.

But it’s not a break-up album. Its arc feels more like the anatomy of a marriage, depicting how over time affection and closeness rise and fall.

“I’m uncomfortable with the idea of everything in the public seeming so perfect, and needing to be presented right. Just because people listen to Jason’s records and go to his shows and whatnot doesn’t mean they don’t need to know that our marriages look exactly the same as theirs. You take all that celebrity stuff away, and our marriage is just like everybody else's,” Shires says.

“We were having problems before Covid, and then during Covid there was a lot of pressure, like with everybody,” she amplifies. “We were sitting here in our wonderful house and talking about the people that didn’t make it through that. What we decided is that we’re happiest if we work on ourselves. Then we have more to offer each other.”

And all the time alone came with some big realizations for Shires. While both she and her husband are artists, she had more domestic jobs and responsibilities than he did, and it was making her resentful.

“Jason’s Covid talent was getting better at the guitar, playing it eight hours a day. What was my Covid talent? It was setting boundaries. I allowed myself to take up more space in my own life.
That’s what Covid did for me. It gave me the courage and freedom to say, ‘I’m working on something that's important to me, and I’m going to keep working on it till I have it right.’

“Because of that decision, I think these are better songs than I’d written ever before, because I held that line. There is a confidence that comes from not bending. This album is a document of what the past few years have been like for me. I figured out what it takes for me to feel satisfied at the end of the day. I drew my boundaries. I held on tight. I allowed myself to serve my work uncompromisingly. It’s true what they say on airplanes before you take off: You have to put your own mask on before you can help anybody else.”

Just as important was Shires’ realization that she needed an identity outside of her relationship and motherhood. No longer the well-behaved musician of her earlier albums, she has gotten rid of most of the good-girl trappings, the plaid shirts and pigtails. On Take It Like a Man, she’s written songs that crackle with pain, resentment, longing, anger, and ennui. The album documents a woman giving birth to herself: a musical version of the famous 1932 Frida Kahlo painting My Birth, only a little less graphic. Over this suite of songs, she fearlessly excavated what the couple had gone through.

“Everything on the record is autobiographical. I didn’t hold anything back. Then, if the details were boring I infused other stories,” she laughs. “Like my granddad said, if your story’s not good enough just make it better.”

“I think what I’ve learned is any time you get your heart broke, from love, music, your business, your life, you always think that’s it!” Shires reflects. “But it hardly ever is. You look back and say ‘I’m glad that wasn’t it at all.’ It’s a cycle that keeps repeating over and over, like Gabriel García Márquez’s A Hundred Years of Solitude. The end is rarely the end; it’s just another loop of the wheel. Matters of the heart get confusing. But when you’re in need of something, somehow the universe gives it to you if you can just hold on a little bit longer.”

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About HI-FI | Indianapolis, IN

HI-FI is located inside the historic Murphy Arts Center in the heart of Fountain Square.  HI-FI shows virtually every night of the week and is known for finding new artists on the rise. The venue is acoustically one of the best sounding venues in the Midwest. The entrance is located at the front of the building on Virginia Ave and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

 

Box Office: 317-986-7101
Main: 317-986-9701

Getting Around the Venue

1043 Virginia Ave #4,
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Hours: Mon. thru Fri. 10 am to 6 pm
Doors: 1 hour before doors

Frequently Asked Questions About HI-FI | Indianapolis, IN

What are the age restrictions at this venue?

Most of our gigs are open to those 18 years and older, though there are a few exceptions. We’re also rolling out more all-ages shows to accommodate younger fans, but double-check our website for specific age requirements before getting your tickets. We’ve made it super easy to spot the age restrictions on each event listing.

If you are going to indulge in a seating upgrade in our VIP area, all guests must be 21 years of age or older.

HI-FI requires a valid ID for admission. For guests who will be consuming alcoholic beverages, a valid state or government issues ID is required. Everyone will be carded during check-in. Expired and temporary ID’s are not accepted.

Can I upgrade my to VIP seating?

HI-FI proudly offers our VIP Deck, situated at the rear of the venue. This elevated section features table seating and provides convenient access to the bar. Please be advised that all guests in this area must be 21 years of age or older. For seating upgrade inquiries, please contact the box office at boxoffice@hifiindy.com

What items are permitted or prohibited at this venue?

At our venues, we strive to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests. While specific rules may vary slightly depending on the event location, the following list generally applies across all venues.

Any illegal items found will be confiscated immediately. Guests discovered with prohibited items inside the venue may face ejection, and those attempting to enter with such items may be denied entry.

We appreciate your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment during our events.

Permitted Items Include:

  • All bags and possessions are subject to search and may be subject to metal detection. No backpacks are permitted at any of our venues.
  • Clear tote or bag made from plastic, vinyl or PVC that does not exceed 14” x 14” in size.
  • Personal purse, fanny pack or handbag so long as it does not exceed 14” x 14” in size
  • A warm heart and smiles

Prohibited items include:

  • Weapons of any kind: Firearms (with or without permit), knives (any size), multi-tools
  • Pepper Spray or Mace
  • Flares or Fireworks
  • Oversized bags (Bag larger than 12” x 12”, including all backpacks, briefcases, luggage, or duffle bags)
  • Illegal Substances
  • Outside Beverages
  • Laser Pointers
  • Removable lens cameras or flash photography, tripods, monopods, selfie-sticks (unless pre-approved by Event Manager)
  • Audio or Video recording devices (unless pre-approved by Event Manager)
  • Signs larger than 11” x 17” or any sign attached to a stick or pole
  • Skateboards, hoverboards, rollerblades, scooters, or bicycles
  • Hula hoops, spray paint, silly string
  • Noise Making devices (i.e. Air Horns, drums, whistles)
  • Coolers or Ice Chests
  • Animals/Pets (Except Service Animals)

HI-FI reserves the right to prohibit any item, including items not listed above, from entering the premises if deemed hazardous or disruptive to the event.

Can I bring a bag into the show?

Yes! You’re welcome to bring personal purse, fanny pack or handbag so long as it does not exceed 14” x 14” in size. No backpacks are permitted at any time.

What’s the parking situation like?

Depending on the day and time, finding a spot can be tricky. On busy show days we advise arriving early to ensure you get a good spot.

Parking is free on all of the surrounding streets in Fountain Square and most parking lots.

The LAZ pay lot directly across from the Murphy Arts Building (on Prospect St) offers paid parking by the hour and is the closest public parking to the venue.

We advise against traveling down St. Patrick St on show days, as it can become congested one-way with traffic coming from both directions.

Bike parking is available at any of the bike racks on Virginia Ave in front of HI-FI.

What is the camera/photo policy for this venue?

Our photo policy varies for each event and is at the discretion of the artist performing that night. This policy can change from night to night.

As a general guideline, we typically do not permit professional photography unless it has been pre-approved by either HI-FI or the Artist Management.

For approved photographers, you’re welcome to snap photos during the first three songs of the performance. However, please refrain from using flash.

Media personnel and professional photographers interested in covering our events can reach out to us at marketing@hifiindy.com to request media credentials.

Is there food and drink at this venue?

Absolutely! We’ve got you covered for some tasty bites to fuel your night.

Our very own Easy Rider Diner is your go-to spot on most show nights, serving up mouthwatering dishes right next door to HI-FI. With a convenient connection door open for most shows, you can easily hop back and forth without missing a beat. We highly recommend making a reservation in advance, as show nights tend to get busy. Please note that Easy Rider is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but fear not – you can still grab some chips, candy, or snacks at HI-FI’s bar.

View seating maps for this venue

Check your show listing for information on the show’s seating configuration. The majority of HI-FI shows are general admission, standing-room-only. Depending on the show, there are a handful of tables available to those who arrive early. There is a limited amount of seating upgrades available on the VIP deck. Contact the box office to secure a seating upgrade for your show at boxoffice@hifiindy.com. Shows that are reserved or partially reserved seating configurations will have information or purchase options directly on the event listing.

Can I leave and re-enter the venue?

Re-entry is allowed for HI-FI shows once you’ve been stamped or wristbanded by a member of our staff.

Do you offer ADA, handicap or special needs options?

There are 2 handicapped parking spots in the lot located across Prospect St. closest to El Arado Mexican Grill. The box office handles any special needs or ADA seating requests at boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Where is the box office located?

Getting tickets to our shows is super easy! You have a few options, depending on how you like to roll:

Online: Grab your tickets in advance from our official websites, hifiindy.com and mokbpresents.com, or through our trusted ticketing partners tixr.com and seetickets.us.

In Person: Swing by one of our convenient box office locations around the Murphy Arts Center building and grab tickets with no service fees:

Main Box Office at Virginia Ave Mercantile: Located at 1043 Virginia Ave Suite 2 (between Easy Rider and La Margarita). Open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

HI-FI Box Office: Found at 1043 Virginia Ave Suite 4 (at the main entrance to HI-FI). Open only on show nights, starting 1 hour before published show times until 10 pm.

I lost something at the show. Who do I contact?

Have you misplaced something during one of our events? Don’t worry, we’re here to help reunite you with your belongings! While we can’t take responsibility for lost or stolen items, we’re committed to assisting you in any way we can.

Found items are securely stored at our Virginia Ave Mercantile & Box Office until they’re claimed. Please note that items lost during late-night events might take until the next morning to reach our lost and found. We know you might be eager to retrieve your belongings (like that phone you’re pinging outside our door at 6 am), but our team typically wraps up late-night events and may not be available until later in the morning.

For lost items, please follow the outlined process rather than popping into Easy Rider in the early hours. They’re open early, but our restaurant team is busy during weekends and can’t assist with lost items during busy service hours.

To inquire about lost items, shoot us an email at boxoffice@hifiindy.com. Mercantile hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

Let’s work together to get your goods back to you as quickly as possible!

What is your refund policy?

What’s Your Refund Policy for Postponed Shows?

If a show gets postponed, don’t sweat it! We’ll shoot you an email to let you know about the change, and if you’re cool with the new date, no further action is needed on your part.We’ll be working diligently to find a new date for the show, and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way. But if you can’t make it to the rescheduled gig, we’ve got your back. You’ll have a generous 30-day window following the announcement of the new date to request a refund.

For those who paid with cash at our box office, just drop us a line at boxoffice@hifiindy.com for further instructions on processing your refund.

Please bear with us as we explore rescheduling options with the tour. Your patience is much appreciated as we work to present the best possible show experience for you.

What’s the Refund Policy for Canceled Shows?

In the unfortunate event of a canceled show, don’t fret! If you purchased your tickets online, your refund will be processed automatically. Just sit tight and allow 3-5 business days for the refund to appear in your bank account.
No need to lift a finger! However, there are a few scenarios where you might need to reach out to our box office:

  • If you paid cash at our box office.
  • If you’ve received a new or different card since your original purchase.
  • If you haven’t seen the refund in your account after 5 business days.

What Happens if a Show Gets Rescheduled?

No worries! If a show you’ve already grabbed tickets for gets rescheduled, your tickets will still be valid for the new date. We’ll shoot you an email to let you know about the change, and if you’re good to go for the new date, no further action is needed on your part.

However, if you can’t make it to the rescheduled gig, we’ve got you covered. You’ll have a generous 30 days from the announcement of the new date to request a refund. Just reach out directly to our box office to kickstart the process.

Beware of counterfeit tickets. How do I tell if my ticket is valid?

It’s crucial for all buyers to exercise caution when purchasing tickets from unauthorized sites and ticket resellers. Tixr and SeeTickets are the only two ticket vendors supported at our venues. Unfortunately, this is a widespread issue affecting venues nationwide, and true fans often find themselves at a loss. Regrettably, there’s little we can do in such situations. Since the original transaction didn’t occur through our authorized ticketing partners, we lack the necessary information to assist. It’s disheartening to witness fans being taken advantage of, especially on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook, StubHub, VividSeats, SeatGeek, and others. We are only obligated to honor valid tickets purchased through our approved channels.

Can I purchase tickets in person without fees?

Yes. HI-FI box office is located at the main entrance off of Virginia Avenue. The box office is open 1 hour prior to the published door time. Additionally, our new and primary box office is located two doors down from HI-FI in Suite 2. This box office is open Monday through Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm for fee-free ticket purchases. HI-FI accepts cash as well as all major credit cards for ticket purchases.

Do you have free WI-FI?

Yes. HI-FI offers free WI-FI during all shows. Simply select the HI-FI Free WI-FI network and you are all set!

18+
Oct 28

Amanda Shires

HI-FI
$26 - $149
Presented By: Sun King Brewery, MOKB Presents
Doors: 8:00 PM
Start Time: 9:00 pm

NO HEALTH CHECK REQUIRED
Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 10/28/2022 09:00 PM10/28/2022 11:59 PMAmanda ShiresMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/amanda-shires/HI-FI

Buy Tickets

ARTIST PROFILE | Amanda Shires

Americana/FolkCountrySinger/Songwriter

Grammy and Americana-award-winning singer-songwriter and virtuoso violinist Amanda Shires has pushed the reset button, releasing an album that is so unlike anything she has ever recorded before that you would be tempted to think it’s her debut album instead of her seventh. Take It Like a Man is a fearless confessional, showing the world what turning 40 looks like in 10 emotionally raw tracks, and as the title track intimates, not only can she “take it like a man,” but more importantly she can “Take it like Amanda,” as the last line proclaims-- the clue to the entire album, and perhaps Shires herself.

“I wrote that last line, ‘take it like a man,’” says Shires from her barn/studio located about 30 minutes outside of Nashville. “Then I changed it. I realized you can try and do what they say and take it like a man and show that you can withstand anything. But truly you can only take it like yourself.”

There are few musicians of Amanda Shires’ stature who would be willing to sacrifice so much of their privacy and personal life for the sake of a record. But for her, art isn’t meant to be constrained, ever since her earliest days.

The native Texan got her start playing fiddle with the legendary Texas Playboys at 15. She toured and collaborated with John Prine, Todd Snider, Justin Townes Earle and others, and has long been a member of husband Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit band. Winner of the Americana Music Association’s 2017 Emerging Artist of the Year award, she has released a series of rapturously received solo albums.

In Shires’ world, music is how the tribe communicates. It’s that sort of communal thinking that inspired her to form The Highwomen – a concept that was born in 2016 which Amanda envisioned as an all-women supergroup intended to share the same swashbuckling spirit as ‘80s outlaw country outfit The Highwaymen. That band, consisting of country music legends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, was a successful reaction to a prevalent ageism in Nashville circles. The Highwomen – Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby -- aspired to redress the scarcity of women artists on country radio, and released a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2019.

“I realize I have a responsibility to tell the truth and if it empowers someone, all the better,” Shires says, who is often seen donning one of her trademark hats from her vast collection. “My goal is to accurately explain my feelings to myself and hopefully find folks out there that feel or have felt the ways that I do. I share so much personal information so that others don’t have to feel alone.”

That’s something she has achieved superbly on her new album, thanks in large part to a creative rebirth inspired by a chance encounter. Shires had no plans to record an album during the pandemic ... if at all. A couple of events left her disenchanted with some of her choices, musical and otherwise, and had her wondering if she should continue.

“I just wasn’t thinking about recording or performing, because I was protecting myself from what I thought could be the loss of music and touring altogether,” Shires admits. “Even when it was clear this wasn’t the bubonic plague, I wasn’t letting myself think of what the future looked like.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence Rothman, an extravagantly talented gender-fluid singer-songwriter and producer, was in the process of recording their sophomore album, Good Morning, America. Rothman, who has also worked with the likes of Angel Olsen, Girl in Red, Courtney Love and Kim Gordon, wanted Shires to sing harmonies on one of the tracks.

“When I discovered Amanda’s music it was the first time I heard a voice where I said to myself if I ever had to get in the studio with anybody other than myself to produce my own music, it would definitely be this fairy over here, this little bird of a woman. I was just mesmerized. I thought she was the new Dolly Parton; Dolly for a new generation,” remembers Rothman on the phone from Los Angeles.

While Shires hadn’t heard of Rothman, she responded to their request because of something her late mentor and friend John Prine taught her. “John listened to everything that crossed his desk, and that’s why he took a chance on me. Lawrence Rothman’s manager sent my manager a song, and because of John I listened to it. ‘Wow, OK,’ I thought after I heard it. Plus, I loved that they wanted me to sing. Usually people just want me to play violin.”

In November 2020, Shires got in touch with Rothman. The two began a conversation by text that continued for hours. By day’s end they had cowritten a song on their phones. The two worked for three “trial” days right before Christmas, and ended up with three songs.

“Those just clicked, but other than that, I had nothing else written,” explains Shires. “We decided to meet up after Christmas and continue working.” That collaboration also resulted in 2021’s critically acclaimed For Christmas album, the rare holiday record that explores the full range of emotions people cycle through during a season that’s not all comfort and joy.

“I wasn’t going to take any of that ‘I’m giving up on music’ from her,” says Rothman. “I do know that she was on the brink of like throwing the towel in. The whole time I stood by her, right by her mike while we did everything. I was never in the control room. I said to her, ‘I’m like your hype girl. I’m like your cheerleader. I’m your f------coach.”

“Lawrence talked about feelings in music and about sounds for hours all day, and it rekindled in me the warmth I have for music and the love I have for words -- and reminded me that the music business isn’t all just a grimy slimeball,” explains Shires. “Everything just seemed to fall into place.

“The problem was,” she laughs, “When we came back after our trial days, I had to write more songs.

“I had plenty of things written down between my journals and my index cards,” says Shires. “My writing process is I take the journals that I’ve kept and I go through with a highlighter and pick out words, partial lines, ideas or themes. Sometimes just a metaphor or something my daughter has said or an observation. Then I copy all highlighted words onto an index card with a black Sharpie and I put the index cards in a box. Then I put the journals in the shredder and I put the shredder in the compost, which goes to my tomatoes in the summer.”

By the time Rothman came back a month later, the compost box was overflowing and the walls of Shires’ barn were covered in index cards that she’d attached with painter’s tape (doesn’t ruin the paint!). In less than a month Shires had written 26 songs deciphering what had been going through her mind, from 2018, where her To the Sunset album left off, to the present.

The result is a song cycle of ruthlessly candid tunes written as a document about her life as a woman, a wife (to husband Jason Isbell) and a mother during a tumultuous time. Produced by Rothman, and featuring Isbell on guitar on several tracks, it’s an album filled with revealing autobiography, sexual tempestuousness, resentments and recrimination, spun out with a logic and sequencing as obliquely plotted as an Agatha Christie mystery. Each song reveals either a hidden passage to another song or an insight into the marriage, the crimes that were committed, the accusations sparked but never uttered, and the love that exists between them still.

But it’s not a break-up album. Its arc feels more like the anatomy of a marriage, depicting how over time affection and closeness rise and fall.

“I’m uncomfortable with the idea of everything in the public seeming so perfect, and needing to be presented right. Just because people listen to Jason’s records and go to his shows and whatnot doesn’t mean they don’t need to know that our marriages look exactly the same as theirs. You take all that celebrity stuff away, and our marriage is just like everybody else's,” Shires says.

“We were having problems before Covid, and then during Covid there was a lot of pressure, like with everybody,” she amplifies. “We were sitting here in our wonderful house and talking about the people that didn’t make it through that. What we decided is that we’re happiest if we work on ourselves. Then we have more to offer each other.”

And all the time alone came with some big realizations for Shires. While both she and her husband are artists, she had more domestic jobs and responsibilities than he did, and it was making her resentful.

“Jason’s Covid talent was getting better at the guitar, playing it eight hours a day. What was my Covid talent? It was setting boundaries. I allowed myself to take up more space in my own life.
That’s what Covid did for me. It gave me the courage and freedom to say, ‘I’m working on something that's important to me, and I’m going to keep working on it till I have it right.’

“Because of that decision, I think these are better songs than I’d written ever before, because I held that line. There is a confidence that comes from not bending. This album is a document of what the past few years have been like for me. I figured out what it takes for me to feel satisfied at the end of the day. I drew my boundaries. I held on tight. I allowed myself to serve my work uncompromisingly. It’s true what they say on airplanes before you take off: You have to put your own mask on before you can help anybody else.”

Just as important was Shires’ realization that she needed an identity outside of her relationship and motherhood. No longer the well-behaved musician of her earlier albums, she has gotten rid of most of the good-girl trappings, the plaid shirts and pigtails. On Take It Like a Man, she’s written songs that crackle with pain, resentment, longing, anger, and ennui. The album documents a woman giving birth to herself: a musical version of the famous 1932 Frida Kahlo painting My Birth, only a little less graphic. Over this suite of songs, she fearlessly excavated what the couple had gone through.

“Everything on the record is autobiographical. I didn’t hold anything back. Then, if the details were boring I infused other stories,” she laughs. “Like my granddad said, if your story’s not good enough just make it better.”

“I think what I’ve learned is any time you get your heart broke, from love, music, your business, your life, you always think that’s it!” Shires reflects. “But it hardly ever is. You look back and say ‘I’m glad that wasn’t it at all.’ It’s a cycle that keeps repeating over and over, like Gabriel García Márquez’s A Hundred Years of Solitude. The end is rarely the end; it’s just another loop of the wheel. Matters of the heart get confusing. But when you’re in need of something, somehow the universe gives it to you if you can just hold on a little bit longer.”

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About the Venue

HI-FI is located inside the historic Murphy Arts Center in the heart of Fountain Square.  HI-FI shows virtually every night of the week and is known for finding new artists on the rise. The venue is acoustically one of the best sounding venues in the Midwest. The entrance is located at the front of the building on Virginia Ave and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

 
Amenities: Live Music, Premium Sound, Full Bar, 24 Draft Beers On Tap, VIP Seating, Street-Level Box Office

Upgrades: A limited amount of VIP seating upgrades (21+) are available for select shows.  Contact the box office to purchase or check availability: boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Ticket Support: Box Office opens 1 hour before published door time. For ticket related questions please email boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Parking: Street Parking, Bike Parking
Refund Policy: All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the show is canceled.  Shows affected by Covid-19 pandemic will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Contact the box office with any questions: boxoffice@hifiindy.com.
1043 Virginia Ave #4 Indianapolis, IN 46203

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