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Righteous Babe Records

Updated on April 5, 2012

Righteous Babe Records is more than an independent indie rock record label. It is the reason artists such as Ani Difranco, Andrew Bird, Toshi Reagon, and Buddy Wakefield (to name a few) can write, produce, and perform their own work without the interference of a major label. In 1990 Ani Difranco was presented with a problem. Labels wanted to have a major hand in what songs she recorded, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and never looked back.

In the Beginning

Ani originally named her label "Righteous Records," however she was unaware of a gosbel label with the same name. In 1994 she changed the name to Righteous Babe Records or RBR for short. After her success she started adding artists to her label. Notable artists include Utah Phillips, Sara Lee, Anais Mitchell, Andrew Bird, and Hamell On Trial. It isn't unusual for these great musicians to accompany Ani at her shows as the opening act.


Saving Buildings from Demolition

When listening to the music of Ani Difranco it is evident that she is in love with her hometown of Buffalo, New York. She spent a great deal of time in the late 1990's to early 2000's trying to save buildings in Buffalo from being demolished. She also expressed her outrage at the city when a piece of the underground railroad was recovered. The city proposed they cover it up and build a monument beside it. In her first film documentary, "Render" she stated she planned on suing. In 1999 Ani and her manager saved the Asbury Delaware Methodist Church from demolition. Today it is called "Babeville." It is not only the headquarters of Righteous Babe Records, but is also home to the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Additional pictures of the renovated church can be seen here.


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    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Big fan of Ani's music and her label as been a good avenue to ensure the artistic integrity and creative control of indie artist. Her humanitarian efforts to preserve historical buildings is inspiring as well. Thanks for the great hub!

    • hpedneau profile imageAUTHOR

      Holly Pedneau 

      6 years ago from Princeton, West Virginia

      Very Cool! If you get a chance, there's a link at the bottom of the hub that shows more pictures of the renovations!

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 

      6 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Small world! I grew up in Western New York and have been inside that church several times! Interesting and uplifting information. Well done.


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