It's a new day in Ani DiFranco's world as the singer-songwriter looks ahead to following up her 2008 effort "Red Letter Year."
"I have a bunch of new songs that I've been playing and kind of workshopping on stage because at the end of this tour I'm going into the studio with my band and start tracking my new s**t," DiFranco says. "The stage is my laboratory as always."
The Buffalo, New York native and New Orleans resident kicks off a spring tour April 14 in Portsmouth, N.H. While DiFranco has plenty of inspiration in her personal life – getting married earlier this year to producer Mike Napolitano, in addition to the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Petah Lucia DiFranco Napolitano – it's the political climate that has caught her attention.
"I have new songs, not as many as usual due to the kid, but one of them is for Barack [Obama]," DiFranco says. "It's a song of celebration that I wrote on Nov. 5, 2008. I'm playing "Nov. 4, 2008" every night on stage. I'm also playing a delicate ballad called 'Albacore' that I wrote as my wedding song. There's also this political observation song with a sunny little groove called 'Splinter.' As always, I try to keep my sound diverse and not get into one way of playing."
Something else DiFranco said she's looking forward to is her participation in legendary folk singer Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration May 3 at New York City's Madison Square Garden. The evening will feature Seeger along with Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, Ben Harper and Emmylou Harris.
"Two words - Pete Seeger," DiFranco says. "He's a hero of mine I would say. It should be just a really cool collection of people."
Now a working mom with her own record label Righteous Babe, DiFranco stresses that the down economy and ever-changing record industry won't affect her touring schedule.
"That's one thing I have to bring home the bacon because nobody buys records anymore," DiFranco says. "I have to play like I'm 21 and just get out there and play shows to sort of try to keep Righteous Babe afloat. So that's what I'm doing a lot of."