An innovator of Do It Yourself ethics and feminist urban folk, Ani DiFranco rose from the town of Buffalo, New York in the early 90's equipped with a guitar, a catalogue of poignant songs, and grass roots beliefs. She established Righteous Babe Records to distribute her albums, which, through word of mouth found their audience and quickly generated her loyal cult following. Her exposure is also attributed in part to an intense tour schedule, playing up to 200 dates a year and sharing the bill with artists like Bob Dylan. An open bisexual and politically charged, Ani's success is perpetuated by smart, insightful lyrics and raw sentiment. While she's been wooed by major labels, she's chosen instead to remain loyal to her independent roots. Her 17th studio album, "Reprieve" is scheduled for release on July 11, 2006.