There was a time when every Righteous Babe worth her hemp headdress was rocking Ani DiFranco in her Discman and plucking out her songs on acoustic guitar at open-mic nights across the USA.

There was a time when every Righteous Babe worth her hemp headdress was rocking Ani DiFranco in her Discman and plucking out her songs on acoustic guitar at open-mic nights across the USA. Sensitive dudes of the '90s could establish their femme cred by professing love for Ani too. Truth be told, at the peak of her powers, her appeal extended far beyond such narrow parameters. You don't hear much these days about the cult favorite singer-songwriter; seems like she's been keeping a lower profile since she became a mother a few years back. But DiFranco is one of those acts with a base strong and deep enough to tour forever - the Lilith Fair era's closest answer to singer-songwriter titans like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan - so maybe she will.