The solo outing kicks off March 29 at the Echo Lounge in Atlanta and hits a couple more Southern clubs before the first in-store gig in Washington, D.C. All told, Ray has 18 shows penciled in, including five in record stores.

The tour culminates in a two-night stand April 27 and 28 at Slim’s in San Francisco. Durham, N.C., folk-punkers The Butchies will open on all dates.

It’s not your typical tour, but Ray isn’t your typical pop star.

For starters, you won’t find her doing her in-store appearances at Virgin megastores or Wherehouse outlets – she’s appearing at mom-and-pop shops for the most part.

As a member of one of folk-rock’s most successful acts – and one with a rabid following – she could hit the bigger stores. But that’s not what she’s about.

Ray will be out in support of a solo disc, Stag, released through her own non-profit label, Daemon Records. The imprint eschews the usual record company trappings, supporting artists who otherwise wouldn’t find a niche for their work.

“My goal for Daemon is to provide a reliable, community-based infrastructure for musicians to create and distribute recorded projects and learn how the industry works,” Ray said.

The label, now in its 10th year, “was conceived as a vehicle to allow recording artists to express their artistic vision without the confines and restrictions of the traditional corporate rock label,” she explained.

As one of the few conditions of signing with the imprint, artists are taught the details of promotion and encouraged to take part in guiding their own futures in the best DIY tradition – but with the support of similarly minded artists who keep the label running.

The sense of community is a common thread between Ray and her label. Appearing at independent record stores while touring is part of the Daemon ethic, along with patronizing other non-corporate businesses, such as co-op printers.

Ray – as a solo artist and an Indigo Girl – has done more than her share of work on behalf of social causes. The Indigo Girls periodically headline the Honor The Earth tour in support of various indigenous people’s causes.