For musicians, being on the road can be a bummer. When singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco finds herself in a strange city, she hits the bottle. Of hair dye, that is. "I have a hairdo a week basically," admits DiFranco, lately favoring shades of green and blue. When she gets really desperate, she simply shaves all her hair off. "There's a certain window of time in the middle of the night out in Middle America," says DiFranco, who tours over 200 days a year, "where there's no bar open and nothing on TV. If you don't want to do too many drugs, you have to start bodily mutilation."
But for DiFranco, 26, slowing down is not an option. "I'm not really good at vacations -- I tend to freak out," says the funky folk singer, whose devoted fans turn out in droves to hear her frank takes on such topics as abortion, women's rights and her own bisexuality. Since 1990 she has released a whopping nine albums, selling over 800,000 copies. Her latest, the April release Living in Clip, a two-CD collection of live performances, made its debut at No. 59 on Billboard's charts. What makes these figures astonishing is that she has released each album on her own label, Righteous Babe Records, which she started in '90 and runs today. "She's a Renaissance woman," says Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, a pal. "Her music's honest and empowering, and she's a good businesswoman."