When you want something done, you go to the expert. So when you want to evaluate someone's songwriting, you go to Adeem the Artist, This issue, they review Jaimee Harris's brand spankin' new album Boomering Town.
Before you read it, a few fundraisers for our community:
Elliott Novak, whom I wrote up on The Boot, is fundraising to record two songs. One will be about two gay boys, another about a conversation with an old man on a Greyhound bus. You can drop some cash via PayPal.
Between the long vowels that Jaimee croons with her honeysuckle drawl and the conversational poetry that finds its rhythm effortlessly, Boomerang Town casts a shadow across the spectrum of the human heart. From the first track, where the record draws its name, the honesty is truly palpable.
“The day I turned 16, I got that job -- couldn’t wait to buy a car and save enough to leave this town for good. In August, I asked Julie if she’d run away. She said she wanted to wait until May to graduate -- She’d be the first in her family, so I stayed behind.”
Jaimee writes in illustrative prose, draping language like a leather jacket on the archetypal pining for getting out of this town. It almost reads like a Springsteen song conceptually but with all of the dynamic, vocal expression of Brandi Carlisle and with her wholly unique method of turning short stories into melodic charm.
I’m struck by the natural, warm tones of the acoustic guitars and the subtle reverb. “How Could You Be Gone,” pulls the listener close with a naked, glaring exposition on the grief of losing someone. “‘I’m sitting in a plastic chair / the preacher's words hang in the air.” Intentional examinations of the relationship between suffering and class parade throughout the album so casually you might miss them.
Ever the sucker for an acoustic guitar, I am enamored with the tones that cut through the mix without sacrificing their warmth- though some of that, surely, is to the credit of Jaimee’s patient finger style. The production is complementary and holistic, though, often spilling the fragility of just a guitar and voice into a swelling storm of cello, accordion, fiddle- whatever the moment demands.
Traversing familiar tropes for a low-class kid like me, I am still taken aback by her hopeful and unapologetic expose on life and love for the Queer in a rural Boomerang Town. This is a fully realized collection of snapshots that merits our ruminations as it is endowed with divine medicine.
Once I was recovered from the absolute gut punch of Devin’s Song, undone by the agony of young life snuffed out, she convinced me with her unwavering invocation, “Love is Gonna Come Again,” before guiding my shoulders to move with the bouncing rhythm of the "Missing Someone." Beyond its cerebral quality, it’s a collection of 90’s Country-informed melodies that dance and drive.
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
2/3 — Sunny War, Anarchist Gospel
2/3 — Terry Blade, Ethos: Son of a Sharecropper
2/17 — Jaimee Harris, Boomerang Town
2/17 -- John-Allison Weiss, The Long Way
2/20 — The Belle Curves, Live at Pete’s Candy Store (pre-save here)
Lafemmebear and Mya Byrne cut a very cool Johnny Cash cover. Check it out on your favorite Americana blog Adobe & Teardrops
John-Allison Weiss's The Long Way is out today! Your favorite Rainbow Rodeo editor wrote up the title track on The Boot
You can get almost 50% off the book Queer Country using this code: F21UIP
This thread gives advice on self-managed transition in Alabama and other states that restrict our bodily autonomy
Queer songwriting circle https://www.eliconley.com/group-classes.html#circle
This month’s episode of Rainbow Rodeo features Mariel Buckley! Her music is somewhere between outlaw country and Canadicana; her most recent album Everywhere I Used to Be reminds me of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers’ exploration of indie rock. In this episode, we discuss post-pandemic blah, gender diversity, and how Mariel almost ruined my wedding.
Tell your friends about the podcast!
2/18 --Baby's First Rodeo in Philly is hosting a queer country night! There will be dance lessons!
4/15 & 16 — The High Water Festival in Savannah, GA will feature a number of queer artists like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, SG Goodman, Orville Peck, Ezra Furman, and the Black Opry. Who’s buying a ticket for me?
All kinds of price points to advertise on the podcast, newsletter, or zine. (Deadline for the zine is 3/31!) Click here and help support the queer country community!
Updated every week!
Thanks to Catie Pearl-Hartling for making a parallel list on Apple Music!
Thanks to Heike Hausmann for making a parallel list on Tidal!
Wilmington, DE festival the Ladybug Festival is taking artist submissions! Deadline is 2/28! Thanks to Brittany Ann Tranbaugh for sharing on the Discord!
Eli Conley is hosting an LGBTQ+ songwriter circle online! Join in!
Are you on Mastodon or another part of the Fediverse? Get your music on RadioFreeFedi! https://radiofreefedi.net/
Submit your music and events to The Q LGBTQ Creative Network
This Twitter thread has a whole list of places to find jobs in the music industry
And here’s a list of resources for “women” entering the music industry — presumably they also encourage nonbinary participants
Submit your profile to the Country Everywhere which seeks to unite BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists and professionals
Sign up to the Black Opry Revue’s interest form!
Check out the weekly Queerfolk Fest show in Nashville
Twitter kind of sucks right now and can you really make friends on Instagram? Join us on the Rainbow Rodeo Discord! We've been talking sci fi, tour lineups, press contacts, allyship, gender, and more! Just respond to this e-mail to get the link!