I hope this e-mail finds you well and hunkered down somewhere cozy if you are experiencing nasty weather.
January is almost at an end, which means my grad school classes are beginning. Before things get hectic, I am planning to get a layout for issue 3 of the Rainbow Rodeo zine done, as well as an exciting secret project that will coincide with the fundraiser. Watch this space to learn about advertising opportunities that will fund printing, design stuff, and pay fans, artists, and writers just like you to writer articles for the zine. As always, the only profit I make is from hitting the pavement and selling the zines.
In our reader survey, someone requested more album reviews. So, let's take a look at the queer country albums that came out in January! If I missed anything, let me know!
Joel Brogon, Where Do We Go From Here -- Brogon's been releasing a steady drip of songs in 2022. This album combines Brogon's efforts, a documentation of his growth as a songwriter. Some of these compositions feel naive (in the artistic sense) but they are no less tender and sincere. More exciting, you can feel Brogon grow more confident with each release.
Amy Martin, Travelin' On -- This is another album that collects singles Martin released throughout the past year. Martin's robust singing voice brings her stories to life, whether they're detailing crippling loneliness, questioning Southern pride, or effusively expressing love. Martin is certainly one to watch in the coming year.
Brittany Ann Tranbaugh, Live at Talkin' Headz -- This is a charming EP that fully captures the Philly-based singer-songwriter's sly wit. Recorded in a barbershop, the four songs are rich vignettes of bittersweet nostalgia and top-tier country music storytelling.
H.C. McEntire, Every Acre -- McEntire's third solo album is already on my year-end list. On Every Acre, McEntire solidifies the sound she's been driving towards since Lionheart. The epic pronouncements of her former band Mount Moriah have faded into richly-layered, meditative compositions: predating the current interest in psych country by quite a few years.
Every Acre is a thorny album. It questions the colonialist settler relationship to the land it draws inspiration from. It delves whole-heartedly into depression, as McEntire explained to Rainbow Rodeo contributor Annie Parnell on The Boot. Yet even among the feelings of disgust and despair, there is an inexorable drive through to the other side.
This sense of movement is a gift created by McEntire's collaborators. The compositions are driven in large part by McEntire's longtime collaborator Casey Toll. I'll never not write about Toll in relation to McEntire's music because their years together have created something undeniably organic. Toll's leonine bass fills feel like an exhale to McEntire's inhale, a manifestation of a sense of purpose that transcends the music itself.
Amy Ray, a longtime mentor of McEntire and many other Southern queer artists, joins McEntire on "Turpentine." With S.G. Goodman's vocal contributions on "Shadows," I can't help but feel that there is a certain passing of the torch on this album that is consumed by legacies and relationships. Age-wise, McEntire and Goodman aren't exactly from different generations, but it does feel like there's a throughline with all three artists: queer, outspokenly leftist, and examining white privilege and the South.
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
2/17 -- Jaimee Harris
Apple TV is launching a singing competition called My Kind of Country, hosted by Kacey Musgraves and Reese Witherspoon. Orville Peck is one of the judges. I'm hoping that the show will be featuring some queer country singers! Kind of reminds me of that failed attempt at a gay country singer reality show back in 2003, which I learned about last summer.
The Indigo Girls' documentary It's Only Life After All premiered at Sundance and I'm very excited to watch it! I'm only a little incensed that the Variety reviewer insisted Brandi Carlile should have been interviews. I guess there's only one queer country singer. After all.
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
2/14 — Leslie Jordan tribute show at the Ryman
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?
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!
Eli Conley is hosting an LGBTQ+ songwriter circle online! Join in!
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!