Quiet week, huh? Nothing particular happening on the Internet or in the world. Indeed, you may even have forgotten that the Grammys were announced!
Seems like everyone decided to release an album last week or this week, which includes the great Melissa Carper. We'll have an interview with her next week, but for now you can read my review on No Depression.
Then, if you haven't read enough, I put together a guide to Mastodon aimed at journalists and musicians (which is the majority of the people reading this) but I hope it's user-friendly for everyone else! There's a lot of text there. Sorry. In fact, I met Liz Jones (interviewed below) and Elliott Novak (featured in the playlist) through Mastodon.
If Mastodon sounds too intense and you want a cozy little circle of people to talk about music and other stuff with, DM me for the Rainbow Rodeo Discord link. (Discord works like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or a very organized group chat.) We've already had some nice networking stuff happen for musicians and the group is open to allies. Message me for the invite link -- I don't want to spread it all over the place.
One of the nice things about Mastodon is that it is overwhelmingly queer and there are a lot of European artists on there. So, unsurprisingly, there are some queer country artists who had not entered my Twitter bubble. Liz Davis is one of the people I met on there (I think?) but also I love her bluesy music. Her latest album, Bounty, is sultry and intimate and mournful all at the same time.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I love a lot of music, but naturally am drawn back to things influenced by the roots of & blues and folk as my base. Give me Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, JJ Cale, Little Feat and I am in heaven. Right now I am playing Amythyst Kiah and the Tedeschi Trucks band.
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Explain the title of your album.
I’ve called my first solo album Bounty, which aims to represent a kind of cheeky hope that I expect a lot of musicians harbour. The first song, with the same title, is about a selfish and far-reaching desire to strike it lucky, but not for yachts or luxury living. I enjoy a good daydream about giving a big piece of love to the music world. Get my hands on a great big warehouse and build a recording studio and lodge where wonderfully talented, but financially struggling music makers can get a chance to really go for it.
Do you start off with the music or lyrics first? Why?
Completely depends on the song. If I sit down and try to improve my guitar skills, a song usually ends up coming from that. But most often, just as I am about to drift off to sleep or my first half conscious thought of the day will be a lyric and/or melody. I usually drag my brain to my phone and make a quick note or recording of it, otherwise it will be gone. I also get ideas at live gigs. If a song’s subject or vibe strikes me, it often triggers an idea on that theme.
How do you feel your queer identity ties into your performance style or music?
I’m an out and proud bisexual woman, which of course gets challenged sometimes, or worse, dismissed! In image and in music I go with just being myself, which doesn’t often go beyond being honest about love and true to myself in my lyrics. I will ally and defend any marginalised group, socially and on stage, and will happily have a conversation when people question my sexuality as indecision or ‘changeable’. Like a lot of people, I hope for a world where skin colour, sexuality, gender and class bare no influence on how someone’s art or skill is judged. Of course we have a long way to go.
Is there a professional “bucket list” item you would love to check off?
Many! But as a songwriter primarily, I’d love someone huge (and preferably awesome) to cover one of my songs. I write songs because It’s the best tool I have to get a message out that I need to express, but I don’t think I’ve ever wanted stardome. So if a big artist covered one of my songs, preferably one that had an important message, I’d be set for life in terms of personal achievement!
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
11/11 — Joel Brogon
11/18 — Melissa Carper
11/18 — Liz Jones
Brandi Carlile, the Brothers Osborne, and ally Maren Morris won big nods (and noms) for this year's Grammy's
Making Gay History, an excellent podcast, posted an archival interview of Feygele Ben-Miriam, who, among many other accomplishments, produced Lavender Country. I haven't had a chance to listen yet.
Some public libraries now have a streaming service promoting local artists — including Nashville and New Orleans!
Pre-save Adeem the Artist’s new album White Trash Revelry, coming out in December!
There’s gonna be a queer country New Year’s Eve party in Nashville featuring Chris Housman, Lila McCann, Autumn Nicholas, Shelley Fairchild, and Ty Herndon. Get your tickets now!
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
TONIGHT (Saxaphaw, NC) -- Country Soul Songbook is throwing their last show of the year
Updated every two weeks!
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Thanks to Catie Pearl-Hartling for making a parallel list on Apple Music!
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