Welcome to 2023! Let's talk about 2022.
This was a big year for queer country music. We got the publication of Shana Goldin-Perschbacher's Queer Country book. (You can listen to our interview here.) Queer country artists stole the show all across the industry: Newport, Americanafest, the Grammys, etc. etc. But we also lost Patrick Haggerty, and country music media turned a real debate about trans people's rights into a spat between three rich white ladies. But a busy news year means that queer country artists are in everyone's hearts and minds -- and they're not going away soon.
So I want to hear from you! What were the highs and lows of the queer country year for you, and what were your favorite albums? Every legit music publication has to have a year-end list, right? You can vote here -- and be sure to send it to your pals! If you'd like, your comments will be published here and printed in Rainbow Rodeo #3.
Tami Hart is hosting a night of queer country on the Lower East Side in NYC tomorrow, January 7th. I'll see you there! It's at the Parkside Lounge. Guests include Wiley Gaby, Cindy Emch (whose essay for Rainbow Rodeo you can read in part here and in full on Patreon) and many more! It's hosted by Dyke Beer so you know there'll be good drinks, better drink specials, and good queers in attendance. (More info here.)
So I asked them a few questions so you can know what to expect -- or enjoy their music from afar.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Gillian Welch, Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Kim Deal, oldies
Name a perfect song and tell us why you feel that way.
Well right now I'm listening to Brooks and Dunn's "Neon Moon." It should be reclaimed -- and I do reclaim it -- as a queer heartbreak anthem...the stage is set so perfectly a corner table in dive bar...listening to music and cryin'...perfection
Explain the title of your album
I have an EP coming out in April that is still top secret haha. But recently I released a collection of demos new and old on a small queer label based out of Seattle called Disc Drive you can find it on Spotify. [It'll be on this week's playlist when you scroll down.]
Does your album have an overarching theme?
I write about girls alot LOL. I write about alcoholism. I write about my family. The South. I write about what I know
Tell us about the first song you wrote.
I think I was 7 or 8 haha. It was an ode to my great grandmother who I loved so very much. But the first song that maybe felt like "okay, this is something I wrote" was when I was 16. It's called "The Kids that Call Us Clowns" and it's on my first album, No Light in August that was released on Mr. Lady records. Its about being a queer outsider.
Do you start off with the music or lyrics first? Why?
I start off with whatever sounds are in my head and ideas and try to transcribe them... I don't know if my songwriting process is normal or traditional...but it either happens or it doesn't.
Who would you love to collaborate with? Why?
I'm a big fan of Palehound right now. I think her guitar playing is wildly impressive and her lyrics are simple yet cut very deep into queer experience.
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
1/6 — Joel Brogon, Where Do We Go From Here
1/6 — Amy Martin, Travelin’ On
Kym Register points out that Oxford American has a whole issue devoted to (queer) country music and we should all go buy it so they do it again
Vulture’s piece “How Music Subverted Gender in 2022: Destroy the Binary” lists Shamir and Hikaru Utada in one breath — uniting my queer country and anime interests
Bobby Blue, an excellent queer country singer, put together a playlist of “eclectic” LGBTQ+ folk artists on any platform you could desire
Check out Hallie Stotler’s new video for “Turn the Radio Down.” It’s Christmas-y! She’ll also be playing Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on Saturday 1/17
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
This month's podcast centers Adeem the Artist! Subscribe at your favorite podcast place!
1/21 - 1/22 — Country Soul Songbook is throwing its third annual Summit — now in-person in Durham, NC or online! This is a really fantastic weekend of panels and performances by, for, and about LGBTQ+ and BIPOC country and Americana artists
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?
##Rainbow Rodeo Playlist
Updated every two weeks!
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