Tuesday, October 23, 2018

James Wilson (Paisley Fields) Talks Queer Country, Bowery Electric Show

In case you didn't notice, I have a lot to say about queer people and I have a lot to say about country music. Sometimes those two interests even combine! Several of the most prominent bands and artists in queer country will be performing at The Bowery Electric in New York City on Sunday November 18th. It's my dream lineup and James Wilson of the Paisley Fields told me a little more about the show.
The show will be headlined by Paisley Fields and feature performances by; Mercy Bell, Karen & The Sorrows and Wiley Gaby of Goldenchild. 
Doors open at 5:30 and tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. The Bowery Electric is located at 327 Bowery, New York, NY. 


You (as well as Kevin Thornton from Strange Fire) have described queer country as a new "genre" of country music. What does that term mean to you? Can you describe what the genre sounds like?
To me queer country is about taking back our culture. I grew up in rural Iowa and, as a queer person, was pushed out of the culture I grew up in. Queer country is about reclaiming country music as our own and sharing our truth. Country music is just about telling your truth anyway. 

Why does it feel important to you to organize a show like this?

It's important to me that we come together as a community. We are stronger together. 

Could you tell us more about the artists you're sharing the bill/invited to shared the bill with you?

I'm lucky to call all the artists on this bill friends. I met Wiley Gaby years ago and he introduced me to Karen, who runs the queer country quarterly. Karen has been a big inspiration in putting together shows like this. I met Mercy recently, also through Wiley. She's incredible, as a human and as an artist. We are so excited to have Mercy and Wiley come up from Nashville to play this show. I am thrilled with any opportunity I have to share a bill with Karen. 
Here's a little more information about each artist: 

Paisley Fields are an alt-country band, unapologetic about pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration in the unexpected. Noisey writes, “Glitter & Sawdust is gorgeous Nashville pop with a honky tonk heart, from the hillbilly jam ‘Winchester’s Gun’ to a phenomenal cover of Little Big Town’s pot-stirrer “Girl Crush”. Wide Open Country writes “I love them and they give me a thrill – that kind of heart-to-heart connection that we all search for in our music. It’s a powerful, engaging album. Glitter & Sawdust proves that queer themes can and should belong in the classic country canon.” 

Mercy Bell, 8pm 
Mercy Bell is a “distinct voice with a potent, progressive take on emotive, modern folk” according to Rolling Stone. She comes from Nashville by way for Brooklyn, Massachusetts, California & Arkansas. 

Queer country trailblazers Karen & the Sorrows have been featured in Billboard, WNYC’s The Takeaway, and Rolling Stone, who described them as “Dolly Parton fronting Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.” Noisey called their most recent album, The Narrow Place, “exactly what country music needs right now.” They are also at the heart of Brooklyn’s queer country scene, running the Gay Ole Opry Festival and the Queer Country Quarterly, and creating community for people who love country music even if country music doesn’t always love them back.

Wiley Gaby (Goldenchild), 6pm   
Fronted by songwriter Wiley Gaby and featuring a revolving cast of musicians, collaborators, and friends, NYC band Goldenchild makes gorgeous, cosmic country that Next Magazine calls "damn beautiful."
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