The Fall Queer Country Quarterly is Coming Soon!

Queer Country Quarterly_twitterHello dear cowpeople! Hope you can join us at C’mon Everybody for some queer country magic! Justin Vahala, honey-voiced queer country unicorn, will open, starting at 7:30 sharp. Transgender love pioneer So Brown will steal your heart and then break it. And your hosts The Sorrows have some brand new songs we can’t wait to play for you!

WHEN: Thursday, October 8th, 7:30 sharp
WHERE: C’mon Everybody, 325 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238
DOOR: $10, but if you’d like to come and can’t swing that, email me at


p.s. You might have noticed that I switched us over from monthly to quarterly. If only it didn’t look weird to spell country with a q, we could be the Triple Q! All that to say, there will be a little more time in between shows so I can keep up better. Next up: Winter Edition, December 5th, back at Branded!

More about the bands:

So Brown is a critically acclaimed transgender musician, actor and model from Texas and Alabama. So’s debut album Point Legere, released in April 2014, was heralded as “Debut Album of the Year” by Innocent Words magazine, and So’s songs have been covered by such luminaries as Norah Jones. A rebellious pioneer of new gender possibilities, So embodies the belief that honesty in art can reveal the humanity that unites us all.

The Names of Things, the debut album from Brooklyn queer country band Karen & the Sorrows, is full of “haunting pedal steel work and unvarnished heartbreak.” (Bust Magazine) Voted one of the Freeform American Roots Chart’s best debut albums of 2014, the record is “some of the best alt-country being made.” (Billings Gazette) F**k Yeah, Queer Music says, “They write loss and heartbreak, and goddamn are they good at it.” The Sorrows also host queer country shows like the Queer Country Quarterly, helping to build new community for people who love country music even if country music doesn’t always love them back.

Justin Vahala Justin Vahala is a singing, song/writing, yoga teaching, tarot reading fool from Dallas, the shimmering turquoise inset of the Bible Belt. Justin uses his roots in southern folk and gay old musical theater to produce lyrical songs of heartbreak and hope for queers to hear. Past projects include his original musical, What Leaves the Wind Has Laid, which took place in a magical bathhouse ruled over by a witch. He is currently working on a new folk musical, The Ones I’ll Find, in which two boys with guitars break up only to realize that they can’t part with the tickets they’d bought to the same music festival. Can you imagine?!

Surprise Queer Country Summer Love on Tuesday the 28th!

July_2015_QCM_TwitterJust when you thought we were taking the summer off, surprise! We are back for a special show! Come see KingsSmall Talk, and your host Karen & the Sorrows at the summer edition of the Queer Country Monthly.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 28th, 8:00 pm
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave, at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $5 but no one ever turned away for lack of funds

Branded has a wheelchair accessible entrance and bathroom. Also, there is always a bucket of free candy. In case you like free candy.

Hope you can make it!


Introducing Queer Country West June 25th!

Queer Country West Poster
Hey y’all, big news! This summer we’re proud to welcome to the family Queer Country West, hosted by Eli Conley in the Bay Area! Eli is an Americana singer-songwriter originally from Virginia, now living in Berkeley, California. He performed at Queer Country Monthly and had such a good time he decided to bring the fun back to the west coast.

We’ve got some great queer country music for you at this kickoff show that you won’t want to miss. Julian Brolaski’s band The Western Skyline will bring their queer country western goodness. Julian’s previous band Juan & the Pines played at the very first Gay Ole Opry, so we are so pleased to have them with us for the first Queer Country West! Country singer-songwriter Shane Fairchild of The Goat and the Feather will grace us with her beautiful songs, and Americana trio Sugar in the Salt are playing their last show with banjo/accordion/fiddler extrordinaire Koralie Hill. Please come help us send her off with love!

WHEN: Thursday, June 25th. 7:30 pm Doors, 8 pm Show
WHERE: La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
DOOR: $8 in advance, $10 at the door, No one ever turned away for lack of funds
ACCESS: All ages, kids welcome! Wheelchair accessible.

Please come *scent-free* so everyone can come and stay! More info on how and why to be scent-free at

For other access needs, questions, or requests, please contact Eli at eli<at>

Read more about the bands below. We can’t wait to see you!


Country singer-songwriter Shane Fairchild of The Goat and the Feather. A bit of the dustbowl, the surreal, and the countryside with a smattering of power, sex and wilderness for good measure.

The Western Skyline is a San Francisco-based country western honky tonk band, featuring Julian Talamantez Brolaski (lead vocals, guitar), Mei Jardstrom (harmony vocals), DJ Gray (upright bass), Marco Baroz (electric guitar), Rob Davis (drums), and Andy Waegel (pedal steel).

Sugar in the Salt is an indie folk trio featuring songwriters Eli Conley (guitar, vocals), Koralie “K Sugar” Hill (accordion, banjo, fiddle, vocals) and Maia Papaya Wiitala (upright bass, guitar, vocals). With their luscious three-part harmonies and swelling strings, these three friends serve up songs that will touch your salty heart and sugar up your funny bone. Members of Sugar in the Salt have graced stages across the Bay Area including the Freight and Salvage, Cafe du Nord, and the San Francisco Trans March, not to mention countless livings rooms and protest rallies. Now they are joining forces as a queer folk band that just wants to have fun! When Sugar in the Salt gets together to play, you can always count on a sweet time.


April QCM this Saturday!

April Queer CountryMonthly_twitterHello dear cowpeople and happy spring! The Queer Country Monthly is coming up this Saturday, April 18th, and this will be the last one in our limited run (at least for now), so you don’t want to miss it!

Also, you don’t want to miss it because we have a super-special line-up: Eli Conley is here on tour, plus DK & the Joy Machine with dulcimer amazingness, AJ Lewis & Friends with banjo amazingness, and your faithful host Karen & The Sorrows have some new songs to share with you. So come join us down at Branded Saloon!

WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 8:00 pm (This month the Sorrows are on last, so remember to take your disco nap so you can stay up late with us!)
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave, at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $5 but no one ever turned away for lack of funds

Branded has a wheelchair accessible entrance and bathroom. Also, there is always a bucket of free candy. In case you like free candy.

Read more about the bands below and hope you can join at Branded Saloon!


Eli Conley (

Eli Conley is a San Francisco Bay Area-based indie folk artist Eli Conley has a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in Americana music and the singer-songwriter tradition, Eli crafts modern day folk songs for misfits from the raw material of his life as a gay transgender man with Virginia roots. Eli will be accompanied by co-conspirator Joel Price on mandolin, fiddle and harmonies.

DK & the Joy Machine (

DK & the Joy Machine’s new album, Shy One, out on March 22nd, has been described as “intense, colorful and diverse. A novel of sorts. Dark, light, humorous and humble.” Her “quirky and smart” songs celebrate all the crucial things in life: unrequited love, falling in love with feral cats, and treating yourself with kindness. Known for her sultry, expressive voice, well crafted songs, and genre-blending, innovative work on mountain dulcimer—plucking, strumming, bowing and “rocking out” on this trad instrument—DK’s music is at turns evocative, moving, playful, fun, and always genuine.

AJ Lewis & Friends

AJ’s old timey banjo set will highlight the usual themes of drugs, death, nonhuman animals, unusual kinship structures, and critiques of capitalism and happiness. Whimsical reflections on the queer genealogies of old time music are provided free of charge. For the first time, however, AJ intends to break from tradition and include a handful of countrified covers of notable women singer-songwriters of the 1990s. He invites you to sing along.

Karen & the Sorrows (

The Names of Things, the debut album from Brooklyn queer country band Karen & the Sorrows, is full of “haunting pedal steel work and unvarnished heartbreak.” (Bust Magazine) Voted one of the FAR chart’s best debut albums of 2014, the record is “some of the best alt-country being made. Twang-drenched drown-your-sorrows music about bad relationships, abandoned lovers and endless heartbreak. In other words, pure country.” (Billings Gazette) New York Music Daily writes, “Country keeps evolving and Karen & the Sorrows are taking it to a place it’s never been before, a good and creepy one.” And F**k Yeah, Queer Music says, “They write loss and heartbreak, and goddamn are they good at it.” The Sorrows are also hard at work hosting shows like the Queer Country Monthly and helping to build new queer country community for people who love country music even if country music doesn’t always love them back.

Queer Country Monthly This Saturday!

March2015FierceBenefitHello again, everybody! Just a reminder that we have a fabulous Queer Country Monthly coming up this Saturday that you don’t wanna miss. We’ve teamed up with music blog Adobe & Teardrops for a special fundraiser. So come join The Paisley FieldsSmall Talk, and your host Karen & the Sorrows for a night of queer country in support of FIERCE. Adobe & Teardrops has also put together a great compilation CD to benefit FIERCE–check it out at As usual, it’s $5 at the door, but if you donate $10 or more, we’ll give you a download code for the album too!

FIERCE builds the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color in New York City through youth-led campaigns, leadership development programs, and cultural expression through arts and media. They are dedicated to cultivating the next generation of social justice movement leaders who are dedicated to ending all forms of oppression. If you can’t come to the show, you can still support FIERCE with a donation at

WHEN: Saturday, March 21st, 8:00 pm–The Sorrows are opening, so if you want to catch us, make sure to come at 8:00!
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave, at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $5 but no one ever turned away for lack of funds

Branded Saloon has a wheelchair accessible entrance and bathroom. Also, there is always a bucket of free candy for people who like candy.

And save the date for the last QCM in our limited-run series: April 18th with Eli Conley and DK & the Joy Machine. Hope you can make it this Saturday!


The Queer Country Monthly Returns!

Hello country music fans! The Queer Country Monthly is back for a limited run, starting on February 28th with Humble Tripe, Julia Read and your faithful host, Karen & the Sorrows. And save the dates for March 21st and April 18th! For more details and RSVP here.


Big Gay Holiday Party on December 19th


Hello everybody! We’ve been missing you!

Our friends Small Talk are putting on a Big Gay Country Holiday party at Littlefield on Friday, December 19th, and we can’t wait. Here’s the lineup:

8:00 Karen & the Sorrows
9:00 Kings
10:00 Julia Weldon
11:00 Small Talk

Doors are at 7:30 and the show starts at 8pm sharp. Plus there’s gonna be a photo booth. And all kinds of drink specials. And a DJ for more dancing after the bands!

WHEN: Friday, December 19th, doors at 7:30, show at 8:00 sharp
WHERE: Littlefield, 622 Degraw St bet. 3rd and 4th Ave, Brooklyn
TRAINS: R to Union
COVER: $8 in advance, $10 at the door

And the Queer Country Monthly will be back for a limited run later this winter, so stay tuned for more info!


New video from Karen & the Sorrows

Hello there, dear queer country friends! I promise haven’t forgotten about you. We’ve just been hard at work getting our brand new album, The Names of Things, out there. And making our first video! With lots of help from our queer country community, of course, as you can see…

When is the next Queer Country Monthly?

cowgirl loveHey there cowpeople. We’re going to take a little break from the Queer Country Monthly this winter while my band records our first full-length album. But we’ll have lots more queer country news for you soon. Make sure to join our mailing list for all the latest updates!


December Queer Country Monthly This Saturday


Dearest cowpeople, it’s time for the Queer Country Monthly! This Saturday we’ll be at our beloved Branded Saloon starting a little later than usual with doors at 9pm. Your faithful host Karen & the Sorrows will be taking the stage with some stellar acts this month: The Momos, Jean Marie and Rachel Easterly, and AJ Lewis.

The door is $5, but no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. Also, there is always a bucket of free candy for people who like candy.

WHEN: Saturday, December 7th, 9:00 pm
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Avenue at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $5 (but no one ever turned away for lack of funds)

Read on for more info about the bands and your hard-working queer country team below. Hope to see you all soon!


Jean Marie was born and raised in the foggy climes of San Francisco but now calls Brooklyn her home. She makes quiet folk music in the tradition of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith.

Rachel Easterly was raised on somber/cutesy church songs in Ohio and now writes somber/cutesy songs in New York that she hopes pass the Bechdel test.

The MoMos hail from the swamps of your heart. Sometimes known as Franky and The MoMos, the MoMos like to drink whiskey and tell tall tales concerning crickets and birds. Their twangy garage music will have your feet a tappin’.

Brooklyn alt-country band Karen & the Sorrows play “soaring tributes to lost love and… gentle and charming ballads” (Neville Elder, No Depression). Their debut EP Ocean-Born Mary is a four-part ghost story of “allusive, attractive but distantly menacing songs… Country keeps evolving, and Karen & the Sorrows are taking it to a place it’s never been before, a good and creepy one.” (New York Music Daily)

The Queer Country Monthly is brought to you by Riot Grrrl Ink, the largest queer record label in the world.