The Gay Ole Opry is this Friday at 4:00 pm ET! Hen in the Foxhouse, Luisa Lopez, Amina Shareef Ali, and Juan & the Pines will be bringing you so many beautiful songs, I promise your heart will feel a little better after you listen to them sing.

To see the Opry—and so much more!—you can register for the summit at countrysoulsongbook.com.

The Queer Country Quarterly returns on Saturday, October 3rd at 8:00 pm ET! With Lilli Lewis, Mercy Bell and your faithful host, Karen & the Sorrows!

Watch here or on YouTube Live and we’ll also be streaming on the Karen & the Sorrows page on Facebook Live!

Please contribute if you can! Venmo @karenandthesorrows and your tips will help support the musicians.

And if you’re in Brooklyn, you can still order delivery from Branded! Or order cute Branded merch from wherever you are! Check out www.brandedsaloon.com to support our favorite bar.

More about the musicians:

Mercy Bell
“Mercy Bell’s new self-titled album, released October 18, 2019, finds the queer Filipino-American singer and songwriter claiming her voice in a way that is personal and rapturous. A bicoastal upbringing in California and New England, followed by moves to New York and Arkansas before landing in East Nashville, give her a perspective on life that is broad, deep and uniquely American.” -Jeremy Darrow

Lilli Lewis
Lilli Lewis is an Americana soul artist, activist, and Label Manager and A&R Head of Louisiana Red Hot Records. Trained as opera singer and classical pianist, Lewis has been a composer, producer and performing artist for over two decades. After carving out space for herself as an African-American lesbian of size, Lewis is lending her voice to the music industry’s need to diversify its precepts about looks, sexuality and marketability. Lewis has composed in every tradition that inspires her, including soul, Americana, classical, folk, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, soul and R&B.

“If Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Odetta had had a baby, and that baby had had a baby, and that baby had had another baby… well that baby would probably be me,” she describes. Lewis has two recent critically acclaimed releases on Louisiana Red Hot Records, the 2018 solo piano album “The Henderson Sessions”, and 2019’s Lilli Lewis Project’s “We Belong”. Her highly anticipated third Louisiana Red Hot release “Americana” is due out on 12/4/2020.

Hi friends! Don’t forget that this Friday is the Queer Country Quarterly! I know you may be thinking, wasn’t there just one in April? Does Karen know what quarterly means? But we had to make a special extra addition because Tina & Her Pony are coming in from from Asheville, NC!  

You probably heard about how Tina & Her Pony melted everyone’s hearts last time they were here, so you might as well get ready to go all melty again. Plus, Paisley Fields will be our fabulous guest host! And Mylo Choy will get things started with their gorgeous songs. It’s gonna be a super magical night, so don’t miss it.
WHEN: Friday, May 17th, 8:00pm
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $8 but no one ever turned away for lack of cash
ACCESS: Accessible entrance and bathroom, please email me if you need reserved seating or have any other questions 
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2415729315322235/

Tina & Her Pony VIDEO:
https://youtu.be/6RPn9EamRoU
“Tina & Her Pony deliver a gentle folk music that inexorably swells into a powerful wave. The songs themselves carry a gentle wisdom that invigorates the listener. Tina & Her Pony truly commit to a kind of chamber folk that feels as timeless as it does timely.”
– Rachel Cholst, NO DEPRESSION

Paisley Fields
www.thepaisleyfields.com

Mylo Choy
www.mylochoy.com
Mylo Choy has spent much of their life between contrasting environments. Growing up in Wisconsin, they also maintained a strong connection to Hawai’i where their mother is from; for years they worked in outdoor education, living between the woods and Brooklyn where they currently live. Finding consistency has been an ongoing journey. Drawing inspiration from nature’s ability to offer peace and perspective, Mylo creates songs that reflect without dwelling and soothe without escaping. Their bedroom-folk sound, influenced by ‘60s folk, ‘70s Hawaiian music and ‘90s indie rock, can be described as Joni Mitchell meets Death Cab for Cutie or Yo La Tengo. Embracing chaos and quiet, Mylo cultivates a landscape that feels like home no matter where they are.

Queer country quarterly returns this spring with not one but two shows!

Karen is in the studio hard at work on a new record, so our first spring show on Friday, April 12th features Elías Elena as guest host. Elías brought their beautiful, gentle songs to Another Country this summer and we are so pleased to have them back.

Eli Conley hosts our sister show Queer Country West Coast in the Bay Area, and he’ll be in town all the way from California! Joel Price joins him on mandolin, violin, and sweet harmonies. Expect songs about queer love, growing up trans in a small town, and grappling with the fact that we’re all going to die (it’s uplifting, we promise).

Franky and the Momos will bring their songs and stories for your head, heart and hiney.

It’s all going down at Branded Saloon in Brooklyn. The show is wheelchair accessible and $8 at the door but as always, no one is ever turned away for lacks of funds.

Save the date for when Karen & the Sorrows return for the second spring Queer Country Quarterly with Tina and Her Pony and Paisley Fields at Branded May 17th!

Friends! I’m so excited! Cindy Emch is gonna be here all the way from California! Her band Secret Emchy Society is one of my favorites and I’ve been wishin’ and hopin’ to get her here for a long time. I can’t wait for you all to fall in love with her too!
Also, VIVA. If you’ve seen Viva before then I don’t need to tell you why you need to see Viva again. If you haven’t seen Viva before then what are you doing with your life? You need to fix it by immediately seeing Viva. 

Also, my band will be there with sad songs, as usual. There will be lots of new ones because I’m working on getting ready to record a new album! We’re on first, so make sure to get there at 8:00 if you want to catch our set.

WHEN: Saturday, October 20th, 8:00pm
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $8 but no one ever turned away for lack of cash
ACCESS: Accessible entrance and bathroom, please email me if you need reserved seating or have any other questions 
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/557727347990211/

More about Secret Emchy Society
Cindy Emch is Oakland’s First Lady of Queer Country. She plays foot stompin’, heart breakin’ americana music about good friends and hard times. You’ll be haunted by her band’s dark, sexy, boozy ballads and off-kilter anthems and cowboy songs.

Dearest queer country friends, this Saturday’s show is gonna be seriously special.
Tina and Her Pony will be here on tour from Asheville, NC, and you do not want to miss your chance to hear their gorgeous, powerful music. Plus, more heart-melting beauty from our opener Mo Pepin. And I have been working hard on a whole new set of Sorrows songs that I can’t wait to share with a striped-down band of just guitar, banjo and fiddle. It’s gonna be one of those huddle-close-with-the-ones-you-love-and-share-your-heartbreaks kinda nights.

WHEN: Saturday, July 7th, 8:00pm
WHERE: C’mon Everybody
325 Franklin Ave bet Clifton Place & Greene Ave, Brooklyn
G To Classon Avenue
Accessible entrance and all gender accessible bathroom, email me if you need seating or anything else I can help with! 
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $13 at the door
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/249357052482094/

Friends, Queer Country West Coast has a very special spring show in San Francisco  that we are so excited to share with you!

Paisley Fields will be here from New York, celebrating the release of their fabulous new album Glitter & Sawdust. They are regulars at Queer Country Quarterly in Brooklyn, and we can’t wait to have them here in California.

As if that weren’t enough, our headliner is Lavender Country! Lavender Country was the first the first openly gay country band, founded by Patrick Haggerty in 1973. They recorded a self-titled collection of gay radical country music, and though all of the records sold and the project was celebrated in a small portion of the gay community, Lavender Country proved too extreme for the music industry of the 70s and the project fizzled.

40 years later, independent record label Paradise of Bachelors reissued Lavender Country to rave reviews and a much more accepting public. Patrick and his music became the subject of an award winning short documentary, Cryin’ These C*cksuckin’ Tears, and Lavender Country went from being a lost obscurity to an underground legend.

I’ll be hosting a performing some new songs to open the show, accompanied by Alina Fox on viola.

This show is sponsored by Bluegrass Pride. Founded on the principle that bluegrass is for anybody and everybody, the California Bluegrass Association created Bluegrass Pride in 2017, an initiative to become the first ever bluegrass association to take part in an LGBT Pride celebration. The CBA and Bluegrass Pride were officially named the Best Overall Contingent in the 2017 SF Pride Parade, the first time in parade history that a first-time entrant has won the top prize. Now in their second year, Bluegrass Pride is continuing to grow and spread the word that bluegrass is for everybody, by hosting regular beginner-friendly jams, sponsoring a local concert series, and marching in the 2018 SF Pride Parade. They’ll be with us selling t-shirts and accepting donations for the 2018 float.

We can’t wait to see you there!

-Eli

Hey there, friends. Thursday, April 12th is gonna be a very special Queer Country Quarterly—we’re celebrating the release of Paisley Fields‘ fabulous new record Glitter & Sawdust! Plus Mylo (a solo project from one of the stars of queer country fave Small Talk) will be opening. And it’s also my birthday show, so c’mon to C’mon Everybody and bring me a little birthday love! 
WHEN: Thursday, April 12th, 8:00pm
WHERE: C’mon Everybody
325 Franklin Ave bet Clifton Place & Greene Ave, Brooklyn
G To Classon Avenue
Accessible entrance and all gender accessible bathroom, email me if you need seating or anything else I can help with! 
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/164706724187180/

Paisley Fields
Paisley Fields are a queer country band, unapologetic about pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration in the unexpected. Though lead singer James Wilson is inspired by country musicians like Dolly Parton and Gram Parsons, he wanted Paisley Fields’ lyrics to reflect a modern world. Pittsburgh City Paper writes, “While Paisley Fields have a good bit in common with contemporary country — rich production, songs with pop bones and twangy accents — the band probably won’t be touring with Toby Keith anytime soon. They’re a refreshing change from country radio.” Paisley Fields tour frequently, and their latest album, Oh These Urban Fences, is described by No Depression as “a labor of love that demands your attention.”

Mylo
Mylo is a musician and artist living in Brooklyn who began writing songs privately when they were 11 years old. Mylo admires the healing power of music and, now playing to a wider audience, aspires to create music that keeps people company when they are lonely and encourages connection when people are together. As a gender non-conforming and mixed-race person, Mylo envisions creating spaces where people feel like they belong.

WHERE: Littlefield, 635 Sackett St, Brooklyn, New York 11217
WHEN: Sunday, July 2nd from 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Click here for all the details!

What is country music? Who decides? Who is it for? And what does that have to do with this country?

On Sunday, July 2nd, we’re bringing together some of our favorite queer, trans, and/or poc musicians to ask these questions and share their music for an all-day, all-out extravaganza! There will be DJs and dancing, food trucks, special drinks, and a bake sale to benefit the Trans Justice Funding Project!

Let’s turn this fucked-up holiday inside out and make it into a day full of amazing music to nourish us, inspire our resistance, and help us envision together what another country could be.

Tickets are $10-$20 sliding scale* for the day-long festival. Please pay what you can to support our musicians! Any profits from the day, after all the musicians get paid, will also be donated to TJFP.

Performers:

Our fabulous host, Heather María Ács
heatheracs.com

My Gay Banjo
mygaybanjo.com

Cactus Rose
kandiacrazyhorse.com

Karen & the Sorrows
karenandthesorrows.com

Ganessa James
ganessajames.com

Viva
vivadeconcini.com

Elias Krell with special guest Jim Altieri
eliaskrell.com

The Paisley Fields
thepaisleyfields.com

Johnell Lawrence
thedapperviolist.com

DK & the Joy Machine
dkandthejoymachine.com

Lindsey Wilson & Michael Buckley
soundcloud.com/linzsounds

Nath Ann Carrera

Yva Las Vegass

AJ Lewis & Friends

Audrey Zee Whitesides

PLUS Nath Ann Carrera will be on double duty as our DJ, spinning sweet country tunes

Photographs by the incomparable Syd London

Trans Justice Funding Project
www.transjusticefundingproject.org
TJFP is a community-led funding initiative that supports grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. TJFP centers the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions.

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
—James Baldwin, Another Country

*If you’d like to come but this is not possible for you, please email me and we will get you in. No one ever turned away for lack of cash!

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Join us for the Summer Edition of Queer Country West Coast celebrating the release of host Eli Conley‘s new album Strong and Tender! He’ll be joined by Conrad Sisk on cello and Maia Wiitala on bass.

We’re so glad to be returning to the east bay with a show at The Back Room, an intimate new venue for acoustic music in downtown Berkeley.

This show is also a part of the 2017 National Queer Arts Festival!

The Secret Emchy Society opens with a preview of their new album “The Stars Fall Shooting Into Twangsville,” out 7/21! They play foot-stompin,’ heartbreakin’ queer cowboy songs about good friends and hard times. Front-person Cindy Emch uses her unique voice to sing deeply personal Americana music for modern times.

Please note that this is a matinee show — Doors are at 1 pm, Music 1:30 pm. Tickets are $15 — available in advance online or at the door the day of the show. Cash only at the door.

RSVP and get more info here

See you soon!