Beloveds, the QCQ is back! With two of our favorite fabulous stars, Secret Emchy Society and Mya Byrne! And, of course, your faithful host, Karen & the Sorrows. 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 to support our favorite bar.

The Queer Country Quarterly is back on Thursday, June 25th at 8pm ET! With Rahne Alexander from Baltimore, Jobi Riccio from Boston, Catherine the Great from Roanoke, Virginia, and your host Karen & the Sorrows coming to you from Brooklyn! And we’ll be raising money for our local bail funds to support the protests!

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

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

More about the musicians:
Rahne Alexander ( is an intermedia artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. She performs music with several bands, including Santa Librada, 50’♀, White Wing Dove, and Flaming Creatures. She is also an an essayist, contributing to anthologies such as the Lambda Literary Award-winning Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica and the Lammy-nominated Resilience Anthology, and her first book of collected essays, Heretic to Housewife, was published by Neon Hemlock in 2019. Her video art has been screened in galleries and festivals across the country, and she is a former organizer for the Transmodern Festival and the Maryland Film Festival.

Jobi Riccio ( is a songwriter and performer from Denver, Colorado, currently based in Boston, MA. Inspired by artists ranging from Buck Owens to Joni Mitchell, and the bluegrass community she came of age in, she writes songs that meld classic country sounds with modern sensibilities. She has received acclaim for her writing, including winning the 2019 NewSong Music Competition and being named a finalist in the 2018 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter’s Showcase. Her Debut EP “Strawberry Wine” is an ode to the women of country music she grew up singing along to in her bedroom, and is streaming everywhere now.

catherine the great ( is the solo project of Catherine Backus, one-half of twinsome duo the Skipperdees. A native East-Tennessean and graduate of the University of Georgia (go dawgs, go b-52’s), Catherine now resides in Virginia, where she splits her musical time between playing bluegrass with old dudes and singing songs she wrote. She won the 2017 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, and her music has drawn comparisons to Kathleen Edwards, Lori McKenna, and Gillian Welch.

The Queer Country Quarterly is back! I recognize that technically this makes it monthly, but QCQ is more fun to say so I’m sticking with it. Livestreaming with you in April was so lovely, I can’t wait to do it again. And it’s a really special line-up: We’ve got mandolin superstar Maddie Witler! And Nadine Hubbs, author of the secret queer fourth verse of Jolene and everybody’s favorite book, Rednecks, Queers & Country Music, will be playing Cajun accordion! Plus, I’ll be your host as usual and play a few songs for you, too.

Please contribute to the musicians if you can! Venmo @karenandthesorrows and your tips will all go directly to 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 to support our favorite bar

More about the musicians:

Maddie Witler hails originally from LaCrescenta, CA, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Maddie picked up the mandolin when she was 14 and fell in love with the instrument and bluegrass music. She attended the Berklee College of Music from 2010-2014. Maddie has been a member of the Lonely Heartstring Band since it began in 2012. Over the years she has also performed with folks like Peter Rowan, Darol Anger, Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, Molly Tuttle, and she is currently touring full time with Della Mae.

By day, Nadine “Dean” Hubbs is a musicologist and gender, sexuality, and class scholar whose writings on these subjects include Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music, described by NPR’s Jewly Hight as “one of the most important scholarly discourses on country music of this decade” and by PopMatters as “invaluable.” She discussed “Jolene” on last fall’s Dolly Parton’s America podcast and premiered a new fourth verse, letting the straight world in on what queer listeners had long assumed. Dean teaches at University of Michigan and was bassist, vocalist, and accordion player for the Ann Arbor Cajun-zydeco band The Pittsfield Ramblers.

Friends, I put together a stretch of really special Queer Country Quarterly/Monthlies this spring because there are so many amazing musicians from around the country I can’t wait to introduce you to. So we’re gonna livestream them all!

Please contribute to the musicians if you can! Venmo @karenandthesorrows and your tips will all go directly to the bands. And if you’re in Brooklyn, you can still order delivery from Branded! Head over to to support our favorite bar.

Now let’s talk about this kickass line-up:

First of all, we’ve got the band Mery Steel from Columbus, OH. I got to play with them on tour this fall and omg they are so, so good. They just released a live video album and this song is my favorite—it’s been in my head since November:

Second of all, we have country crooner Andrew Sa from Chicago and omg his voice! People throw the term “voice of an angel” around a lot, but sometimes that’s the only correct description. He’s got a new album coming out soon that I can’t share with you yet, but trust me it is really special. Here’s a preview of one of the songs from the fabulous cosmic country shows he curates in Chicago!

Third of all, we’ve got our hometown hero Viva, who is going to share some new songs from the musical western she’s been writing called called Beautiful, Evil, Lost. If you don’t already know what a guitar goddess Viva is, then please watch this asap:

And of course, I’ll be your faithful host, as usual! And also do an opening set to kick things off. A little more about Karen & the Sorrows:

See you soon!


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.


Our fabulous host, Heather María Ács

My Gay Banjo

Cactus Rose

Karen & the Sorrows

Ganessa James


Elias Krell with special guest Jim Altieri

The Paisley Fields

Johnell Lawrence

DK & the Joy Machine

Lindsey Wilson & Michael Buckley

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
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!










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!

I’m so excited for this Saturday, friends! Humble Tripe will be here from North Carolina to celebrate their beautiful new album The Beginning. AND we have the amazing Ganessa James. There’s something especially joyful that both Ganessa and Humble Tripe bring to making music, so if you’re trying to find some happy in the hard times, this show will help. Plus, long-time friend of the Opry Nadia Bourne will be doing a special opening set. And it will be The Sorrows’ 100th show!

When: Saturday, April 15th, 9:00 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

RSVP and more details

Access: wheelchair-accessible entrance and bathroom, please email me if you need reserved seating or have any other questions

And make sure to save the date for the Sorrows’ record release party on Sunday, July 2nd at Littlefield in Brooklyn. We’re goin’ all out and putting together a big day-long festival called Another Country, featuring queer, trans and/or people of color country and americana musicians. Come help us turn that fucked-up holiday inside out and reclaim the music we love for resistance!


Hey y’all, it’s time for the Spring Queer Country West Coast this Friday night! We have the wonderful Annah Anti-Palindrome, who uses her looper to make rough and beautiful sounds using kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, and her body (mostly her throat). For many years Mya Byrne performed with roots-rock band, The Ramblers, a festival Americana act, opening up for such bands as Levon Helm starting in the late aughts. Recently relocated to the Bay Area from NYC, she comes to the Queer Country stage this month with her new band, and that’s something you don’t want to miss! Your host Eli Conley is back from a songwriting residency in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and will be opening the show sharing some new songs, accompanied by Danny Morris.

WHEN: Friday, May 27th, 7:30 pm Doors, 8 pm Show
WHERE: El Rio, 3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
DOOR: Free! Secret Password: Miss Major
ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible, 21+

California country fans, mark your calendars for Friday, May 27th! Queer Country West Coast returns to El Rio with a spring show in San Francisco.

We are excited to feature the optical sound-smithing of queer/femme antagonist Annah Anti-Palindrome, and the blues and rock-flavored Americana of poet, award-winning songwriter, and proud trans activist Mya Byrne.


Your host Eli Conley will be returning to the Bay Area fresh off of a songwriting residency in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, so you can expect some new songs. Please save the date and we’ll see you soon!

WHEN: Friday, May 27th, 7:30 pm Doors, 8 pm Show
WHERE: El Rio, 3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
DOOR: Free! Secret Password: Miss Major
ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible, 21+

Mark your calendar now, cause Queer Country West Coast is coming back for show number two on Friday, February 26th, 2016! We’re at a new venue this time around, the wonderful El Rio bar in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The show will feature the sweet porch music and three-part harmony of The P’s & Q’s, prolific and hilarious songwriter Denise Dill AKA Dillbilly in a new collaboration with Dempsey Wolf, and your host, Eli Conley, with new band members backing him up.

WHEN: Friday, February 26th, 7:30 pm Doors, 8 pm Show
WHERE: El Rio, 3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
DOOR: Free!
ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible, 21+

Can’t wait till February? Come see Eli play Friday, January 28th at Dolores Park Cafe in San Francisco with award-winning songwriter and fellow queer and trans country artist Mya Byrne. Lukas Papenfusscline headlines the night with his contemporary folk take on traditional mountain melodies.

See you soon, queer country fans!