Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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Sarah Shook and Patrick Haggerty (Lavender Country) Guest On Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly 

The new episode of one of our favorite radio shows, Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly on Apple Music Country, airs Sunday with guest appearances by two artists familiar to our readers: Sarah Shook and Patrick Haggerty, of Lavender Country.

Sarah Shook (Sarah Shook & the Disarmers) chats about the naming of their band and how exciting it was to work with legendary producer Pete Anderson. Hunter is also joined by Patrick Haggerty of Lavender Country, who released a follow-up record 50 years after his debut.

Tune in and listen to the episode in-full this Sunday (March 6) at 2pm PT / 4pm CT / 5pm ET or anytime on-demand at apple.co/_ProudRadio on Apple Music Country.

Here are a few teasers to get you ready, courtesy of Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly on Apple Music Country:

Sarah Shook on working with Pete Anderson:

I had some demos around the time that we started talking about getting stuff in order for the third album. And our manager, Kathy Russell, was shopping around just… I mean, I don’t think at that point in time it was really formal. I think she was just putting feelers out. I knew that Pete was Dwight Yoakam’s guitarist, but it wasn’t until she was just like, “Oh yeah, well, he’s a producer. He produced a lot of those smash hits.” I was like, “Okay.”

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So, when he expressed interest, of course, we were really excited. It seemed like a really good fit. Very happy that we could make that happen.

Sarah Shook talks about realizing they’re nonbinary

I feel really fortunate and grateful to live in the time that we do. And obviously we have a long, long way to go, but I feel like when I was pretty little, I did not feel like a girl. And because I was raised in a household that only gave you two options, in my household you were either a boy or a girl, my reaction to that as a small child was to be like, “I want to be a boy. I want to be a boy.” And so my mom just thought that was, she just attributed that to being a tomboy. And it wasn’t until years and years and years later. I mean, what is it now? 2022? I think it was four or five years ago that I met someone that used they/them pronouns. And I had never encountered that in my life before. I did not know what non-binary was. I didn’t know what genderqueer is. I just didn’t have the language at my disposal to describe my own situation.

And so it’s been amazing to learn about these things and to continue learning about these things, honestly, because I feel like it’s something that we can expect to spend our lifetimes learning about.

Patrick Haggerty on Lavender Country being a communal effort

I think that the single most important fact about how Lavender Country came into being was that it was a Stonewall-era produced collective communal effort. The people who were doing the Stonewall movement around me induced Lavender Country, encouraged me to make Lavender Country, raised the money to get to the studio, rented the PO box to sell the albums out of because there was no place else to sell them. It was a community effort. I could have never made Lavender Country by myself.

Patrick Haggerty on what Lavender Country meant to the community

Hunter Kelly: You are both a queer person and a country person. Like these are both who you are at the same time.

Patrick Haggerty: Yeah. And there’s lots of us. There’s a moving part to this story, and it’s emotional. Many, many people who I have met presented themselves to me with tears in their eyes saying, “You don’t get it, but you saved my life.” In Boise, Idaho, and Casper, Wyoming, and Bismarck, North Dakota. Those folks were completely isolated and they had nothing and they were deeply estranged from the culture around them.