by Holly G, Director of Community and Advocacy
Over the past year, all kinds of artists have been pushing back on the legacy media of arts and entertainment, asking important questions about what it should look like and who it should be made for and by. This has opened the door in many ways, and allowed us to see what can happen when inclusiveness and diversity are made a priority. The result has been nothing short of amazing, and the most recent issue of the Rainbow Rodeo zine proves it.
Put together by Rachel Cholst (a Senior Editor here at Country Queer, responsible for the Adobe & Teardrops and Country Queer Spotlight podcasts), not only is Rainbow Rodeo made for artists, it’s made by artists. The inaugural issue delves into a theme that after the past year and a half, we can all relate to: what “home” means. As we all sat home in quarantine with our lives upended, the artists we love have done the same, under the pressure of losing live music revenue and valuable artistic spaces. This issue of Rainbow Rodeo gives a peek into what it was like from their perspective.
All elements of this zine come together to create a comprehensive piece of journalistic art that reflects what’s currently happening in the world of queer artists making country and roots music. The issue includes interviews with Emily Zuzik, Jake Blount, and Amythyst Kiah, all conducted by artists, giving readers a unique insight into their world.
Also included in the issue are album reviews of Brandy Clark’s Your Life is a Record, Paisley Fields’ Electric Park Ballroom, Maya de Vitry’s How to Break a Fall, and Jaime Wyatt’s Neon Cross.
For anyone looking to gain insight into the queer country music world, wanting to discover new music, or simply hoping to engage in meaningful content with thoughtful perspective, Rainbow Rodeo is the place to go. Each piece featured is carefully crafted and in depth, shining a light on its subjects with reviews that feel personal and interviews that read as conversations between friends.
Rainbow Rodeo is currently accepting submissions for Issue 2 through August 31. The theme of the second issue is “Wide Open Spaces,” drawing inspiration from the classic cowboy imagery of country music and the ways the idea of “open space” has changed “after a year and a half of restricted mobility.” Where Issue 1 focused on cultivating queer community, Issue 2 expands the zine’s lens, asking: “as queer folks take space within the country music community, is it possible to interrogate this genre’s burdens of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and colonialism? How do we force country music to become as wide and open a space as we deserve?”
Both digital and physical copies of the first issue of Rainbow Rodeo are available at https://www.rainbowrodeozine.com/s/shop.