By Annie Parnell, Editor
Someone’s rehearsing for a house show in my neighborhood right now, and it’s putting me right in the spirit to work on BT. The desire to uplift DIY musicians doing awesome and important work was a big reason I got involved in Country Queer in the first place, so all the riffs and redos are basically providing the perfect soundtrack. I love the eclectic, creative influences that often make up an indie set. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just heard a grunge cover of Daft Punk wafting down the street — LCD Soundsystem, anybody?
It’s a really rock-influenced offering I’ve got this week, with some great new stuff from Mike Maimone, Robin Shakedown, and Hayden Joseph. Perfect for those midsummer groove sessions — I’ve got half a mind to go grab a drink from the fridge.
For now, though, stay hydrated and enjoy some tunes.
Broke, Not Broken — Mike Maimone
Mike Maimone’s swinging, big band sound on his recent EP Broke, Not Broken, coupled with his rich gravelly voice, brings Tom Waits to mind. His onstage antics, however, have a distinctly Jerry Lee Lewis tint — he’s known for taking swigs of whiskey between sets, shouting and howling during songs, and even playing the piano with his feet. After a recent relocation to Nashville from Chicago, this former Mutts frontman has expanded his sound to reflect the expansive queer music community he’s found in the country scene. The feel-good music video for his song “Hey Now” reflects this, putting a joyful spotlight on a variety of queer creators.
“Chelsea Tell Me (How You Do Your Eyes)” — Robin Shakedown
Atlanta-based Robin Shakedown’s 90s-influenced heartland rock provides a rollicking exploration of gender, sexuality, and social change on her recent EPs Cartoon Eyes and Bullet Baby. She’s described as able to “put a smile on even the most cynical listeners’ faces,” and the upbeat charms and swoony rhythms of “Chelsea (Tell Me How You Do Your Eyes)” are no exception. Part love song and part gender envy ode, this ballad builds and builds, until Shakedown ultimately admits to Chelsea herself that “you move like a picture…I wanna move like a picture.”
Backwoods Bougie — Hayden Joseph
Hayden Joseph’s new tongue-in-cheek pop-country ode has a twist — between upbeat references to White Claws and Yeti koozies, there’s a subtle critique laced in of the luxury brands typically favored by the “bro-country” standard. A collaborative effort by this star on the rise and a team of fed-up LGBTQ+ songwriters, it’s as much a lighthearted celebration as a clever call-out — and above all else, it’s a perfect summer jam.
“Buried Treasure” is your weekly guide to under-the-radar queer artists in country, Americana, and folk. Know an artist who should be included? Contact us!