Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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2022: The Year in Queer… and some other stuff

By CQ Staff

…and when we say ‘Year End,’ we really mean it!

We asked the folks that shape Country Queer’s editorial coverage to tell us what they were listening to this year. We specified that they needn’t all be 2022 releases, nor did the choices need to fit within the genre confines of the publication. We wanted it to be a true reflection of the diversity in our musical tastes rather than a chance to trot out the best Country Queer albums of the year. In the end, it has turned out to be both. Some folks offered more information than others, and a few of our contributors were unable to compile lists, but the show must go on!

We put together a new Spotify playlist that reflects our collective favorites.

While we’re at it, we just want to thank all of our readers and supporters that have helped us get through a challenging year. We look forward to new music, new discoveries and new opportunities to support queer artistry in 2023.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Abel Muñoz (New York)

1. Fred Again – Actual Life (April 14-December 17, 2020)
2. S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks
3. Waylon Payne – Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me: The Lost Act
4. S.G. Goodman – Old Time Feeling
5. Jake Blount – The New Faith
6.  Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time
7. Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes
8. Hermanos Gutierrez – El Bueno Y El Malo
9. Run the Jewels & VA – RTJ CU4TRO
10. Rosalia – Motomami

Richard Marcus (Ontario)

1. Ezra  Furman  – All of us Flames
Pro trans, pro queer music of the finest kind.  She is easily one of the most important queer/trans musicians today. Must listen songs are “Book of our Names” and “Train Comes Through.”

2. Jake Blount – The New Faith
Traditional African American gospel redone to tell the story of a post apocalyptic world. Brilliant and wonderful. Must listen song: his cover of “Didn’t It Rain”.

3. The Clash – The Clash
My comfort food. Part sentimental part nostalgia, but mainly as a reminder of what good angry music can accomplish. Song to hear: “I’m So Bored With The USA”

4. Grievous Angels – Summer Before The Storm
Canadian alt country band. Disclaimer: I’ve known the lead singer Charlie Angus since the early 80s when he played bass for a punk band in Toronto and a very early incarnation of the Angels band rehearsed in the basement of a house I rented. He alternates between fronting his band and being a member of Canada’s Federal parliament for the New Democratic Party (Canada’s social democratic party). Song to listen to: “Summer Before the Storm”

5. The Muslims – Fuck These Fucking Fascists
Muslim, queer trio from Durham carry on the queercore tradition with elan. Sure to offend everyone, but especially straight white people. Song to listen to: “Illegals”

6. Mightmare – Cruel Liars
Sarah Shook’s new side project is quite a departure from their regular fare, but its a captivating and intriguing release. Song to listen to: “Cruel Liars”

7. Emel – The Tunis Diaries
Tunisian singer who became the voice of The Arab Spring in 2012 with her rendition of “Kelmti Horta”. Locked down in Tunis during the pandemic, she sat on the roof and recorded this double album of covers and acoustic versions of her own material. Must hear: cover of Bowie’s “ The Man Who Sold The World”

8. A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
The new voice of Indigenous music in Canada, they mix traditional music with electronic beats and guest vocalists for incredibly powerful dance music. Listen: “A Tribe Called Red”

9. The Tom Robinson Band – Power In The Darkness
Another trip down memory lane to the late 1970s. When Eric Clapton infamously declared the UK should be for whites only, Tom Robinson was at the forefront of punk’s response and helped form Rock Against Racism. Also known for being an early queer rights advocate. Song to hear: “Glad to be Gay”.

10. Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly – A Vision Shared
Compilation of various people – Springsteen, Dylan, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Brian Wilson among them – singing the songs of Woody Guthrie and Huddie “Leadbelly” Leadbeater. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Little Richard and Fishbone do “Rock Island Line”.

Chris Bogard (California)

1. Orville Peck – Bronco
2. Cody Belew – Cody Belew
3. Ethel Cain – Inbred & Preacher’s Daughter
4. Trixie Mattel – The Blonde & Pink Albums
5. Charli XCX – Crash
6. Taylor Swift – Midnights
7. Le Youth – Reminders
8. Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed
9. Charley Crockett – Music City USA
10. ODESZA – The Last Goodbye

Runners Up:
Cassandra Lewis – Always, All Ways
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down
London Grammar – Californian Soul

James Dillon III (Maine)

1. Daisha McBride – Let Me Get This Off My Chest
2. Chastity Brown – Sing to the Walls
3. Bad Bunny – Un Verano Sin Ti
4. Orville Peck – Bronco
5. Charli XCX – Crash
6. Loud Luxury – Holiday Hills
7. Golden Features – Sect
8. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
9. LP – Churches
10. Madison Rose – Technicolor

Christopher Treacy (Vermont)

1. Mary J Blige – Good Morning Gorgeous
2. Fleet Foxes – A Very Lonely Solstice
3. India Shawn – Before We Go (Deeper)
4. Orville Peck – Bronco
5. Tall Poppy String Band – Tall Poppy String Band
6. The Black Keys – Dropout Boogie
7. Charlie Rich – The Fabulous Charlie Rich
8. Hercules & Love Affair – The Feast of the Broken Heart
9. Kendra Morris – Nine Lives
10. Mariel Buckley – Everywhere I Used To Be

Runners Up:
Matthew Connor – Disappearances
Melissa Carper – Ramblin’ Soul
Victoria Monet – Jaguar

Dale Henry Geist (Maine)

1. Orville Peck – Bronco
2. Mary Gauthier – Dark Enough to See the Stars
3. Mavis Staples and Levon Helm – Carry Me Home
4. Miko Marks – Feel Like Going Home
5. Steve Earle – Jerry Jeff
6. Amy Ray – If It All Goes South
7. Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection
8. S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks
9. Charley Crockett – The Man From Waco
10. Melissa Carper – Ramblin’ Soul

Dr. Matthew J. Jones (Oklahoma)

1. Adeem the Artist – White Trash Revelry
2. Orville Peck – Bronco
3. Indigo Girls – Look Long
4. Melissa Manchester – Live ’77
5. Melissa Manchester – When I Look Down That Road
6. Judee Sill – Judee Sill
7. Judee Sill – Heart Food

Got new music? Submit it to CQ.