Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup with Hallie Stotler, Jim Andralis, and Joel Brogon

By Christopher Treacy

On this week that runs between holidays, coping mechanisms are on the brain… and that seems to be a recurring theme in some of this week’s selections, as well. Or, maybe that’s just what I’m hearing. We’ve also got an instrumental track from an queer Irish fiddler and some steamy proclamations from newcomer PeJay Eugene. See you on the other side.


Song of The Week: Hallie Stotler – “Turn the Radio Down (Merry F***ing Christmas)”

Aaaaand sometimes there’s just no sugarcoating it.

PeJay Eugene – “Secret”

“Secret” occupies that newly developing space between r&b and something in the country-pop realm that Kentucky Gentlemen occupy. PeJay Eugene has created something steamy here—a song about knowing how to press a partners sexual buttons. Familiarity doesn’t *always* breed contempt. And even if it did, there’s something might hot to be enjoyed along the way. Make the moment last!


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Nic Gareiss & Ultan O’Brien – “Droim na dTobar (a Leitrim Two-Step)”

One of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” dancer, musician, and dance researcher Nic Gareiss (he/they) has been hailed by the New York Times for his “dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance” and called “the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. Ultan O’Brien, meanwhile, (he/him) is a fiddle player, violist and composer hailing from County Clare, Ireland. O’Brien lends his fiddle playing to multiple musical projects, perhaps the most well known being SLow Moving Clouds. Together, the pair have created a piece that mixes mediums, “…exploring space, time, and texture in Irish traditional music and percussive dance, inspired by queer rurality [experienced] during Ultan’s time in County Leitrim, Ireland.”

Jim Andralis – “Something Dark Before I Sleep”

It’s always hard to know what songs are about unless a songwriter tells you directly or it’s somehow made obvious in the narrative. If we were to venture a guess, it sounds like Andralis is wrestling with shame on this new track that clocks in just beyond the two-minute-mark (but leaves a more substantial impact in its wake). Are the things that finally exhaust us and render us able to rest necessary evils? More than that? What if the things we like to explore sexually are of a darker nature—is that just one small aspect of who we are or does it hint at deeper flaws of character? Is it ok to get comfortable with that darkness and let it exist within us, or are we letting something unhealthy fester? These are just some of the questions that the song leaves us contemplating. As queer folks, we’ve already endured some inner maneuvering to accept our sexual natures, whatever they may be. But for some of us, there are more layers to the process.

Joel Brogon – “Bottle Half Empty”

Brogon’s turned in something mournful here, a plainly stated reflection of an emotional rock bottom. The song speaks for itself. IYKYK.

Christopher Treacy has been writing about music and the music industry for 20 years. He’s contributed to The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, and Berklee College of Music’s quarterly journal, as well as myriad LGBTQ+ outlets including the Edge Media Network, Between the Lines/Pride Source, Bay Windows and In Newsweekly. He’s the Managing Editor for CQ and lives in Waitsfield, VT.

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