Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup With Sug Daniels, Devon Cole, and Sam Williams

By Christopher Treacy & Dale Geist

Sug Daniels

This week we’ve got a fine mix of sweet and hot, chill and fire, laid-back and in-your-face. All queer, all country(ish), all killer, and delightfully schizophrenic. The Weather Channel tells us that chances are good you’ve got a reason to beware the Ides of March. Don’t worry: we got you.

Sug Daniels – “When I’m Gone”

Daniels has unleashed an infectious paradise with her latest, out the week before last on Don Giovanni. More jazz leaning than prior singles, “When I’m Gone” floats by on a tropic island breeze with some intricate hip-sway and percussive punctuation, led by Daniels’ confident proclamations of love. Her debut for Don Giovanni, presumably where she’ll remain for the time being, is a gooey revelation steeped in otherworldly grooves. This is the stuff the repeat button was made for.

Mya Byrne – “Come On”

Mya channels her inner Suzi Quatro with this glammy rocker, complete with fuzzy guitar, as she serves up an ultimatum to someone that needs to shape up of ship out. Rhinestone Tomboy arrives April 28 on the new KRS Nashville imprint.

Sam Williams – “Lost Its Allure”

Sometimes we get to where we think we wanted to go only to realize we have no business being there. Or, at least, that’s what our brains tell us. The new Sam Williams single covers this tricky emotional terrain while adding in grief and self doubt… it’s a powerful, plaintive ballad, but Williams writes with the candor that’s becoming his trademark. Honesty is always the best policy.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Addressing the song on his social media channels, he wrote: “This is a really important song for me to write and put out. This is for anyone who feels like life sometimes loses its sparkle. As some of you know I lost most of my family in a two year span – RIP KT and Mama – and it’s an ongoing, indescribable pain of not knowing where to turn. It’s hard to feel like a star when your world isn’t what it was anymore. Grief is an ongoing cycle and I hope this touches anyone who can relate.”

Devon Cole – “Call U After Rehab”

The follow up single to last year’s “Hey Cowboy” doesn’t disappoint. It’s as insightful as it is addictive and cleverly written, Cole illuminates that tough spot where a romance comes along that could provide the smoke screen you need to avoid dealing with your own problems, but you know it’s worth more than that. In the end, Cole takes the high road (no pun intended), explaining all the great ways she could bury her troubles within the construct of the relationship, but ultimately decides to ask, “Can I call you after rehab?”. She made the right choice.

Rufus Wainwright & Brandi Carlile – “Down in the Willow Garden”

Wainwright and Carlile pair up for this, the first advance track from his upcoming Folkocracy album, which arrives on June 2 and features a stunning cast of guests including ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, and Chaka Khan. Whether the album is all traditional folk songs reimagined or if it will contain any original material is unclear, but no doubt it will bear Wainwright’s indelible creative stamp regardless.

“I chose us a cheery little number — not! The song is so blatantly brutal and masochistic that I had to sing it with a woman,” he told Rolling Stone. “Sadly, we still live in a violent world. The amazing thing about so many folk songs is that, content wise, they sound very contemporary. Think of the gun crime in the States right now.”

Brandi Carlile commented that singing with Rufus was like, “watching birds swirl around together instinctively in flight.”

Brian Falduto – “When Your Home Don’t Feel Like Home (Stripped)”

Falduto has just released Gay Country, his debut album, which, while clocking in at just eight tracks, is packed with rock-solid pop-country tunes, many of them specifically taking on themes of being queer and country. In this “stripped” version of one of them, Falduto’s crushed-velvet croon, backed only by electric guitar, puts across the soul-deep hurt of feeling like a stranger in your own home.

Hermatite – “Run Devil Run”

Soundtrack to a Western gothic horror flick? Anyone with a haunted soul – I’m assuming that’s all of us – will be powerless to resist the minor-key Western metal layered thick on this track. Hematite, consisting of vocalist Davey Muise (Vanna, Trove) and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Gaultier (Big 50, To Speak Of Wolves, He is Legend) are slated to release their debut EP, Speak of the Devil, on 3/31. We hope we’re prepared.