Lavender Country

Patrick Haggerty released the remarkable self-titled album Lavender Country in 1973. It's a breezy, old-school-outlaw country record that's since been tagged as the first of its kind recorded by an openly gay man. The 10-song collection, put together with the help of the Seattle gay and lesbian community, sold 1,000 copies at the time, but the 2014 reissue by the North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors has contributed to an unexpected resurgence. It's easy to see why: These songs are played with a great 70s country twang, and their politics resonate way past the final notes, especially in today's culture of expanding equalities...

Pitchfork: Has it ever bothered you that people less familiar with the context or the history focus on a song like "Cryin' These Cocksucking Tears"?

PH: Let me talk about that for a minute. [laughs] "Cocksucking Tears" is both the boon and the bane of Lavender Country. That's what everybody remembers and that's what everybody refers to, but it really wasn't necessarily our intent. That was the song that got my lesbian friend kicked off the radio in 1974 for playing it. That's the one that was put on YouTube by some anonymous person, and then ended up at Paradise of Bachelors, who dug into it further and found out what it was. So "Cocksucking Tears" has been the leading song on Lavender Country, like it or not, all along. But there's a lot more to Lavender Country than "Cocksucking Tears". [Pitchfork]

Lavender Country, the project of Patrick Haggerty whose 1973 album is (as the quote above points out) widely considered the first openly gay country music album and was reissued this year, will be celebrating that reissue this fall on his first tour in four decades. A few dates were already announced, and now a batch of East Coast dates were added including one happening in NYC on December 10 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/26) at noon.

All dates are listed, with a recent live video of Lavender Country in LA, a mini-documentary on his story, and a stream of "Cryin' These Cocksucking Tears" from the reissue, below...

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Lavender Country -- 2014 Tour Dates
Fri Nov 21, 2014 - St. Louis, MO :: Billiken Club
Sat Nov 22, 2014 - Grinnell, IA :: Gardner Lounge - Grinnell College
Sun Nov 23, 2014 - Chicago, IL :: Lincoln Hall
Mon Nov 24, 2014 - Minneapolis, MN :: Cedar Cultural Center
Fri Nov 28, 2014 - Seattle, WA :: Tractor Tavern
Sun Dec 7, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA :: Boot & Saddle
Tue Dec 9, 2014 - Washington, DC :: The Hamilton
Wed Dec 10, 2014 - New York, NY :: Bowery Ballroom
Thu Dec 11, 2014 - Boston, MA :: Great Scott