Raul Najera, Unsplash

The Queer Country Round Up Tour Comes to New Orleans

12:00 March 18, 2022
By: Frances Deese

The Round Up Tour will be coming to New Orleans on Monday, March 21. Always known as a music town, New Orleans serves as a great stop for The Round Up Tour, a revue style tour featuring some of country's most exciting queer artists. Lavender Country, the world's first gay country band will be one of the groups. Paisley Fields, Austin Lucas, and Mali Obomsawin, will also be performing along with local artists Ever More Nest and Joy Clark at the Carnaval Lounge. Located at 2227 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117, doors will open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and food will be available. Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test is required.

In the past couple years, artists have been redefining what country music means. From the emergence of Kasey Musgraves who has helped reimagined what the genre sounds like, to revitalization of The Chicks who have shown that country is more than just an old boys club, the scene is now a space more open to different interpretations and audiences. While it hasn't always been the most inviting space for the LGBTQ community and still has a way to go, artists such as Lil Nas X and the masked Orville Peck, are showing that this group deserves space in this scene. The "yee-haw moment" trend that has come about in the last few years is here to stay, challenging the conservative traditions of country music.

While recent artists have helped break the mold for what it means to represent and love country music, they are not the first ones to do so. Lavender Country is led by Patrick Haggerty and has been described as "the original queer country trailblazer." Their self-titled album debuted in 1973, and since then, a reissue of the album and prize-winning documentary in 2014 has helped them connect with a new generation of fans. When interviewed in 2021 by Billboard Magazine, Haggerty said, "Just because we aren't household names doesn't mean we haven't made our mark in history." Their second album, Blackberry Rose, had a proper release of February 18 of this year, and there is much more to come from this groundbreaking group.

Other artists in this tour include Paisley Fields, which are described by Karen and the Sorrows, Karen Pittelman, as, "unapologetic in pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration in the unexpected." The group's lead singer, James Wilson, is a native of Iowa, and is inspired by classic country but also wants the band's lyrics to reflect modern times. Also performing is Austin Lucas who is described by Pitchfork in February 2021 as quite unique where they write, "Americana, punk, and folk all attract their fair share of misfits but there's no one quite like him." The final act Mali Obomsawin is described by NPR as, "It's Buckland, Burke and Obomsawin's skill at shifting and sharpening vantage points and fine-tuning tone and inflection that holds all these threads together."

This tour is sure to delight, whether you're a die-hard country music fan, or new to the scene and want to see what it's all about. The local music project, Ever More Fest, by Louisiana songwriter Kelcy Mae Wilburn is alt-country that "builds houses of emotion across a warm, Southern landscape." Another homegrown local, Joy Clark will also be performing in a style that's described as "a bluesy bayou vibe with a splash of folk sensibility and a dash of alternative appeal" that "transcends both age and the ordinary" You'll want to purchase the affordable tickets for just a $8 cover before they're sold out at: https://bit.ly/3tdoKtz

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