Home Read Albums Of The Week: Lavender Country | Blackberry Rose

Albums Of The Week: Lavender Country | Blackberry Rose

Gay country icon Patrick Haggerty returns with his first new songs in nearly 50 years.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Blackberry Rose is Patrick Haggerty and Lavender Country’s first album in nearly 50 years. Their debut self-titled album released in 1973 is universally recognized as the first ever country album to be released by an openly gay artist.

While Lavender Country was little known outside the Pacific Northwest in their time and only released their sole self-distributed album in 1973, they created a genuine cultural milestone; the first openly gay country album. Sponsored by the original Stonewall activists of the Gay Community Social Services of Seattle, Lavender Country’s self-titled release was the brainchild of Haggerty, whose experiences as a gay liberation activist during the Stonewall era shaped him into a tenacious political savant.

Radically defying the conservative norms of country music, Haggerty turned to Seattle’s gay community for song topics that addressed a wide range of political and social concerns, including institutionalized oppression and divisions of the working class, as well as more personal subjects such as the complications of intimacy and sexual identity. The album marked the genesis moment of creation for the entire queer country movement that today is booming with the likes of Lil Nas X, Orville Peck, Brandi Carlile, Paisley Fields and more.

Lavender Country was recognized in 1999 by the Country Music Hall of Fame for their contribution to the history of country music, and the self-titled album was re-issued in 2014 to much acclaim and fanfare, including rave reviews, features in RuPaul’s Drag Race, and a full modern ballet being choreographed and performed based on Lavender Country’s songs.”