Lavender Country’s “Blackberry Rose” – the 2022 follow up to the first gay country music album released in 1973
Lavender Country is led by principal songwriter Patrick Haggerty, and Blackberry Rose is the band’s first album in nearly fifty 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 one 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 Patrick 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.
Patrick gives some background on the album below.
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 Trixie Mattel.
Lavender Country was recognized in 1999 by the Country Music Hall of Fame for its contribution to the history of country music, and the self-titled album was re-issued in 2014 to much acclaim and fanfare, including a Best New Reissue review by Pitchfork, features in RuPaul’s Drag Race, and a full modern ballet being choreographed and performed based on Lavender Country’s songs.
1. I Can’t Shake The Stranger Out Of You
2. Gay Bar Blues
3. Leave All Disillusions Behind
4. Red Dress
5. Sweet Showman
6. Clara Fraser, Clara Fraser
7. Lament Of A Wyoming Housewife
8. Blackberry Rose
9. Stand On Your Man
10. Don’t Buy Her No More Roses
Available from Don Giovanni Records
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.