Welcome to Lavender Country, y’all! It’s been incredibly gratifying to see the accolades and respect lavished on this record and on Patrick Haggerty in particular, who most certainly deserves our praise and admiration. Thanks to everyone for your support! You can read earlier press citations here and here, and you can order the album here. For more international press on the album and Patrick’s story, including pieces by NPR, the CBC, The Guardian, Pitchfork, The Quietus, and The Boston Globe, read on. Please note that the next Lavender Country show on the books will be at Seattle Pride on June 29, on a parade float (!) and a MainStage performance.
Extraordinary gay anthems. The lyrics on Lavender Country are funny, furious, explicit and touching: the album’s impetus may have been political, but its content is deeply personal. Gay themes aside, Lavender Country is in many ways a classic country record, with its keening harmonies, rolling piano and cracked heart.
Fearless and unique. Even without the intriguing narrative, this is a re-issue that you need to hear. As soulful as it was revolutionary, Lavender Country filtered the country storytelling of Lee Hazlewood and the psych-folk of the Holy Modal Rounders through the theatrical lens of surrealist drag troupe The Cockettes.
Forty years on, the album holds up as a fascinating and somewhat psychedelic piece of music, full of spirit and spunk and often couched in humor that thinly veils the grit and anger underpinning the songs. Without any recognition from the establishment, it was a different strain of outlaw country right in line with that movement as it was crystallizing with Willie, Waylon, Merle, and Kristofferson.
A fascinating listen both in context and on its own. The album sounds like something Webb Pierce might have put out – Haggerty’s sharp twang isn’t dissimilar to Pierce. Lavender Country’s most effective weapon, however, is that which had no historical precedent: its lyrical content. This is brazenly out in a way few albums from the period across any genre could be… A small but significant reminder that love is universal, that it comes in many forms in many places, and that it doesn’t have to sound like Steve Grand.
The album’s stunning liner notes are as moving and powerful as the music itself.
Whether it’s the music or the story that draws you in, Lavender Country is one of the most fascinating releases of the year.