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Lavender Country: The Story of the First Openly Gay Country Music Album

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For more information and to order the album: http://www.paradiseofbachelors.com/pob-12 http://www.paradiseofbachelors.com/lavender-country See Lavender Country live for the first time in 15 years in L.A. at the Church on York on March 16, 2014: http://wp.me/p2TWC8-1mu http://thechurchonyork.com/ (c) 2014 Paradise of Bachelors Produced, written, and directed by Michael Thomas Connolly Interview by Devon Leger Thanks to Patrick Haggerty, Bobby Inocente (guitar), and Rober Taylor (harmonica) Widely recognized as the first openly gay country music album—and cited as such even by Nashville institutions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and CMT—the landmark self-titled 1973 LP by Lavender Country stands as nothing less than an artifact of courage, a sonic political protest document of enormous power, clarity, and grace. At once a scathing indictment of the injustices perpetrated on the homosexual community, a proud proclamation of gay identity, and a love letter of bracing intimacy and eroticism, the album radically appropriates the signifiers of the conservative country genre, queering its heteronormative vocabulary into a deeply personal language. Songwriter, singer, and guitarist Patrick Haggerty, a fearless first-generation gay liberation activist and artist, seasons his songs with Yippie deviousness; in the manner of the Cockettes, the laughs both sharpen and sweeten the impact. To our ears the inimitable aesthetics and glimpses of cockeyed humor recall some ethereal psych-folk nexus of the Flatlanders and the Holy Modal Rounders as much as any standard country and western forebears, rendering the biting poetry in an even more otherworldly and timeless light. The record reflects Haggerty's experiences: his upbringing on a tenant dairy farm in rural Washington, on the Canadian border; his dismissal from the Peace Corps on the spurious grounds of his sexuality; and his righteous struggles as an outraged young gay man navigating the Pacific Northwest in the immediate aftermath of Stonewall. He designed Lavender Country as a vehicle for what he deems "The Information": valid cultural communications intended to resonate with those unable to access similar resources. (Playing "Cryin' These Cocksucking Tears," one of the indisputably great country song titles ever, cost a brave Seattle DJ her FCC license.) This deluxe reissue includes includes a 32pp chapbook with an oral history by Haggerty, never before published color photos, a download code (vinyl version only), and full lyrics to these ten moving songs of gay liberation. + The first openly gay country album + First-ever vinyl reissue of this countercultural classic + Includes 32 pp. chapbook with an oral history by Patrick Haggerty, curatorial essays by PoB and Jeremy Cargill, and never published color photos + Available on 150g virgin vinyl, in a deluxe limited edition, as well as on CD and digital formats + Vinyl edition includes digital download coupon + When purchased from our website or iTunes, digital edition includes digital liner notes chapbook