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From Elle Hussey of  Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion:

 

QUEER APPALACHIA APRIL PLAYLIST

As one of the resident queers from Team Luck, being a part of an ever-changing event space
and community has allowed me to embrace a lot of the things I admittedly resented growing up
in Texas. Like so many others, I dreamed of places that were a little less country and a little
more rock ‘n’ roll, knowing I would be more likely to find acceptance there. In Luck, all that drifts
away. With our mission to not only honor, but challenge the legacies and traditions that came
before us, Luck’s inclusion of music outside of the traditional country stratosphere, and the
backbone of the Nelson family values - 1. Don’t be an asshole 2. Don’t be an asshole 3. Don’t
be a god damn asshole - I’ve personally been able to make a lot of peace and find a lot of love
for the place that makes me who I am. Hopefully our community can do the same for others,
too.
It’s an understatement to say things have changed for all of us in the past few weeks. With
everything feeling uncertain, we were honored to be able to get back to basics and share songs
that celebrate nostalgia, new artists, our southern roots, and, for me, being queer as a two dollar
bill.
 

PLAYLIST:

- Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other - Willie Nelson
Let me tell you something I know is true: Willie Nelson is as good as they come. He’s
had his fingers up flipping off the man since before most of us were born and we’re
damn proud to even be associated with him. “Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of
Each Other” was written by Latin country musician Ned Sublette in 1981, and the story
goes that a tape of the song ended up in Willie’s hands from a friend in the band at
Saturday Night Live. Willie released the tune in 2006 at the peak of Brokeback
Mountain’s fame and while it doesn’t get everything right, it’s a hilariously campy
representation of queer love in a world that doesn’t often include it. In an interview with
Time Magazine from that year he quips, “I thought it was the funniest goddamn song I'd
ever heard. I had it on the bus for 20 years, and people would come in and I'd play it. When
Brokeback come out, it just seemed like a good time to kick it out of the closet.” I’ll let you
come up with your own closet jokes here. The visual for this makes it even better.

- Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears - Lavender Country
Lavender Country wears the crown of the first openly gay country band with only one
eponymous album released independently in 1973, and again in 2014 on the Chapel
Hill-based record label Paradise of Bachelors. “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears” was
the song that brought Lavender Country back to life. Though Lavender Country is

certainly a community effort, the man at the helm, Patrick Haggerty, grew up on a dairy
farm outside of Portland, participated in drag as young as age 13, and went on to
become a politician and social activist for gay rights. This man is iconic in every sense of
the word. Get to know more about Lavender Country here:
https://lavendercountrymusic.com/our-story/


- Long Time Gone - Dixie Chicks
There’s no denying the Dixie Chicks are capital “G” Gay. I remember making my mom
drive me into town so we could go to Walmart and get a copy of 2002s Home on CD
when the album released and I wore that shit out. This song to me is about the cyclical
relationship between queers and their hometowns. I know not everyone has the privilege
to move somewhere else in search of new life, but sometimes leaving is what you need
to figure out what you have in the first place.


- You’re the One that Taught Me How to Swing - Dolly Parton
Dearest Dolly. We all owe her so much. How to choose? If you think about Dolly singing
this to her first queer lover, it all makes so much more sense.


- Amor Prohibido - Selena
We couldn’t leave our Tejana Queen Selena Quintanilla-Perez off this list. And truly
what’s gayer than forbidden love? RIP Selenas.


- Goat Head - Brittany Howard
Brittany Howard is a force of nature. Her newest work, a debut solo album titled “Jamie”
after her late sister, encapsulates her experience as a biracial, queer, southern woman
in ways we hadn’t yet seen through the Alabama Shakes. “Goat Head” flows with such
an undeniable groove that you might not notice the emotional questions Howard asks,
including the true story from her childhood that inspired the song: “Who slashed my dad's
tires and put a goat head in the back? I guess I wasn't supposed to know that, too bad”.


- Freak Like Me - Caroline Rose
I saw Caroline Rose for the first time a couple years ago at the High Watt in Nashville
right before her last album, Loner, came out. Rose’s energy was infectious and the
album quickly became one of my most played of the year. This time Rose is back with a
new record, Superstar, that “tells a story of someone who leaves behind everything they
(gen neutral) know and love in search for something bigger and more glamorous. It’s a
story about losing yourself but also finding the brazen self-confidence to follow a dream.”
according to Rose. I’m willing to bet Superstar will be one of my most played this year,
too.

- Out of the Blue - Katie Pruitt

Over the past few years Luck has partnered with Southwest Airlines to extend their Artist
on the Rise program. Last year, Katie Pruitt was our 2019 Artist on the Rise and kicked
off that year’s Luck Reunion on the main stage. One year later, Pruitt’s debut album,
Expectations, is out and explores the experience of a closeted kid growing up in Georgia
through a folk/rock lens. Her powerhouse voice and lyrics pack an emotional punch that
hurts so good every time. Lesbian love songs forever.


- The Way I Talk - S.G. Goodman
S. G. Goodman was one of the artists I was most looking forward to seeing at this year’s
now-postponed Luck Reunion. “The Way I Talk” is the first single off her upcoming
record, Old Time Feeling, out May 29. The song and accompanying video reflect on the
strains her local farming community in Kentucky experiences regarding legal parameters
and big business. Goodman’s voice is poignant and relevant as ever now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNBzPrFTPtE


- Queen of the Rodeo - Orville Peck
There’s no denying Orville Peck is the pop-culture cowboy of our dreams. Peck was also
slated to perform at this year’s Luck Reunion and even made it halfway through a “Road
to Luck” tour with us before everything was postponed. The video for “Queen of the
Rodeo” is nothing but gorgeous with Peck in his signature fringed mask, long shots of
Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, TX (!!!!), drag queens (including Austin’s own Louisiana
Purchase), rodeo clowns, and a heartfelt closing dedication: “for all the LGBTQ and
two-spirit community members working in and performing in rodeos, ranches, and
roadhouses across North America.” I’m not misty-eyed, you are.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VoHzlALxp0


- Who I Am - Jessica Andrews
If you didn’t scream this at the top of your lungs in the early aughts what were you even
doing? Pop country was prime time and this song is corny in all the right ways. Volume
up.


- Angel From Montgomery - Aaron Lee Tasjan ft. Lilly Hiatt
ALT is the queer king of Alternative Country and at his feet we bow down. Both Hiatt and
Tasjan have been integral parts of the Luck community for many years and we’ve been
lucky enough to work with them on many projects including these sessions from a few
years back. This one’s for John.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUSblmASZts


- I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend - Ezra Furman
The first year I worked for Luck, Ezra Furman was on the bill for the Reunion and it
sparked a love affair with her extensive discography. Furman’s range is incredible. From
pop to rock to punk to blues - she’s got it all. Furman has also written all the original
music for Netflix’s hit show “Sex Education” –– which if you haven’t seen, it’s brilliant.

This song and video encapsulate that all-too-familiar feeling of yearning for something
that seems just out of reach. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e1h31hVGSw

Find out more about Luck Reunion at www.luckreunion.com or @luckreunion. Tune in for Luck
Presents Prime Cuts: a live, cook-along event featuring award-winning chefs and musical guests
Fridays at 6pm cst at www.luckreunion.com/primecuts and for Hello Walls: a music-discovery
focused mini-series Sunday nights at 8pm cst at www.luckreunion.com/hellowalls.


Each week on Prime Cuts, a host chef will present a make-at-home recipe, offering the
opportunity for viewers to tune in with questions throughout the program. Don’t miss the
premiere episode this Friday, April 10 featuring award-winning host chef Michael Fojtasek,
who will be joined by musical guest Shakey Graves.


Hello Walls invite a host artist to curate a virtual open mic showcasing their favorite artists; all
streamed from performers' respective isolation stations. Viewers have the ability to call in and
speak to the host in real time, as well as learn more about the featured artists. The first episode
welcomed Deer Tick's John McCauley who presented short performances from a roster of
hand-selected acts.

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