Lavender Country, the seminal band led by Patrick Haggerty who released what’s widely considered the first openly-gay album in country music history, have returned to the scene with a new recording of their track “I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You.”
The new version is smoother and more produced than the original, a lonesome lament about seeking connection with closeted partners that was recently covered by Trixie Mattel, but it doesn’t lose the track’s tongue-in-cheek edge. Check the new recording out below:
The single release is accompanied by the announcement of Blackberry Rose and Other Songs & Sorrows, Lavender Country’s first full-length release since their self-titled 1973 debut.
Though Lavender Country slipped into obscurity upon release, it began to gain well-deserved traction after a 2014 reissue by the label Paradise of Bachelors. The album has gone on to influence modern-day out-and-proud country musicians Orville Peck and Paisley Fields.
Fields also tours with the band today alongside Mya Byrne and other collaborators, and recorded the track “Stay Away From My Man” with Haggerty for his 2020 album Electric Park Ballroom.
Out via Don Giovanni Records on Feb. 18, even the track list of Blackberry Rose and Other Songs and Sorrows promises wittiness and tearjerkers in turn. There’s a Tammy Wynette-inspired track called “Stand On Your Man,” as well as a song called “Gay Bar Blues” and another called “Lament of a Wyoming Housewife” that echoes Brokeback Mountain.
Lavender Country - Blackberry Rose Track Listing:
1. “I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You”
2. “Gay Bar Blues”
3. “Leave All Disillusions Behind”
4. “Red Dress”
5. “Sweet Shadow Man”
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”