I’m not sure what it is about gayers and pop music, but half the blogs I visit on a regular basis seem to be run by gay men (and one a couple of women I’m convinced are gay men e.g Poptastic)– but apart from the odd mention of Scissor Sisters or Rufus, there aren’t a lot of entries about music by LGBT artists.
Now the whole idea of an LGBT artists seems to raise eyebrows whenever I mention the lack of visible artists in the press – but I think that it is important that as a community (contention continues) that we support and raise the visibility of LGBT artists who not only have the courage to be out in their personal lives, but more importantly to sing songs with an unambiguous queer voice (e.g actually using ‘he’ rather than the more vague ‘you’).
If ever there was a genre suited to the ‘gay voice’ – torch songs aside (we’re so tragic dontcha know?) – country and western probably has to be it. Men talking about being men, spending time out on the frontier in the company of other men, an outfit that comes with accessories (hat? check. spurs? check. chaps? check.) – surely it didn’t take Brokeback Mountain to make the obvious connections?
The most popular gay C&W/folk artist around now has to be Mark Weigle. His songs are simple, mainly acoustic country-folk sung in a smooth baritone. He takes on subjects such as bears, living with AIDS and even watersports with a gentle humour and simplicity.
His songs may not rate that highly on the ‘cool’ meter, but I have to admit that I get a tingle when I hear him sing love songs to another man, or sing about an older gay men looking back at his life and his loves. It isn’t often that those emotions are expressed musically and certainly not with the clarity and conviction that Mark Weigle brings to the songs.
Whilst I recognise the mixture of folk, country and queer lyrics may not be for everyone, if artists like Garth Brooks, Joan Baez or even at times Ani Difranco ever appear on your playlist, then I would definitely recommend giving Mark Weigle a go.
MP3: Mark Weigle – Jo and Libby (Expired)
MP3: Mark Weigle – Love Song to a Stranger (Expired)
MP3: Mark Weigle – Cody (Expired)
MP3: Mark Weigle – Out (Expired)
MP3: Mark Weigle – Hidden Live Track (Expired)
bonus MP3: Willie Nelson – Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond Of Each Other) (Expired)
buy: Mark Weigle Albums