Cover for GoldinPerschbacher: Queer Country. Click for larger image

Queer Country

Searching for a place within country and Americana music

Though frequently ignored by the music mainstream, queer and transgender country and Americana artists have made essential contributions as musicians, performers, songwriters, and producers. Queer Country blends ethnographic research with analysis and history to provide the first in-depth study of these artists and their work. Shana Goldin-Perschbacher delves into the careers of well-known lesbian artists like k.d. lang and Amy Ray and examines the unlikely success of singer-songwriter Patrick Haggerty, who found fame forty years after releasing the first out gay country album. She also focuses on later figures like nonbinary transgender musician Rae Spoon and renowned drag queen country artist Trixie Mattel; and on recent breakthrough artists like Orville Peck, Amythyst Kiah, and chart-topping Grammy-winning phenomenon Lil Nas X. Many of these musicians place gender and sexuality front and center even as it complicates their careers. But their ongoing efforts have widened the circle of country/Americana by cultivating new audiences eager to connect with the artists’ expansive music and personal identities.

Detailed and one-of-a-kind, Queer Country reinterprets country and Americana music through the lives and work of artists forced to the margins of the genre's history.

Publication supported by a grant from the AMS 75 PAYS Fund of the American Musicological Society, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Shana Goldin-Perschbacher is an assistant professor of music studies in the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.

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