The ’70s were a groundbreaking time for country music—but few innovators were as fearless as Patrick Haggerty. As the singer-songwriter at the front of Lavender Country, he released the pioneering, openly gay group’s self-titled album in 1973. With songs like “Come Out Singing,” “Straight White Patterns,” and “Cryin’ These Cocksucker Tears”—the last of which can be heard below—the album showcased Haggerty’s wit, heart, and outspoken grace as he sang about homosexuality and liberation in a musical environment that was less than inviting. Lavender Country is also simply a beautiful piece of ’70s country, mildly psychedelic and with hints of rustic folk. As Haggerty says in the 32-page chapbook that accompanies the new, deluxe reissue of the album, “Lavender Country is a good picture, a good lyrical photograph, of the personal and political issues that were on our minds at the time—that’s what I set out for the songs to do.”
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