gay songwriter

New Paisley Music Coming Soon

Cover art for "Oh These Urban Fences..." by Julia McGinley 

Cover art for "Oh These Urban Fences..." by Julia McGinley 

After months of recording, mixing and mastering, I’m happy to announce The Paisley Field’s first studio EP is almost complete!

Recording Oh These Urban Fences… was a rewarding experience. It took a lot of hard work from a group of talented people. The studio we recorded in was quite possibly the best studio I’ve ever worked at.

The studio, Atomic Sound in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is a musician’s play land. The amount of gear available is incredible. I recorded on a Yamaha Grand, Hammond B3 (complete with leslie speaker!) and their 88 key vintage Rhodes.

The Neve VR 60 captured our lush country arrangements with the help of our fantastic producer Jeremy Moses Curtis. Oh These Urban Fences… features a Brooklyn Country mini orchestra with players on cello, mandolin, guitars, banjo, drums, bass, slide, lap steel, organ and of course, piano.

We recorded the EP in three days and mixed it in two. The songs are being mastered this week in Nashville.  

Pre-sales for Oh These Urban Fences… will begin on October 2nd.  Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on the release and to receive exclusive offers! Our listening party will be October 1st in Brooklyn, NY at Branded Saloon.

Check out some photos from the session below:

And The Paisleys Play On…

Andrew Gialanella, lead guitarist for The Paisley Fields

Andrew Gialanella, lead guitarist for The Paisley Fields

 

It’s not uncommon for bands to lose members. Lineup changes are difficult, but that is a reality of being in a band. Some of the most successful acts in popular music have an almost revolving door of members, bands like Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Paisley Fields have recently gone through some lineup changes. Rob Knopper has decided to leave the group to focus his efforts on classical music. Joe Kimple is pursuing other interests. I wish them success in their future endeavors.

But The Paisleys play on.

Fronting a six plus member band means juggling everyone’s schedules and managing commitments. It’s certainly not the sexiest part of the job. Planning our first tour, I learned how challenging it can be.

I explained to Marty Diamond, a booking agent for the Paradigm Group, that with busy schedules and a tight budget, it’s very difficult to play every show together in New York. Not to mention, it’s almost impossible to tour with the full band. I asked him about touring as a duo or trio.

His response was simple: “Portable and affordable. Do what you have to do.”

So how can a band build a fan base, stay true to their sound and still make a living? Portable and affordable.

Three of us hop in the Volvo and play stripped down sets on regional tours to smaller crowds. And we play together as a full band whenever we can.

Nobody said making it in the music business was easy. If it was everyone would be in a band. Losing two members is a difficult thing for a band.

Alex Feigin, rhythm guitarist and drummer for The Paisley Fields

Alex Feigin, rhythm guitarist and drummer for The Paisley Fields

But when one chapter ends, another begins. The Paisley Fields found some extremely talented musicians to join our gay little country band.  

I am thrilled to introduce the newest members of The Paisley Fields. Andrew Gialanella recently relocated from Nashville and joined the group as the lead guitarist. His playing rivals some of the best in the business.

Alex Feigin is alternating between rhythm guitar and drums for the band. She’s also a wicked beat boxer. Whenever we write our first country beat boxing tune, she will be our girl.

James Steiner joined The Paisley Fields on our last January tour. He plays mandolin and alternates on the drums with Alex.

We are still looking for a full time bass player, but in the meantime Jeremy Moses Curtis will provide bass parts on our EP. He is also producing the EP, due out later this summer.

Our sound is continuing to grow and evolve. Our look may change, but the music is always the most important part of being a Paisley. To play music and share it with others is the greatest gift. It’s something I will never take for granted.

On tour with James Steiner, mandolin player and drummer for The Paisley Fields. 

On tour with James Steiner, mandolin player and drummer for The Paisley Fields. 

Each day I get to bang my calloused fingers against those black and whites, sing some twang and connect with my friends on stage and in the audience makes me feel like the richest man alive.

If you haven’t noticed yet, our website is completely revamped. Big thanks to my friend/publicist/partner-in-crime Pam Dewey for all the hard work she put in getting this thing up. Have a look around. 

3 Reasons Gay Men Wouldn’t Go To A Miranda Lambert Concert

A couple weeks ago, I went to see Miranda Lambert at Madison Square Garden. She put on an incredible show, and we had a really fun evening. My good friend Nick Deutsch, a fellow singer/songwriter (check out his music in the link below), brought me along. It quickly became apparent that we were the only gay men within eye shot. Looking around arena, it was easy to see that this was a very hetero gathering.

Nick Deutsch and I ready for some country music in NYC

Nick Deutsch and I ready for some country music in NYC

Although I’m not entirely sure what her views are on the gay community, she does have a song called “All Kinds of Kinds” that seems to portray one of the characters, a cross dresser, in a positive light. I wasn’t surprised at the lack of a gay crowd at her concert. Though she does not come across as homophobic to me at all. So, in no particular order, here are the reasons I think gay men wouldn’t go to a Miranda Lambert concert.

1) Gay men can’t relate to, or simply don’t enjoy, her music.

Country music has made great strides in the past few years, but it’s no secret it isn’t the most accepting of genres. Many of my friends love country music, but our community as a whole is not known for their love of country music. It’s possible many of us just don’t really like or can’t relate to her brand of song.

2) Marketing departments aren’t interested in marketing towards the LGBTQ community.   

It’s very possible the marketing department at her label isn’t interested in attracting a gay following. Maybe they think having us at a concert would isolate the typical country fan. Or maybe they just don’t have any interest in targeting the gay market, even though our dollar bills are just as green as everyone else’s.

3) Fear of homophobia   

This is a very rational fear for everyone in the LGBTQ community. The majority of people who are out of the closet (and many who are not) have been the target of homophobia at some point in their lives. I have multiple times, and it’s a very frightening thing. That said, I didn’t experience any of that at the Miranda Lambert concert. In fact, I met several very nice people while waiting in line who promised to listen to The Paisley Fields.

Miranda Lambert on stage at Madison Square Garden

Miranda Lambert on stage at Madison Square Garden

So there you have it, 3 reasons I think gay men wouldn’t go to a Miranda Lambert concert. What are your thoughts? Comment below, and share this post on your social media. In the meantime, check out Nick Deutsch at http://www.nickdeutschmusic.com, and be sure to pick up his new album!

My New Blog: Thoughts on Being a Gay Musician and Songwriter in NYC

New York City has a long history of being a hub for aspiring musicians and songwriters. Before the Stonewall Riots of 1969, it was a place where transgender, gay, queer, lesbian, and bisexual people flocked to find a home where they can live openly. Though constantly changing, New York continues to be that place. As a gay musician and songwriter, there was much to compel me to move to Brooklyn. 

My husband and I on our honeymoon in Brazil, March 2015. 

My husband and I on our honeymoon in Brazil, March 2015. 

And now a new community has formed in our fair city. Gay singer/songwriters, bands and artists seem to be increasing exponentially in New York. It’s likely that we’ve always been here, but now we are more visible, forming communities to support each other. I am just one of many out artists living in New York.

In this weekly blog, I will discuss what it’s like to be a gay musician and songwriter. I encourage you to contact me with your questions and comments. I want to get the conversation going. You can post comments below, or email me directly at jameswilsonmusic @ gmail . com (no spaces).  I love hearing from fans and other LGBTQ artists all around the world.