nyc

Love and Liberty for All: The United States of Gaymerica

 

This week I wanted to write about the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. Many people predicted the decision would come Thursday morning. I, like the rest of gay America, waited with baited breath for the decision.

I also waited to write my weekly blog, anticipating the outcome. This morning the Supreme Court announced it ruled 5-4 that marriage is a right for all US citizens. It is a huge victory. Every state in the USA must allow and recognize all same-sex couples have the right to get married.

The news is still sinking in. Today is a historic day we will remember and talk about for the rest of our lives. There’s a line from a country song that comes to mind, “If you don’t love it, leave it.” That line takes on a new meaning today. I like the sound of it even more.

The fate of gay couples across America was in the hands of the 9 Supreme Court Justices. And today the court guaranteed them the right to marry.

The attitudes towards the LGBTQ community have changed enormously since the first state legalized marriage way back in 2004. And now 11 years later, every US citizen in every state has a right to marry, gay or straight.

Last night, The Paisley Fields played a set at the Queer Music Festival in the West Village. The West Village is considered one of the birthplaces of the gay rights movement. Just down the street from the show, the Stonewall Riots took place 46 years ago.

With Nick Deutsch last night, another performer at the Queer Music Festival. 

With Nick Deutsch last night, another performer at the Queer Music Festival. 

I awoke yesterday morning hoping our performance would also be a celebration of victory from the Supreme Court ruling. Still, we waited.

I spoke about the SCOTUS decision from the stage. When I announced the next song was dedicated to my husband, whom I married in NYC, cheers erupted from the audience. I was surprised and humbled by the outpouring of support.

I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an outsider. Last night, I was overwhelmed by the warmth we received from friends and new faces in the crowd. They cheered the band on and sang along with our songs. It was a phenomenal night and a great show.

It’s time for people in this country to realize LGBTQ people are human beings, who deserve to be treated as such. We deserve equality, and we deserve respect.

I am elated the court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Not because of any political bullshit, but simply because we deserve equality.

NYC Pride is this weekend. Let’s celebrate this victory, celebrate life and love each other. It’s been a long road, but today we took a huge step in the right direction, thanks to the decision handed down from our Supreme Court Justices. I want to wish all of you a happy and safe pride.

The Paisley Fields’ song “Windows Fogged Up In Your Pickup Truck” is the love song I wrote for my husband. Download it exclusively through bandcamp: https://thepaisleyfields.bandcamp.com and watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Gy0q07fyA

God Bless Gaymerica!

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.