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Music by lesbian singer-songwriter


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Showing 1-25 of 81 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 16, 2012 8:12:30 AM PST
Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself on the music boards. My name is Karen Kay Whitley. I'm the singer and guitarist in The Mercies. If you like Melissa Etheridge or the Indigo Girls, you'll probably like my music, too. The title track is called "Save Me", and it's about the struggles of growing up when you know you're gay. The last track called "Dear God" is a bit controversial. Give it a listen, tell a friend, or give it a review. Thanks, Karen

Save Me

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 8:29:04 AM PST
dallas says:
Karen
Not bad you sound country.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 8:53:23 AM PST
dragonfly says:
You sing like Etheridge, not that it's bad but you should develop your
own style. I liked Sunny Girl the best because of the lyrics.
I am the T of LGBT.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 11:31:49 AM PST
Thanks for listening! I am from Texas...and...the album was recorded in Nashville. I guess that might make it country. Lol.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 11:45:28 AM PST
Just a question, but, do you consider yourself a Lesbian who happens to be a singer-songwriter or a singer-songwriter who happens to be a Lesbian. To self-identify as a 'Lesbian singer-songwriter' could limit your fan-base. I listen and buy music based on if I like it, but, some people are naturally turned off by someone who wears their sexuality on their sleeve. Unless all of your music is about your sexuality, who cares who you are attracted to? You should be trying to expand the number of people who are attracted to your music, unless you want to be a niche artist. Please explicate. Thanks, and good luck.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 11:55:00 AM PST
Severin says:
Your voice reminds me more of the grown-up Tiffany. I like the sound, the organ adds to the mix, you don't hear it much on modern records.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 12:14:10 PM PST
stevign says:
Well at least you sound better than the other "Mercies".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYYyln63HdE

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 12:19:00 PM PST
stevign says:
re: "I am from Texas"

We held a meeting and after a long and painful deliberation, we decided not to hold that against you. Could you get Jerry Jeff Walker's autograph for us? Thanks in advance. ;~)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 7:53:15 AM PST
Hi Dragonfly, thanks for listening. I'm glad you liked Sunny Girl. I'm not trying to be like Melissa, but I do have a raspy voice kind of like hers. In a few months, I will be releasing my first solo album, and I think it sounds like "me" - no big studio production - just me and my acoustic guitar. Stay in touch! Thanks, Karen

MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/karenkwhitley
ReverbNation - http://www.reverbnation.com/karenkaywhitley
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Kay-Whitley/378401938921529

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:06:50 AM PST
Hi Timothy, thanks for your thoughtful post. I am lesbian who is a singer-writer, and a singer-songwriter who is a lesbian. I don't think those identifications have to be mutually exclusive of one another. I realize that "self-identifying" as a "lesbian singer-songwriter" could limit my fan-base, and in some ways, that's the point. Here's why self-identifying is important to me...

Out in the real world doing normal everyday things, people just assume that I'm heterosexual. If I happen to say something that reveals that I'm a lesbian, the way people treat me changes...often for the worst. This actually hurts me. I would rather let people know upfront that I'm a lesbian, so there is no awkward moment when the other person "realizes" that I'm a "L-E-S-B-I-A-N".

I can tell you that there have been many times (more recently), that people have had absolutely no reaction or change in behavior after finding out that I'm a lesbian. This has been wonderful because I feel like I'm being treated like a person.

So, I don't think that I'm "wearing my sexuality on my sleeve". I spent many, many years not revealing my sexuality upfront as an artist. I get tired of people always assuming that I'm straight. So, just recently, I started letting people know upfront. The result is that I feel more at ease because I don't have to worry about that "awkward" moment when a question is asked or I say something that reveals my sexuality and then, the whole relationship changes.

If you're not gay, you might not know what I'm talking about. And, that's okay. I hope that I've explained how I feel in a way that you can understand.

You said, "Unless all of your music is about your sexuality, who cares who you are attracted to?" Well, I spent many years writing "generic, universal" type songs to "hide" my sexuality. I am currently working on a new concept album that deals only with being a lesbian in the world.

You can keep in touch with me on...
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/karenkwhitley
ReverbNation - http://www.reverbnation.com/karenkaywhitley
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Kay-Whitley/378401938921529

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:09:51 AM PST
Hi Stevign, before I clicked the link, I thought you may have found an older video of me performing the title track from the album. Here's the link on YouTube. This is what the song "Save Me" sounded like with just guitar and bass - no band - no production.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5lMo4jYQ6c

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:11:29 AM PST
Dear Stevign,

Thanks for not holding "being from Texas" against me...LOL. I moved recently to New Mexico, so I'm calling NM home now!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:15:20 AM PST
Hi Donald J. Nelson, I never though of a "grown-up Tiffany" comparison - that's cool. The organ is a vintage Hammond B3 played by the #1 organ player in Nashville...Phil Madeira...in fact, he was nominated for two Grammy awards this year. I love the organ, too!

He also played electric guitar on the album. He produced the album, too. I co-wrote one of the songs with him - "Missing You in Memphis" - I wrote the lyrics and most of the music along with the bass player in the band. Phil co-wrote the music to polish the song. The lyrics won a contest in "American Songwriter" magazine before I ever recorded the music.

Thanks for listening. Stay in touch!

MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/karenkwhitley
ReverbNation - http://www.reverbnation.com/karenkaywhitley
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Kay-Whitley/378401938921529

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 9:13:59 AM PST
Let's just hope Meade Skelton/Ernest P. Haufe, etc. doesn't try to sell his music by turning Lesbian!! Hope he's out peddling his cd and won't see this.

Good for you, but I'm not a fan of Melissa or the Indigo Girls.

I like Mary Gauthier.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 9:54:42 AM PST
D. Mok says:
Karen, why feel the need to emphasize your sexual orientation? It has no bearing on your music. I've written a song from the point of view of a gay man, and I'm not gay. For me, putting that big label upfront just cheapens it because now it's some sort of selling point. Brandi Carlile's 2005 debut album knocked my socks off, and it wasn't until years later that I found out she was a lesbian. It was utterly irrelevant. Don't lower your standards to please those who are too immature to deal with how people want to live and love.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 10:06:26 AM PST
S. Rice says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 11:13:29 AM PST
D. Mok says:
Yeah, I read her response. I don't agree with the choice, but that doesn't mean I think her reasons are unfounded. It's also because I've spent years in the art scene, and many a time I've worked with gay/lesbian artists who are so militant about it that they treat you like you're not as good as them if you're not gay. So this kind of overt labelling bugs me, because I feel like it's surrendering to the marginalization, while also drawing a line that doesn't need to be drawn.

Yes, as Karen describes, sometimes the listener draws the line, but that's the listener's problem, not the performer's.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 11:19:52 AM PST
Hi Rizzo, I really like Mary Gauthier, but I just discovered her a few weeks ago! Can you believe that? Did you know that she has a new album. I found it on CDBaby (the same company I use for digital distribution).

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MaryGauthier

What did you think of my songs? Did you like any of them? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 11:26:30 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 11:42:38 AM PST
Thanks for the Mary CD tip. I'll also search for Mary Gauthier's newest cd.

Your music is good, and doesn't sound like Etheridge. The voice is not quite unique but good, the music is very good too.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 11:47:20 AM PST
S. Rice says:
D. Mok says: "many a time I've worked with gay/lesbian artists who are so militant about it that they treat you like you're not as good as them if you're not gay."

Then be honest. It's not irrelevant. You have a problem with gay people because of the way you've been treated because you're not gay. Bizarro.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 12:05:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012 12:06:34 PM PST
Johnny Bee says:
Hi Karen

I couldn't give a crap about your sexuality and 'Save Me' sounds really good - definitely a wee bit of the 'Indigo Girls' going on there. However, 'Dear God' is too in yer face, if you're looking for a wide or mainstream audiance that is. Keep up the good work, though!

Mary Gauthier's last album release was Live at Blue Rock for anyone that's interested.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 12:12:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012 12:55:59 PM PST
D. Mok says:
> Then be honest. It's not irrelevant. You have a problem with gay people because of the way you've been treated because you're not gay.

It *is* irrelevant. You're twisting my words to fit your own preconceptions. I listened to Brandi Carlile regardless of her sexual orientation. I love George Michael's voice, and I'd love it no less (or more) if we found out he's heterosexual. Nor do I have a problem with him posing seductively with women in the '80s. It's about a persona, like a heterosexual actor playing a gay man in a film. It's not "dishonest", because musicians have no obligation to be exactly the way they are in their performance as they are in real life. I also don't have a problem relating to George Michael's songs, or Brandi Carlile's, or Elton John's, or Freddie Mercury's. Why can't I imagine myself as a man who is attracted to another man (or a woman attracted to a woman) in a song? I don't feel threatened. It's about human emotion -- all sides of it. What I have a problem with is somebody like Katy Perry, who used "lesbian chic" as a crass marketing tool with "I Kissed a Girl", which used lesbianism as a gimmick, like a bad porn pictorial. It didn't help that the song sucked, and was grotesquely overexposed.

I don't agree with Karen's choice of putting up the label, but it has zero bearing on how I would respond to her music. How she labels herself is *marketing*, not music, and how I regard her marketing strategies is not relevant to what her music is like.

Of course, if gays and lesbians feel the need to put that aspect of themselves upfront, it's usually because society has tried to make them feel less than what they are, so they have to overcompensate to take control of the label. At the same time, it's important to remember that to a person who *doesn't* have a stigma about it, the overcompensation has the effect of overemphasis.

Karen, I don't think you sound like Melissa Etheridge, either. Vocally, Dar Williams comes to mind, while your instrumental backing reminds me of Lucinda Williams or Toby Lightman. Melissa Etheridge is a lot bluesier and a lot less country.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 1:04:08 PM PST
stevign says:
re: "I am currently working on a new concept album that deals only with being a lesbian in the world."

Sounds like something you've been wanting to do for a long time. I wouldn't worry about questions, Dylan was asked repeatedly what his songs meant and he would only reply "What do they mean to "you"?" As for reporters/interviewers, 99% of them are just nosy assh.o.l.e.s who are under the arrogant misconception that you owe them an answer. Just remain silent and enjoy watching them squirm in their seat. If they persist, you can reply; "How rude, didn't your parents teach you any manners? Do you honestly think it's ok to ask strangers about their sex life?"

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 1:05:29 PM PST
stevign says:
Did you know there was another band by that name?
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  81
Initial post:  Dec 16, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 9, 2013

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