Patrick Haggerty and Eve / Lavender Country

Described somewhere on the internet as “the first gay album,” which is of course nonsense (this was 1973), this is nonetheless a milestone and beat Peter Gruzden’s The Unicorn for the title of first topically gay private press country LP by three years. And when I say it’s gay I mean explictly queer and proud of it.

It’s sort of hard to believe a record this bold from this early exists.The primary artist Patrick Haggerty seems more concerned with commiserating with gay troubles and convincing folks to come out of the closet than with entertaining them. There’s a mitigating sense of humor here (‘Back in the Closet Again’; ‘Crying Those Cocksucking Tears’), and Haggerty’s voice isn’t bad.

But the real highlight is an ethereal folk track called ‘To a Woman’ by someone credited only as “Eve.” There’s a private folk record by an Eve and it’s pretty good, but I don’t know if this is the same person.Too bad Ennis from Brokeback Mountain never got to Lavender Country; everything might have turned out different.

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