Brooklyn Pride Queer Country After-Party

Brooklyn Pride Queer Country After-Party

Ryan Cassata, Paisley Fields, Mercy Bell, Karen & The Sorrows, Goldenchild

Sat · June 8, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

*Individual performer appearances subject to change without notice.

Ryan Cassata
Ryan Cassata
Ryan Cassata is an award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer, LGBTQ activist & motivational speaker based in Los Angeles. With features in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Daily News, Ryan has made the most of his young career, which started when he was just 13.

As a musician with over 550 performances touring across the United States and internationally, including dates on the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW and at the worlds biggest pride festivals, Ryan has been praised by The Advocate saying he’s a “Transgender singing sensation”, Paper Magazine put him on the "50 LGBTQ Musicians You Should Prioritize" list, LOGO put him on the “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” list and Billboard put him on the "11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know" list and premiered his award winning music video "Daughter." He has also been heard on Sirius XM Radio, BBC Radio 4 and other radio stations around the world.

In films, Ryan was the main focus in the award winning documentary “Songs for Alexis” which screened at such seminal film festivals as Frameline, Raindance, Toronto Hot Docs, and DOC NYC. His co-lead role in indie film "Collective: Unconscious," which received praise from Rolling Stone Magazine & The New York Times, and premiered at SXSW, won him the "Best Breakout Performance" award by the Victoria Independent Film Festival in 2016. Cassata has also been featured in several musical theatre productions including a workshop production at New York Stage & Film's Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar. Ryan was a reoccurring guest-star on the Facebook show "Turnt", and has appeared in several commercials and print ads. Cassata has modeled for brands such as Lids, Bonobos, Lull, and was the official face of TomboyX’s Trans Pride Underwear line in 2019.

Ryan began his activism career at age 13 after joining "The Safe Schools Team" and gave dozens of public speeches near his hometown on Long Island at schools and conferences. He continues to give speeches all over the USA to continue to spread the message. He is the first recipient of the Harvey Milk Memorial Award, became the youngest keynote speaker to ever be selected for the largest transgender conference in existence, and has made appearances on several news networks and shows including The Larry King Live Show, and The Tyra Banks Show.

Ryan Cassata has written pieces that have been published in Huffington Post, The New York Times, Original Plumbing Magazine, Indie Music Bus, IndieWire, Strange Fire Music Blog, Rock The Pigeon Music Blog, and many more!

Currently, Ryan is in the final stages of editing his memoir and writing and recording a new album of original music as a follow up to his most recent full-band production album SHINE which is available on iTunes & Spotify.

Committed to educating through music and speech to wipe out ignorance, Ryan continues to share his inspiring message of hope & acceptance with numerous schools and universities across the country via his social media platforms and at venues across the nation.

Photo by David Yerby
Paisley Fields
Paisley Fields
Paisley Fields are unapologetic about pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration in the unexpected. Noisey writes, “Glitter & Sawdust is gorgeous Nashville pop with a honky tonk heart, from the hillbilly jam ‘Winchester’s Gun’ to a phenomenal cover of Little Big Town’s pot-stirrer “Girl Crush”.

Wide Open Country writes “I love them and they give me a thrill – that kind of heart-to-heart connection that we all search for in our music. It’s a powerful. engaging album. Glitter & Sawdust proves that queer themes can and should belong in the classic country canon.”
Mercy Bell
Mercy Bell
“Mercy Bell, living in Music City by way of Boston and New York City, is another distinct voice with a potent, progressive take on emotive, modern folk. ” - Marissa Moss, Rolling Stone Country

“Mercy Bell is already well known around town, and folks outside Nashville are starting to wise up to her talents — emotive vocals and confessional songwriting, among them. And it’s about damn time.” - Brittney McKenna, the Nashville Scene
Karen & The Sorrows
Karen & The Sorrows
Queer country trailblazers Karen & the Sorrows have been featured in Billboard, WNYC’s The Takeaway, and Rolling Stone, who described them as “Dolly Parton fronting Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.” Noisey called their most recent album, The Narrow Place, “exactly what country music needs right now.” They are also at the heart of Brooklyn’s queer country scene, running the Gay Ole Opry Festival and the Queer Country Quarterly, and creating community for people who love country music even if country music doesn’t always love them back.

The Sorrows’ sound centers around singer-songwriter Karen Pittelman’s high, lilting vocals matched with lonesome pedal steel guitar and the dark twang and steady beat of the 1970s country-rock the band grew up on. Pittelman, guitarist Elana Redfield, and drummer Tami Johnson formed the Brooklyn-based band in 2011. In 2012, they released the EP Ocean Born Mary about a ghost story from Redfield’s New Hampshire hometown. In 2014, they put out their first full-length record, The Names of Things, which was voted one of the Freeform American Roots Chart’s best debut albums of 2014. On their 2017 sophomore release, The Narrow Place, The Sorrows continued building their country catalog of heartbreak and loss—they just took the back roads less traveled to get there. From a queer reimagining of the bro-country pickup truck ode to a Jewish family story about immigration and race, the album’s songs are both unexpected and entirely country. After parting ways with long-time collaborators Redfield and Johnson in 2018, Pittelman is currently at work on songs for the band’s third album.

Photo by Hiroshi Hara
Brooklyn-based, Florida-born songwriters Wiley Gaby & Jeffrey Doker set out to carve a space where their seemingly disparate influences could meet, mingle, and ultimately blur genre lines to create beautiful new music. Influenced by classic country storytelling, melancholy pop melodies, and pretty things, the duo formed Goldenchild in the spring of 2014. This winter, the band released its debut LP.

With a handful of original tunes ready to record, Doker & Gaby tapped rock producer/engineer Mark Ephraim, whose previous credits include work with The New Pornographers, Ed Vallance, & Au Revoir Simone, to name a few. Ephraim’s darker production paired with the songwriters’ country-influenced melodies yielded a haunting, evocative, and more rock-tinged sound.

Joined by a stellar roster of guest players such as Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Joan As Policewoman, Jeff Buckley) on drums, Jon Rauhouse (Neko Case) & Ed Kurz (Tatter & Rags) on pedal steel, Caleb Lindskoog (The Silver State, Magmana) on electric guitar, and many others, Ephraim and Goldenchild’s core personnel—Gaby, Doker, guitarist Jeff Mensch, vocalist Kerry Flanagan, and multi-instrumentalist James Power—recorded Bridges throughout north Brooklyn between 2014 and 2015.

On the band's debut album, Goldenchild merges elements of classic country and ambient soundscapes with a respectable hint of pop sensibility. The result is “gorgeous, cosmic country” that NYC’s Next magazine calls “damn beautiful.”
Venue Information:
Union Hall - Brooklyn
702 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11215