Bluegrass Pride, a Bay Area-based non-profit whose mission is to uplift LGBTQ+ musicians and creators in roots music, is proud to announce the second year of their immensely popular virtual festival and fundraising event, Porch Pride, which will take place all month long during June 2021. Over the course of Pride month, Porch Pride will feature performances by folks like Lavender Country, Rainbow Girls, Gangstagrass, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Jake Blount, Sunny War, and many more, plus a virtual Bluegrass Pride Brunch and open house, a beginner-friendly jam-along, and so much more.
2020 may have delivered more than its fair share of underhanded punches, but the bluegrass community was able to shine through it all. In spite of a difficult year artists kept the music playing.
We wanted to highlight some of the best bluegrass releases this year, so we’ve put together a Spotify playlist; here you’ll find releases from artists who performed at Porch Pride earlier this year, friends who debuted their releases on our blog, and other bluegrassers who’ve put out new music this year. Streaming their music is a great, free way to support hard-working artists who managed to stay creative in the middle of a pandemic!
Despite a really tough year, Bluegrass Pride was able to work with artists and showcase their work—largely due to your contributions—providing them with additional income. We’re really proud of that, and we’re doing just a little bit more by highlighting artists’ experiences in bluegrass and with our organization. We wanted to know what inspires musicians to keep playing and how they came to love the genre in the first place.
Enter Noa Laniakea, a great friend to Bluegrass Pride and talented bass player who performed at this year’s first-ever Porch Pride Festival. Noa features heavily on Fog Holler’s 2018 release “Or Else the Sun,” and we love their distinctive bass style—more on where that developed in a second. We hope you’ll enjoy this deep dive into Noa’s inspirations, aspirations and appreciation for queer and inclusive bluegrass. Who knows, maybe their story will speak to an LGBTQ+ musician or bluegrass lover who has yet to feel welcome in the genre!