Grammy and CMA winning Kacey Musgraves has another feather in her cap—she just tossed the most innovative listening party in Nashville-music history.
On Monday (June 15), she invited Music Row to the dance club PLAY to hear her sophomore Mercury Nashville CD Pageant Material. This is a gay-centric venue on Church Street. Its flamboyant drag queens were there to act out seven of Musgraves’ new songs on the runway. Attendees, male and female, were expected to don the party favors—sparkly plastic tiaras and shiny “Pageant Material” sashes.
“I am half a drag queen,” joshed Mike Dungan in welcoming the crowd. “I don’t know if you are tomatoes or zucchinis.
“How do you top the most talked-about record of the past year?” he asked, referring to Musgrave’s outstanding debut for the label. The answer was, “with a masterpiece.”
“I just want to have so much fun tonight,” said Musgraves. “I am so excited about this record….Thank you so much for being here.” She described Pageant Material as “a retro-western thing” and said it was recorded “mostly live” in RCA Studio A.
Highlights of the collection’s listening session included the vibrant “Dime Store Cowgirl,” wistful “Late to the Party,” lighthearted “Pageant Material,” breezy uptempo “Cup of Tea,” yearning waltz “Fine” and, especially, the evocative “This Town” and the wry “Family Is Family,” in addition to the “Biscuits” single.
Guests enjoyed “Southern Asian” hors d’ouvres like Japanese corn dogs, barbecue egg rolls, “french-fry” daikon, peanut chicken satay, pot stickers and steak skewers. Many had never been in a gay bar. Others couldn’t wait to tip and/or pose for photos with The Princess, Aurora Sexton, Sunday Morning, Melonia and Tracy Ottomy.
“I love my gays,” said Musgraves.
Celebrating the newest tunes of “the Katy Perry of country” were Mike Vaden, Bri Stewart, Susan Nadler, Charlie Chase, Michael Baum, Whitney Daane, Autumn House-Tallant, Ashley Arrison, “anti-tomato” crusader Leslie Fram, Sherod Robertson, Cindy Mabe, Cyndi Forman, Jody Williams, Donna Hughes, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Royce Risser and Rod Essig, as well as the Kacey Musgraves band.
Pageant Material will be released on June 23.
Musgraves is also slated to join Zodiac Vodka’s Tennessee launch party as a celebrity judge at Acme Feed & Seed Bar in Nashville on Tuesday, June 16. The invitation-only event will feature top bartenders from Nashville establishments including No. 308, ACME Feed & Seed, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, The Crying Wolf, City House and Old Glory.