Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center of Allentown, Pennsylvania presents Singing OUT: the first ever VIRTUAL Pride Tour!
Two award-winning singer-songwriters, Heather Mae ("the queer Adele") and Crys Matthews ("the Woody Guthrie of our generation"), are joining forces once again to VIRTUALLY spread their message of social-justice, hope and love from coast to coast as The Singing OUT Tour, a celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride! During this difficult time of social distancing, it is imperative that LGBTQ+ people and our allies gather to lift one another up and bask in the power and beauty of our resilient community! We may not be able to physically gather, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our stories and our people. We don’t give up - we adapt!
Come dressed in your best Pride gear - however you identify! - and get ready to sing along, play games, compete in giveaways every night, and share connection and community in what will be a memorable VIRTUAL Pride concert! Let’s gather together in song and spirit and keep Pride alive in 2020!!
"Soul-filling" and "amazing" is the way fans described last year's in-person tour and, with both artists celebrating new releases (Mae's "GLIMMER" and Matthews' "These Old Hands"), the 2020 VIRTUAL edition of The Singing OUT Tour will be a memorable and empowering gathering of community and PRIDE!
In 2016, after an eight-month period of silence to recover from vocal nodules, singer-songwriter Heather Mae made a vow: she would dedicate her career solely to writing music that made the world a better place. Her independently-released debut EP I AM ENOUGH, which reached #58 on iTunes Pop Album charts, was her announcement to the world. “When people listen to my new music, my mission is that they feel they’re not alone and that they’re moved to rediscover the best versions of themselves,” Mae said. With her September 2019 release Glimmer, it seems that she has discovered the best version of herself.
Although L-Mag dubbed her "the new queer Adele," Mae has remained unfazed by what a typical pop artist today is 'supposed' to look like or how the typical pop artist is 'supposed' to sound. Instead, Mae sees her music as a platform for change, "pop music with a mission," she calls it. With each of the nine tracks on Glimmer, from her #MeToo-inspired feminist anthem “Warrior,” which features a choir of more than 100 female vocalists, to “You Are My Favorite,” a love song inspired by her own wedding vows and written for her wife, Mae shows that she is nothing less than a powerhouse. From LGBTQ+ discrimination, gender stereotypes and women's rights to body image and mental health issues, Mae "seeks to write music for those that need an anthem" says Eden Arielle Gordon of Popdust. "Heather Mae's Glimmer spins pain into exquisite alt-pop," Gordon says. "This album is a work of empathy and raw honesty, a candid confessional and a rallying cry for everyone looking for a reason to go on."
Ask about the new generation of social justice music-makers and Crys Matthews will be mentioned. A prolific lyricist, Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies punctuated by honest, original lyrics. “While each and every day, on each and every media platform, we’re reminded of the division, alienation, marginalization, and divisiveness rampant in our country (and our world), we’re not often enough met with people like Matthews," said Justin Hiltner of Bluegrass Situation, "who exist as reminders of what beauty can occur when we bridge those divides.” Her two 2017 releases, a full-length album called The Imagineers, a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life, and an EP called Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers, which tackles social justice themes helped earn Matthews high praise like that from Hiltner as well as the title of 2017 NewSong Music and Performance Competition grand prize winner.
On the title track of her newest EP, Matthews says, “Must be 10,000 miles between here and forgiveness.” These Old Hands is about that journey. Her eighth studio release, this album is a sharp departure from her pre-2016 saccharine love songs and her post-2016 social justice songs. “It is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been in my music,” Matthews says. From the title track, written about picking up where a love leaves off, to the final track, written about familial complexities, Matthews is letting her listeners see behind what she calls her “titanium wall.” These Old Hands is already garnering acclaim from Folk DJs and finished out 2019 in Folk Alley's Top Ten of 2019. Matthews already has her sights on a pre-election release of a full-length social-justice album called Changemakers.