Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Brandi Carlile’s Benefit Livestream Concert

Lesbian country/rock star performs live from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium

brandi carlile, music, country
Brandi Carlile — Photo: Jai Lennard

The lesbian country/rock artist has been popping up here and there on a near-regular basis over the past year, from recording emotionally powerful duets with Alicia Keys (“A Beautiful Noise”) and Rufus Wainwright (“Who Knows Where The Time Goes?”), to appearing at last Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where she left with her sixth trophy.

The win was for Best Country Song (“Crowded Table” by her supergroup The Highwomen), an honor she’s had two years running, after last year’s “Bring My Flowers Now,” a song co-written with and performed by Tanya Tucker. Her visibility is sure to increase in the months ahead, chiefly by virtue of her memoir Broken Horses, due April 6 from Random House’s Crown imprint.

But first, Carlile will launch into spring with what is billed as her first full-band performance since before the pandemic. That full band includes her two right-hand-men, twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth, who write, record, and perform on every song credited to Brandi Carlile as lead artist. To be broadcast via virtual platform Veeps, the livestream from Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium is likely to include selections drawn from the six studio sets the trio has produced, including 2018’s stellar By The Way, I Forgive You.

Perhaps they’ll add live renditions of some of the songs Carlile has written or performed since with artists ranging from Tucker to Brandy Clark (“Same Devil”). No matter what ends up on the setlist, however, the show is guaranteed to be stirring and exceptional, given how electrifying Carlile is on stage, feeding off the dynamic energy and natural harmonizing rapport she and the twins have developed over the years. For proof, simply search YouTube to see their showstopping cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” a video captured by a fan the last time they performed at the Ryman — during a run of six sold-out shows last January.

The icing on the livestream cake: $2 from every ticket sold will benefit The Rainey Day Fund, working to help up-and-coming minority and LGBTQ artists in the folk and country genres of roots music and Fanny’s School of Music, a music store in Nashville that aims to be “comfortable for all, especially women, children, and beginners.”

“Brandi Carlile (and band!)” is Sunday, March 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets, allowing unlimited viewing through April 11, are $25 or $48 including a pre-order copy of Broken Horses. Visit brandicarlile.veeps.com.

Read More:

Brandy Clark, out and proud country star, celebrates her most personal record yet

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Spotlight: Unleashed LGBTQ Interactive Virtual Event

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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