Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me. There’s a different vibe in Nashville now than there was in the ‘90s — and of course, the ‘90s were different than the ‘70s, too. Waylon Payne will release his new album 'Blue Eyes, the Harlot, the Queer, the Pusher & Me' on September 11th. “That was my subtle way of saying I got a hooker in Vegas and he didn’t get mad at me because I couldn’t perform and cried all night,” Payne says, beginning to laugh. His father became a longtime picker for Willie Nelson; his mother toured with Waylon Jennings. Well, I don’t know that I’m necessarily a huge part of it. Want more Rolling Stone? She’s been like a sister to me for many, many years. And that was it. When did you pick it up? Ashley, Miranda, and I started writing together four or five years ago on a regular basis, then Ashley and Aaron Raitiere and I write together a lot. Payne seemed destined to follow his family into the upper echelons of country music when he released his debut album, The Drifter, in 2004. We had a nice moment over Christmas and Shelby was responsible for bringing that relationship back together, too. There are only two things that I ever really wanted out of this music thing, and one was I wanted to be an artist in my own right and play the Grand Ole Opry. Why Southern drinking vinegars have become something to sip about, both on their own and in cocktails, GiGi Lucas and SurfearNEGRA are inspiring the next generation of diverse female surfers, The Nashville-based band returns with a track about focusing on what’s important, Keep warm as the weather turns cooler with these fabulous fall favorites, Is sudsing up your pan indeed heresy?
I’ve got a group that I write with at Carnival — Lee Ann, Miranda, and Ashley, and those folks. I thought it was too weird,” Payne says on a FaceTime call from his home in Nashville, recounting the period after he sobered up and began recording the project with producers Frank Liddell and Eric Masse. Like I said, once it bites you, you’re bitten. I learned how to do that stuff right in my hometown of Nashville, on Broadway. I don’t know if I necessarily hang out with a lot of folks. Being a dick, so she fired me. It all came along around the same time. Roughly 20 years ago, Waylon Payne’s life had become enough of a mess that he’d been booted off tour by one of his closest friends. That was how we got our chops in. He was a badass and I liked that.
Nashville songwriter releases Act II of his upcoming album Blue Eyes, the Harlot, the Queer, the Pusher, & Me. “There are a lot of organizations like MusiCares, the Musicians Health Alliance, all of these people really played a big part in helping me figure it out. I was around 23 or 24.
You’re also the one that’s got to teach me the roughest lessons and that was a hard one, when she shut that door on me. What do you think she would say to you today? Do we ever. You put this record out three songs at a time, but when I listened to it in its entirety, it struck me that there’s a theme of moving forward, and sometimes outright optimism, that comes through. And the second thing was that I would know I had arrived when I was able to hold a physical copy of my record. The album unfolds over four acts, each its own compelling, vivid dissection of Payne’s journey, from his descent into drugs to clawing his way back to the world of the living. When the test pressing of my album came last week and I was able to sit down in my bedroom and drop the needle, it was a whole new thing. She gave me the gift of music, and I promised her, as she laid dead in her coffin, that I would come back sober. “It’s been extremely freeing and extremely cool to know that I’ve made it out of a dire situation and that I lived to tell about it.
Early life. [I’m saying,] I know that you’re my mother and I know that you’re the one that gave me life. Were you able to take part in those kind of things during that time? I have her face on my left forearm so I can’t play the guitar without seeing her face. Lake saved my life — he and his daddy did. Like every other artist, Payne has been unable to tour since the pandemic, but he remains hopeful that hitting the road comes sooner rather than later. Payne has threaded his experiences as a gay man into his work all along, but they’ve sometimes slipped past the people who couldn’t recognize them. One of Payne’s friends in their self-described “drug den” would regularly sing Kris Kristofferson’s “The Silver Tongued Devil and I,” prompting Payne to spit out his wordy phrase one day. “But we’ll be all right. It was just lovely.
The album title is something else.
There’s a line in “After the Storm” about your mother closing the door on you. “Frank [Liddell] has always really liked my guitar playing for some reason. If I write music with somebody and it clicks, and we get good songs, then that’s pretty much a good partnership and I’ll stick with that for a while. Your life has been filled with a lot of tumult. It was something special and everybody knew it I think. These days he’s in a much better spot, though many of the trials and tribulations of his 20s are woven throughout the narrative of his new album, Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher and Me.
Nuh uh, fuck that. It gets to a point where you start working through things.”. “I thought it was too long.
The 12-song collection emerged gradually on digital platforms three songs at a time, though now as a whole, it’s also available on vinyl, and it should fit neatly within his own album collection of Bobbie Gentry, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and his late mother, Sammi Smith. All rights reserved. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. I would go to work at six o’clock at night, and by going to work, I mean we would show up down there and we’d start on one side of Broadway and we would sing on one side, go through Printers Alley, and then down the other side. What is it about that writing relationship that makes it click? We would go and find places to sing.
“And it’s true.
Yeah, that was around the same time, too. How do you view yourself now that you’ve come out the other side?
If I’m part of the Nashville community now, then I’ll take that. My life could go back to hell with just one plunge of the needle. Man, when I came here in ’93 or ’94, Broadway [the city’s strip of downtown honky-tonks] was a godsend for me.
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