*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Independent Music Promotion*
High Road No. 6
15 June 2021
|Transgender Music Pioneer and cult solo acoustic artist Shawna Viragohas announced the release of her second lockdown single/music video “High Road No. 6,” out now via Tranimal Records.|
Virago shines on the new single, both vocally and with her stellar guitar work and the song serves up a high-energy, lo-fi cowpunk sensibility. Let’s give some context: Virago has been performing as an out trans artist since the early 1990s. She is the voice of a generation who existed long before celebrities, the Internet and the media started making all things queer or transgender a rising trend. While Virago is called anti-folk and punk and while she is both of those, she is first and foremost a singer-songwriter, rightfully celebrated for her striking Alt-Country and lyric-based songs. When you listen to Shawna Virago, you know you are hearing from someone who’s been around the block several times.
I was broke and living in a haze
From my station in life
Trouble started when I slept with the mayor
Then the mayor’s wife
Next time I won’t fall for the line
“Trust me I love you for your mind”
Written during this record-breaking year for legislative attacks against transgender people, Virago says, “I’d been a little depressed from the non-stop level of hate aimed at trans people and needed to write something that gave me some hope and comfort. I needed something to supercharge my resilience.” ‘High Road No. 6’ is that song, about escaping the entrapments and negative forces wanting to take you down. It’s a visual and cinematic song, plus you can shine up your boots and break out some the line-dancing. The music video for High Road No. 6 – available now on YouTube – is a queer romp, where Virago and her guitar are framed by fashion-forward gay cowboys against the backdrop of San Francisco’s Bay.
Driving at noontide
Cigarette trees on either side
Turning off the lane at the old salt flats
Out past where the dust devils dance
To cast my line into the river of chance
On the High Road…
High Road No. 6 is available for download (Bandcamp, CDBaby, iTunes,) and streaming (SoundCloud).
On June 12, Shawna Virago performed at The Future of Country is Queer (https://www.facebook.com/events/777680096494746). Copresented by Country Queer and The Queer Cultural Center. Upcoming, she will be performing at the Fresh Meat Festival of trans and queer performance, June 18th thru 27th. https://www.facebook.com/FreshMeatSF
Band/Artist: Shawna Virago
Song Title: High Road No. 6
Release Date: June 15, 2021
Location: San Francisco
Styles: anti-folk, folk-punk, singer-songwriter, country, Americana
Similar to/RIYL: Billy Bragg, John Doe, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground
Song/Lyrics by Shawna Virago
Recorded and mixed by Grace Coleman at El Studio, SF CA
Vocals, guitar, bass: Shawna
Drums: Lien Bao Do
When you think of traditional, “folk singers,” transgender singer/song-writer Shawna Virago may not come to mind, but she should. She’s the definitive of “folk music,” which is not just an expressive body of work, it’s a cultural movement, it’s not just lyrics, it’s a beautiful poetic story authored over a melodic soundtrack. – No Depression
This San Francisco native is a singer-songwriter pioneering music space not only for her visionary talent, but also her ability to be a voice for the transgender community – Eat Sleep Music
“In these turbulent times, you may often wonder, ‘Where’s our Bob Dylan? Where’s the bard of the 2010s translating the dicey political and social climate into musical stanzas?’ … Enter Shawna Virago.” – POP DOSE
SHAWNA VIRAGO is a transgender trickster celebrated for her striking lyric-based songs. Her music twists together folk and punk, offering raw observations about survival in a predatory world, queer love and sticking up for the underdog. Virago is celebrated as a music pioneer – she was one of the nation’s first openly transgender women to perform and tour nationally and has performed as an out transwoman since the early 1990’s.
Virago’s performances are a fusion of original songs, storytelling and standup. Virago has been profiled online, in print and on radio including Bitch, Louder Than War, No Depression, Paste Magazine, on NPR and PBS and on left-of-the-dial radio.
Shewired named Virago as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Hot Femmes.” The Advocate named Virago’s song ‘Objectified’ as one of the nation’s top transgender anthems.
Virago is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. Virago is also a filmmaker and her music video “Transsexual Dominatrix” has screened at more than 30 film festivals around the world and was awarded Best Music Video at New York’s CineKink Festival.
Virago is a published writer and her work appears in Gender Outlaws: Next Generation and in the anthologies Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love & Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary and Take Me There. Virago has been featured in documentaries aired on PBS and NPR. Virago has composed original soundscores for transgender choreographer Sean Dorsey.