The Paisley Fields, an alt-country band from New York City, will join Richmond acts at Strange Matter. (Photo courtesy The Paisley Fields)
Early on June 12, a man armed with semiautomatic weapons killed 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. As a queer alt-country band, The Paisley Fields, based in New York City’s Brooklyn borough, wants to show solidarity with those affected by the massacre. Like many others around the country, lead singer and award-winning songwriter James Wilson felt compelled to help out in any way he could.
Wilson was hit with a flood of emotions after hearing about the carnage in Orlando. For the gay man who plays regularly at LGBTQ clubs in New York, the acts of violence hit particularly close to home.
“I didn’t really know what to think at first,” says Wilson. “I was feeling angry and sad and am still upset by it.” He talked with the band, and together they decided music was the best way they could raise money and offer support.
As they kick off their Paisley Pride Tour here in Richmond before heading to Tennessee and Ohio, band members are working to spread a message of love and unity.
“I think there are many solutions,” Wilson says of responding to gun violence, adding that not only are stricter gun laws needed, but also a shift in culture to promote positive change.
The Paisley Fields will join Richmond-based acts Featherword, Jordan Tarrant, South Hill Banks and “The Voice” contender Evan McKeel to pay tribute to the lives that were lost. All door proceeds from the concert will be donated to the GoFundMe page for the Pulse victims, as well as portions of Strange Matter's bar sales for that evening and The Paisley Fields’ merchandise sales.
Doors open at 8 p.m. and there is a $7 cover charge. For more information on purchasing tickets visit strangematterrva.com. Meanwhile, here's a preview: