James McMurtry main page

James McMurtry Plays Nashville Show in Drag, Protesting Tennessee Law

“Here in Tennessee, we care a little bit for humankind,” the Texas singer-songwriter said while wearing a red dress (before singing “Red Dress”)


By Evan Minsker

James McMurtry, the seasoned Texas singer-songwriter whose last album, The Horses & the Hounds, was released in 2021, performed at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville on Sunday night. During his encore performance, he walked out wearing a red dress and performed “Red Dress” alongside the musician BettySoo (who wore a suit). They were protesting Tennessee’s law banning drag performances on public property or anywhere children are present, which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge. “Here in Tennessee, we care a little bit for humankind,” he said. Watch it happen below.

Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier was in attendance. “It was an incredible experience to watch James do this,” Gauthier said in a statement. “He was courageous, unselfish, and showed true leadership. I find him to be heroic. What a great artist!”

“I am so proud to tour supporting a songwriter I believe in deeply, both as an artist and as a person,” BettySoo added. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak with actions and clothing on behalf of those whom the bullies would deign to silence. For the record, had children been in attendance, I’m pretty dang sure none would have been harmed nor indoctrinated nor groomed. It was also not sexually oriented in the least.”