Singing OUT Tour with Crys Matthews and Heather Mae – Tickets – The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC – May 28th, 2020

Singing OUT Tour with Crys Matthews and Heather Mae
Award-winning singer-songwriters Heather Mae and Crys Matthews

Singing OUT Tour

Crys Matthews

Heather Mae

All Ages
Messages of social justice and hope, storytelling delivered by 4 forces of nature in a powerful collective message.

Singing OUT Tour with Crys Matthews and Heather Mae

Award-winning singer-songwriters Heather Mae and Crys Matthews are joining forces once again to spread their message of social-justice, hope and love from coast to coast as The Singing OUT Tour, a celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride. Mae, whose evocative vocals and rhythmic piano style call to mind artists like Stevie Nicks and Sara Bareilles, creates intoxicating and unforgettable music inspired by her own personal experiences as a queer, plus-size woman living with Bipolar Disorder. Matthews, a powerful lyricist whose songs of compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she, a black, lesbian, butch-identified woman, lightheartedly calls "the poster-child for intersectionality," has been called "the Woody Guthrie of our generation." Mae and Matthews will again be joined by JJ Jones (formerly of Girlyman) and her "kinetically charged" percussion. "Soul-feeding" and "amazing" is the way fans described last year's tour and, with both artists celebrating new releases (Glimmer from Heather Mae and These Old Hands from Crys Matthews), the 2020 edition of The Singing OUT Tour promises to be even more impressive.


Ask about the new generation of social justice music-makers and Crys Matthews will be mentioned. A prolific lyricist, Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies punctuated by honest, original lyrics. “While each and every day, on each and every media platform, we’re reminded of the division, alienation, marginalization, and divisiveness rampant in our country (and our world), we’re not often enough met with people like Matthews," said Justin Hiltner of Bluegrass Situation, "who exist as reminders of what beauty can occur when we bridge those divides.” Her two 2017 releases, a full-length album called The Imagineers, a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life, and an EP called Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers, which tackles social justice themes helped earn Matthews high praise like that from Hiltner as well as the title of 2017 NewSong Music and Performance Competition grand prize winner.

On the title track of her newest EP, Matthews says, “Must be 10,000 miles between here and forgiveness.” These Old Hands is about that journey. Her eighth studio release, this album is a sharp departure from her pre-2016 saccharine love songs and her post-2016 social justice songs. “It is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been in my music,” Matthews says. From the title track, written about picking up where a love leaves off, to the final track, written about familial complexities, Matthews is letting her listeners see behind what she calls her “titanium wall.” These Old Hands is already garnering acclaim from Folk DJs and finished out 2019 in Folk Alley's Top Ten of 2019. Matthews already has her sights on a pre-election release of a full-length social-justice album called Changemakers.

Ask anyone about the new generation of social justice music-makers and they'll mention either Heather Mae or Crys Matthews. Mae, a powerhouse performer and earthshaking vocalist, has turned her personal struggle with mental health and body image into an empowering message of self-love, a universal light force that shines for every audience member. Matthews is a powerful lyricist whose songs of compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she lightheartedly calls "the poster-child for intersectionality". These two singer-songwriters have joined forces with JJ Jones (Girlyman) and Joe Stevens (Coyote Grace) for The Singing OUT Tour.



In 2016, after an eight-month period of silence to recover from vocal nodules, singer-songwriter Heather Mae made a vow: she would dedicate her career solely to writing music that made the world a better place. Her independently-released debut EP I AM ENOUGH, which reached #58 on iTunes Pop Album charts, was her announcement to the world. “When people listen to my new music, my mission is that they feel they’re not alone and that they’re moved to rediscover the best versions of themselves,” Mae said. With her September 2019 release Glimmer, it seems that she has discovered the best version of herself.

Although L-Mag dubbed her "the new queer Adele," Mae has remained unfazed by what a typical pop artist today is 'supposed' to look like or how the typical pop artist is 'supposed' to sound. Instead, Mae sees her music as a platform for change, "pop music with a mission," she calls it. With each of the nine tracks on Glimmer, from her #MeToo-inspired feminist anthem “Warrior,” which features a choir of more than 100 female vocalists, to “You Are My Favorite,” a

love song inspired by her own wedding vows and written for her wife, Mae shows that she is nothing less than a powerhouse. From LGBTQ+ discrimination, gender stereotypes and women's rights to body image and mental health issues, Mae "seeks to write music for those that need an anthem" says Eden Arielle Gordon of Popdust. "Heather Mae's Glimmer spins pain into exquisite alt-pop," Gordon says. "This album is a work of empathy and raw honesty, a candid confessional and a rallying cry for everyone looking for a reason to go on."



Sensitive and musical, dynamic and fluid, JJ often seems to be dancing on the drum set. Her constant comment from fans is: "I love to watch you play." The Americana Gazette says: "JJ mesmerized us that night as she flew deftly across the spectrum of bass, snare and cymbals with impeccable skill. She’s simply one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen, one of the few who uses every percussive surface to maximum advantage." JJ joined her first band while attending high school at the Seattle Academy of Arts. After graduating college with a neuroscience degree, her long-standing love of acoustic music eventually lead her to play with singer/songwriters and it was then that she started to be known for her signature style.

In 2010, she joined folk-pop band Girlyman and found true love. "When JJ joined the group," Girlyman told their fans, "Our sound got bigger and closer to what we had all imagined it to be for years." And in 2015, JJ graduated from Berklee College of Music's drum performance program. She says, "In over 30 years of playing drums, I had never taken lessons or studied with a teacher. It was a whole piece I'd been missing as a musician, and I wanted to step-up my dedication to the instrument." In addition to touring and recording, JJ gives private drum lessons via Skype to students all over the country, and volunteers at girls and ladies rock camps across the US, teaching, coaching, and facilitating workshops. She is also the Tech and Gear Review Editor for Tom Tom Magazine, the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. She has written multiple articles on drumming technique, as well as reviews of drum gear and educational tools.


California-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Stevens is a third-generation professional musician in a long line of restless westward moving souls. He caught the songwriting bug at 15 and has been at it ever since. After starting out as a self-taught guitar player and songwriter, he received a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, and has been traveling with his music across the US and abroad. Between 2006 and 2012 Joe's first band Coyote Grace released five well-loved albums and toured with the Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, and Girlyman; sharing stages with Chris Pureka, Greensky Bluegrass, Reverend Payton's Big Damn Band, and legends such as Cris Williamson and Lowen and Navarro.

Joe released his first solo album Last Man Standing in 2014, recorded in Seattle at Empty Sea Studios, co-produced with everything-man Michael Connolly. A dark past and keen insight gives weight to Joe's words, sung in his signature smokey voice, telling the stories that make us who we are. Joe's music rides the edge of the first wave of transgender performers to break through into the public consciousness. The social media explosion combined with shifting public opinion created the conditions that enabled trans and queer artists, a highly marginalized and isolated subculture, to connect and gain visibility. There is now a thriving community of trans and queer musicians, with new comers and folks who have been playing music all along, that is visible and growing in every corner of the world.

Venue Information:
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC, 28205