St. Louis country artist Jack Grelle is no stranger to the grittier fringes of the genre. He’s toured with Lavender Country, a Seattle band known for releasing the first gay-themed country album in 1972; he cut his musical teeth in the same circles as Pokey Lafarge and Big Muddy Records. Now, Grelle is getting ready to release Got Dressed Up to Be Let Down, an ambitious new LP, due October 28, that contrasts a traditional country sound with subversive, thought-provoking lyrics.
The album’s title track encapsulates that striking juxtaposition, telling a story of female empowerment over a honky-tonk friendly arrangement.
“‘Got Dressed Up to be Let Down’ is a heartbreak song that challenges the traditional gender roles in country music,” Grelle says. “My partner Julia Van Horn came up with the phrase and I thought it was a country classic that would write itself. Julia often is my filter while writing and we did not want to write that cheating song that we all know so well. Instead we aimed to tell a story of a strong, empowered woman. The country music world, like mainstream society, is male-dominated and constantly perpetuates the idea that women are fragile and helpless, while the men are wild and run around doing what they please. While I wrote this I was listening to a ton of Cajun music as well as Lavender Country. Patrick’s [Lavender Country’s] content really jumped out at me and I was inspired to write a positive message, while also keeping it in a traditional format that was danceable and a good time.”
Listen to “Got Dressed Up to Be Let Down” below.