Actor and Vocalist Andrew Sa has earned the title of Chicago’s premiere queer country crooner. Sa’s career was rooted in songwriting that highlights his easy and elegant voice, but when he met mentor and pioneer Patrick Hagerty of Lavender Country, “Lonesome Andrew” was born. Diving headfirst into this new persona, he explored the catalogs of his heroes Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and other classic singers that defined his childhood.
Sa found a home for this new character in The Cosmic Country Showcase, an instant smash hit camp-country revue in Chicago where he blew away his contemporaries like Cassandra Jenkins and Honey Harper that the show brought out. Andrew’s next step was to take his larger than life voice and turn to his own music.
“Dark Phoenix” and “Little Lamb” came to life out of a writing retreat with fellow crooner Liam Kazar. Both songs find Sa addressing his queer identity. “Dark Phoenix” is a journey of queer awakening, a passion with his first boyfriend. Taking notes from Lavender Country, “Little Lamb” is Andrew’s way of inserting his art into the honky tonks and bars often dominated by straight white males.
Sa assembled a new band to work out this new sound that included Andrew Krull (electric guitar, pedal steel), Sam Subar (drums), Aaron Smith (acoustic guitar, vocals), Lyne Rye (bass, vocals), and Sam Cantor (electric guitar, keys). The songs were molded in a packed six month residency at the Golden Dagger in Chicago before they cut the songs live in a day at Fox Hall Studios. Engineer Dorian Gehring and Sima Cunningham finished off the recordings with background vocals.