WATERLOO — Indie pop performer dEV will roll in to Cedar Valley Pridefest Saturday “Like a G6” as the evening’s headline entertainment.
The music lineup also includes The Paisley Fields, and the Cedar Valley burlesque and drag performance group Sissy’s Sircus will return this year.
The Paisley Fields singer/songwriter James Wilson left Iowa for New York in 2004. His music style and interest has returned to the Hawkeye State by way of Japan, he says.
Paisley Fields, a self-described queer country band based in Brooklyn performs Saturday afternoon at the fifth-annual Cedar Valley Pride Fest. The event brings Wilson close to his hometown of Hudson. However, the appreciation for the music he grew up with that brings him here came when to him when he briefly lived halfway across the world in rural Japan.
“The lifestyle there was a slower pace,” he said. “I just saw a lot of similarities I wasn’t expecting to see in Japan.”
Wilson was in Japan studying daiko drumming. He said he helped his host on a farm in Japan which led him to think about growing up in Iowa.
“Part of me wanted to go back and stay true to the music that I was around growing up,” he said.
Although rooted in country, the band’s piano-based songs driven by harmony vocals doesn’t have a traditional country sound. However, country music as a genre has more room than some people give it credit, said Matt Chilton, Paisley Fields bass player.
“It’s not all about trucks and mudding and girls, but it also is about trucks, mudding and girls,” Chilton said.
“I find that Iowans are the nicest and friendliest people in the Midwest,” said Aron Blue, guitar player who used to live in Missouri.
This will be the Paisley Fields first time performing at Cedar Valley Pride Fest. Organizers try to bring in new performers each year.
“Over each of the years we try to keep things interesting and fresh,” said David Deeds pride fest founding committee member and volunteer.
However, bringing back Sissy’s Sircus, a key part of the first two years of the Cedar Valley Pride, was a no-brainer.
“We’re glad they were available,” Deeds said, adding the group has a good following.
“It’s a good-sized group, they build their own production,” Deeds said. “They’re unique in the area and the region, really.”
Although entertainment is what draws the crowd, the purpose of the event is to showcase the LGBT and ally community in the Cedar Valley, he added.
“We’ve had fantastic support across the whole community,” Deeds said.