Landon, is a deeply personal, true story-song written as an unabashed apology from Grace Pettis to her best friend for not being there when he came out right after high school. The Indigo Girls were so behind the song that they agreed to sing on it.  Growing-up in a small town in Alabama, Pettis grew up in a homogenous community steeped in a traditional Christian faith. Deconstructing bias with each masterfully poetic lyric, Pettis puts her own youthful, “traditional” values under the microscope, and has released this track. She spoke with The Fountain about the track and plans for the remainder of the year.

TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Landon?

Landon has been resonating with audiences since I started playing it years ago. So many people have come up to me and told me their deeply personal stories at the CD table that I sometimes feel like I’m taking confessions. And it seems to be the song on the new album that’s getting the most attention now. I’m proud of this song but I don’t think it’s getting the attention it’s been getting because of the song-writing. I think it resonates because everybody has a Landon in their life. Or maybe you are Landon. Either way, there’s an ocean of trauma that we are all just standing on: queer folks and the people who love them. We’ve papered over it but it’s right there, just beneath the surface. It wasn’t that long ago that gay marriage wasn’t legal. Queer people were thrown in jail for being queer. Homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder just a few decades ago in this country. So even though we’ve come a long way, we have a lot of betrayal and ignorance that we’ve never made amends for; that we don’t even talk about. And in some parts of the country, like in the south, where I’m from, kids are still getting kicked out of their homes for being gay. So yeah. I think that’s why the song’s been able to connect with so many people.

TF: And can you sum up the track in one sentence?

Landon is an apology song that I wrote for my best friend from high school, who came out after we graduated, to apologise for not being accepting and there for him at the time.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year?

I’m hoping to tour as much as I can. Obviously, my touring plans are changing from week to week, depending on the case numbers in the areas I’m traveling to, whether or not certain governors have issued executive orders prohibiting indoor venues from requiring vaccinations and masking and other factors. But I’m playing as much as I can, as safely as I can do it, both solo and as a member of my band Nobody’s Girl. I’ve got two new records out- my solo release Working Woman on MPress Records and the new Nobody’s Girl album on Lucky Hound Music. Everybody’s pivoting and working hard and creatively to get the music out there.

TF: When can we next expect a live show from you now that venues and gigs are kicking off again?

I’m so excited to have an official showcase at Americana Fest in Nashville at the end of this month (September). They’re requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for entry, plus masks for indoor events. I’m really grateful they’re taking this Delta outbreak seriously and protecting musicians and fans.