Unfit Wives / Photo by Fally Afani

If you’re wondering who’s running the show in the local honky tonk scene, look no further than The Cosmic Country Ball. The show at Liberty Hall was a hoot and a holler, thanks to the powerhouse lineup of women-led performers. Unfit Wives always know how to throw a party, and this time they invited all their friends (via the Lost Cowgirls lineup).

Kristin Hamilton and the Heat / Photo by Fally Afani

The show was broken into segments, with bands accompanied by performers here and there. After a brief intro from Jenna and Martin, Damaris joined The Beerbellies, followed by Carol Spears, honky-tonk royalty Lois Mead (who still, in her 80’s, has a voice that will turn even the most seasoned concert-goer into an emotional puddle), Kristin Hamilton and the Heat, Elexa Dawson with Weda Skirts, and finally Unfit Wives rounding out the bill.

Patti Steel / Photo by Fally Afani

But it was Patti Steel who was the absolute life of the party. First of all, this gal plays everything–  Kazoos, spoons, recorders (two at a time!), clarinet… you name it (what CAN’T she do?!). She joined every ensemble onstage (also stepping in for Unfit Wives’ fiddler Shannon O’Shea), proving to be the hardest working woman of the night.

Elexa Dawson / Photo by Fally Afani

With a lineup this unapologetically feminine, it’s no wonder we heard all sorts of fun shit flying out of everyone’s mouths. They sang about smoking weed, getting DUIs, fighting, being bad moms, all while bringing the crowd to standing ovations, bringing babies up onstage, and shouting out their grandmas. When the dance floor filled with people, it was (you guessed it) all women in sequined skirts and cowgirl boots dancing with each other. The men were happy to stay silent and take a back seat the entire night, proving more of a supporting band role than anything else. But the spotlight belonged to the women– tall women, short women, young women, old women, trans women, Native women. Women, man. They’re going to rule the world.

Photos from the night below.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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