Trae Crowder “The Liberal Redneck” comes to Akron

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Catch Trae Crowder and the “Well Red” comedy tour on their first visit to Ohio on Saturday, July 16.

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photo by Jason Grindle

If you haven’t been laughing along to Trae Crowder‘s “Liberal Redneck” videos, then either you don’t use Facebook or Twitter (I applaud your ability to withhold from the world of social media) or you’re a conservative and you don’t find his political takes on what’s going on funny (and that’s cool too. We don’t mind opposing ideas.).

However, for everyone else, Trae Crowder has taken the nation by storm. His videos get thousands of likes and his “Well Red” comedy tour shows are selling out.

What started as just a fun easy to shoot video in the character of “the Liberal Redneck” became so popular that the New York Daily News asked Crowder to do videos especially for them.

I am going to go ahead and warn you that the video that follows is full of harsh language. So if you are at work, or have sensitive ears, you might want to pass on this one.

After some laughter around the office the Devil Strip decided it would make a great balance to the RNC if we brought Trae and his band of left leaning political merry makers to Akron just before the convention jumped off.

Chris Horne (publisher of the Devil Strip) got a chance to talk with Trae for a recent interview. Here’s a little bit of how that conversation went.

Chris Horne: Has your head stopped spinning yet from this

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Photo by Jason Grindle

rapid ascension — the viral videos, the NY Daily gig, appearing on network TV, sold-out shows all over the place, interviews with small arts and culture magazines in Ohio?

Trae Crowder: Nope. It has not. This has been the most insane period of my life, and it isn’t close. It’s all happened so fast and I’m enjoying the hell out of it, don’t get me wrong, but it has absolutely been a whirlwind, and no, I still haven’t fully adjusted. Just trying to keep my head above water and enjoy the ride.

CH: I know you’ve said the Liberal Redneck character is more aggressive than you about sharing your thoughts and feelings on issues, but you definitely speak your mind in your stand-up. Have you always been so bold or is this something — being something of an outlier in the South — that you’ve had to grow into over the years?

TC: I mean I wasn’t that way when I was a little kid or anything. But I would say I’ve been pretty honest with my opinions and stuff at least since high school. Warning: this is about to be a pretentious-ass story: So we had a speech class in high school and occasionally we have formal debates. Well at one point the teacher wanted to split the class up to debate the impending War in Iraq. She asked everyone to raise their hand who agreed with going to war, then everyone who wasn’t sure, then everyone who opposed it. I was literally the only one that opposed it. I was basically the Bernie Sanders of 2002 Celina High School. So I mean when I think back on that I guess I kind of have always been this way (read: an obnoxious ass).

CH: Clearly, you feel and think deeply about the issues you’re addressing in your stand-up and the videos, but you also seem to be as dedicated to breaking down stereotypes about people with Southern roots and accents. Would you say you’re more hopeful you can change minds about Southerners — at least that we’re not monolithic, nor are we all bigots — or that you could get more Southerners to change their position on issues like LGBTQ rights?

TC: Wow, that’s a hell of a question. Just going off the responses and messages I’ve gotten so far, I would have to say the former is more likely. I’ve gotten tons of messages from people saying that before they saw my stuff they thought everyone with my accent was a backward regressive bigot, and now they realize that they were being prejudiced in their own way. I’ve already seen a lot of that. And now, believe it or not, I’ve also got a few (very, very few) messages from self-styled rednecks who have said that my videos have genuinely changed their minds on things as it relates to LGBTQ issues.

My opinion on that has always been that it was nigh-impossible to change the minds of people like that, because it’s usually so deeply tied to their faith, which is something people are just not rational about, in many instances. But I always thought that wasn’t a reason to not try, because the alternative was to just stand by and let them spew all their hateful bullshit because “oh well, there’s no reaching them anyway”, and I wasn’t willing to do that. But I never held out much hope for changing their minds. And I see now that it may be possible, but… we still got a long row to hoe.

Read the rest of Trae Crowder’s interview with Chris Horne at thedevilstrip.com.

Get your tickets to see Trae Crowder and the rest of the Well Red Comedy Tour at Musica on Saturday, July 16.

See you there!