Emmy-Award winner and Instagram sensation Leslie Jordan will release his debut album, a collection of Southern gospel hymns, April 2.
“Company’s Comin’” is inspired by Jordan’s weekly Instagram stream “Sunday Mornin’ Hymn Singin’.”
In a statement announcing the CD, Jordan, who identifies as gay, said it was joyful and liberating to sing these songs.
“Singing these songs, it felt like I was recapturing the joy of what this music meant to me as a kid, but without all the baggage,” Jordan, 65, said in a statement. “When I was growing up, I wanted so badly to be a good Christian, but I knew that the church would never accept me for who I was. It’s liberating now to come back to these hymns, completely at peace with myself, and sing without any hint of the guilt or shame I felt in my youth.”
“Company’s Comin’” offers raw, electrifying takes on traditional hymns and original songs featuring a mix of righteous gospel, classic country, vintage soul, and Americana roots.
Jordan invited a slew of special guests to sing with him on the album: Tanya Tucker, TJ Osborne (Brothers Osborne), Travis Howard, and Katie Pruitt.
The first single, “Angel Band” features Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, and coincides with the launch of Jordan’s Apple Music Country show, “Hunker Down Radio with Leslie Jordan,” premiering Sunday. Each one-hour episode gives a glimpse into Jordan’s life while serving up a hearty dose of country, gospel, and blues.
In the statement, “Company’s Comin’” is described as “a bold and gleeful collection about love and trust, hope and faith, consolation and community, delivered by an artist coming full circle on his own personal journey of self-discovery and acceptance.”
Raised Southern Baptist in East Tennessee, Jordan is most known for his role on the iconic sitcom “Will and Grace”as Beverley Leslie, the pretentious, sexually ambiguous rival Karen Walker. For that role, Jordan won an Emmy Award for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2006.
Last year, during the height of COVID-19, Jordan’s hilarious, slice-of-life Instagram videos went viral and his popularity skyrocketed, as he racked up more than 5 million followers in a matter of months. Jordan begins most videos saying, “Hello, my fellow hunker downers.”
As the pandemic continued, Jordan found solace in the music from his youth, and with a little encouragement and accompaniment from his friend, Travis Howard, began performing the songs on his Instagram page.
“Travis Howard and I would get together on Sundays to sing these old hymns just because we loved them,” Jordan said. “Somewhere along the way, my business partner, Mike Lotus, took a real interest in what we were doing and started looking up and learning about every old Baptist hymn he could find.
“He realized, like we did, that the songs held something brilliant about the human condition and were a deep comfort to anyone who heard them, religious or not,” Jordan said. “He started posting our performances online, and the response was just incredible.”
Apart from his music, Jordan is busy with other projects.
‘Call Me Kat’
He stars in “Call Me Kat” with Mayim along with Mayim Bialik, Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt, and Cheyenne Jackson. Bialik plays Kat, 39-year old single woman who runs a cat café in Louisville and struggles to find a balance between her fulfilling life and her constant sense of loneliness. Jordan plays Phil, a newly single gay man who works as the head baker at Kat’s café.
Jordan will release his book “How Y’all Doing?” April 27. It’s an essay collection with stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life. For example, Jordan writes about his brush with a group of ruffians in a West Hollywood Starbucks and an unexpected telephone call from legendary Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds.