Singer-songwriter and Color Me Country radio host, Rissi Palmer, has announced her partnership with Kelly McCartney and the Rainey Day Fund to create the Color Me Country Artist Fund to provide financial support to underrepresented voices of BIPOC artists in country music. The Rainey Day Fund was created by McCartney to assist BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and disabled artists, as well as others who add to the rich fabric of roots music. With a similar mission, Palmer recognized a real problem in the country music industry. As a result, Color Me Country was born to bring Black, Indigenous, and Latinx histories of country music to the forefront that for too long have lived outside the spotlight and off mainstream airwaves.
"As an artist, I've experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I know what it's like to have to choose between eating and paying rent, to work a 9-to-5, then pull an all-nighter in the studio to get closer to the dream of being a self-sustaining musician," says Palmer. "Any success I have achieved has been because of the kindness of others and their belief in me, and I want to pay it forward. The Color Me Country Artist Fund will be an extension of the work I do with my radio show to further the careers of artists of color in the country music space," Palmer continues. "I don't want anyone's dreams deferred because of financial hardships. 100% of the funds will go to artists in need. I thank Kelly McCartney and the Rainey Day Fund for planting the seed."
Palmer launched her Color Me Country radio show in August of this year. Some of her guests have included Miko Marks, Crystal Shawanda, Kamara Thomas, The War & Treaty, Mickey Guyton and Darius Rucker. The show airs every other Sunday on Apple Music Country at 8pET.
McCartney, who also hosts Southern Craft Radio on Apple Music, is a long-standing advocate for the BIPOC music community and a clear supporter of Color Me Country from its conception. She created the Rainey Day Fund in 2018 and set out on a mission to support marginalized artists.
"Between our seed funding and a recent donation from Brandi Carlile's Looking Out Foundation, we have gifted grants to Yola, Birds of Chicago, Tré Burt, Joy Oladokun, Brittney Spencer, Jontavious Willis, and others, while also creating an Indigenous Music Scholarship with Folk Alliance International," McCartney says of the Rainey Day Fund. "Seeing the work that Rissi was doing in the country music space, it just made sense to create a specific Color Me Country program to support the artists on those fringes, as well. Together, we're being the change we wish to see in the music world."
To have Essence, a magazine devoted to telling the stories and acknowledging the beauty of black women, cover this conversation between Mickey Guyton and I for Color Me Country Radio means more than I can express with words. Check out the piece HERE and listen to the convo between Mickey and I HERE.
A HUGE thank you to Brian Bumbery, Gemma Watters, and Michelle Martin for this awesome interview. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love NPR...this was a dream come true! You can hear the full interview HERE.
I am so excited to announce my guest for this week's episode of Color Me Country Radio w/ Rissi Palmer ... Darius Rucker!!! You can read more about our conversation exclusively in People Magazine today HERE and hear our conversation this Sunday, November 8 at 7pm est on Apple Music. You can listen HERE.
This is what your Mama’s Country music looks like.
We know in our bones that the music and culture we have come to know as Country, Soul, and Americana, are truly for EVERYONE. We’re coming together to celebrate what we know they can be: equitable, integrated, truth-telling, and future-minded.
The Country Soul Songbook Summit is a four-day music festival and conference--BY ARTISTS, FOR EVERYONE--broadcasting out to a front porch near you, from right here on the CSSB website. Register now and tune in October 15th - 18th!
Our mission is to spotlight marginalized voices in Country & Americana music, and to position artists as instigators of transformation in the spaces and hierarchies that have historically worked against their best interests.
Brought to you by a colorful array of creatives and cultural activists, The 2020 CSSB Summit is a call for gathering and engaging in vital conversations and accountability practices within our community and the music industry at-large. Summit happenings include performances, curated conversations, interactive workshops, and joyful re-imaginings of the Country-Americana canon.
All humans, extraterrestrials and sentient beings who share our love for Country & Americana music-- how it’s inspired and created, who it’s for, where it's going, and how our communities can be more equitable and inclusive, are invited to attend. Grab your ticket by donating to CSSB-- and while you’re at it, grab some of our fantastic merchandise! All profits go directly to participating artists and sustaining the CSSB project. Click HERE to register.
A HUGE thank you to Michelle Lanier, Carly Jones, Come Hear NC, North Carolina State Historic Sites, and North Carolina Arts Council for including me in this moving project. Singing on the Land is a virtual music project that celebrates the stories of historic sites across North Carolina through the voices of North Carolina musicians. Developed by North Carolina State Historic Sites and Properties in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council and Come Hear NC, each installment of the series highlights one of North Carolina’s 27 state designated historic sites. Listen and watch as James Gilmore and I perform the song ‘Barley’ standing on the land where a community witnessed tragedy and hope in the Battle of Bentonville over 150 years ago.
For five years now BGS and our partners at PineCone have used our voices, resources, and positivity to lift up and celebrate diversity in bluegrass and roots music through the Shout & Shine showcase. This year, the event’s 5th annual iteration will follow a format more suitable for a worldwide pandemic — with an all-online showcase as part of IBMA’s Virtual World of Bluegrass!
Shout & Shine Online will feature artists from across the genre map of roots music: Rissi Palmer, host of Apple Music Country’s brand new radio show, ‘Color Me Country‘; IBMA Momentum Award winning banjoist Tray Wellington; punk-influenced fingerstyle guitarist and songwriter Sunny War; down-home blues and old-time musician Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton; The Voice alumnus and guitar picker Stephanie Anne Johnson; and returning favorites Kaia Kater and Amythyst Kiah, who make their first appearance at Shout & Shine since playing on its debut lineup in 2016.
Shout & Shine Online’s roster is curated by performing musician and Decolonizing the Music Room founder and Executive Director, Brandi Waller-Pace. Shout & Shine Online will take place at 2 pm ET Saturday, October 3. Viewers will be able to tune in on BGS, or right here on Facebook, or YouTube, via PineCone’s channels, and via IBMA’s conference platform, Swapcard.
I had an absolute BALL talking with Hunter and Ashley. We discuss my new Apple Music Country series, “Color Me Country Radio w/ Rissi Palmer .” The show shines a light on the rich history of Black, Indigenous and Latinx people in country music, and why the success of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” inspired me to start the series. I also talk about her own experience as a black woman making country music on a major level in the 2000s.
We also dig into my latest album, “Revival,” which addresses issues of social justice and the pressing need to keep speaking up for equality in America. Plus, I explain the relationship between my daughters Grace and Nova, describes the ongoing influence of ‘80s television on our need for “pageantry” and explains how watching the banning of The Chicks from country radio play out over the last decade. Click HERE to listen!
Y'all...I have been DYING to tell you but was sworn to secrecy. I am proud to announce that my show, Color Me Country Radio w/ Rissi Palmer, will now be heard on the Apple Music Country platform on Apple Music!!! The show will air live on Sundays bi-weekly from 7-9pm EST (yes, it's 2 hours!!!). The mission is still the same: to amplify the underrepresented voices of artists of color in the Country and Americana genres and will be comprised of interviews and music from individual artists, scholars, and personalities, though this first season will focus specifically on women of color. It will be available for the EVERYONE to hear for free on the live airdate. After an episode's original airdate, it will be available for Apple Music subscribers only on demand. There will also be a playlist with all my guests' music that can be streamed.
A HUGE thank you to Kelly McCartney and my Apple Music team: Michael Bryan, Emily Parker, Amara Hall, Nathan Tempro, & Brian Hilton.
The first episode premieres on Sunday, August 30 at 7pm est.!!! Meanwhile, visit the show's homepage HERE.
Thanks to the AP for reaching out and making my story a part of the bigger story ... and shout out to all the women who are allowing me to tell THEIR stories with my new project #colormecountry. Click HERE to read the full story.
This was a really nice surprise!!! Although I no longer call Nashville home, it's an honor to be included in a list of such fantastic homegrown talent. Thank you to World Cafe and Jewly Hight for including me!!! Check it out HERE.
In all this crazy, the one thing that has kept me centered is music. I had the opportunity to collaborate with amazing musicians from all over the world for this fun arrangement of the classic "Islands in the Stream". A HUGE thanks to Caleb Martin for including me on this fun project.
CALEB MARTIN PRESENTS TAKE COVER: Worldwide song collabs from the safety of home
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM by Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb, and Maurice Gibb
Produced and arranged by Caleb Martin Vocals by Rissi Palmer and Dave Bernal
Guitar and mix by Jason Berk
BG vocals by Hannah Abrahim and Jason Berk
Trumpets: Joe Lu Xiaolin (China Philharmonic Orchestra), Enrique Sanchez (Aloe Blacc, Jonas Brothers, Meghan Trainor)
Piano: Michael Sobie (Game of Thrones orchestral tour, Marriage Story, Wicked)
DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY, THE MARCH 15TH EDITION OF COUNTRY SOUL IS NOW A LIVE-STREAM ONLY EVENT! You can find the livestream feed at: countrysoulsongbook.com (I will also have the show on Facebook live on my artist page HERE).
Country Soul Songbook is a high-energy community celebration that spotlights alternative voices in country-soul-Americana music-- a quarterly, seasonal, Durham-centric concert series (and Potluck!) featuring local musicians, AND an online episodic documentary series highlighting artists, Durham culture, and the places (venues, restaurants, etc.) where our community gathers.
The larger intent of the project is to explore, discuss, and demonstrate how the country, soul, and Americana genres, and the Durham community itself, are rooted in the same history, and the same multi-race/multi-identity American soup. We want to build community bridges, and celebrate our unity-in-diversity through the irresistible power of music, food, and the good times that gather people together.
Our first concert will take place at North Star Church of the Arts on Sunday, November 24th, 2019. Featured artists include Kamara Thomas, Rissi Palmer, Phil Cook, Kym Register, and Shana Tucker.
Additional concerts will take place seasonally starting in March 2020. Each concert will feature a combination of artists' original tunes, and curated songs from the existing country-soul-Americana canon.
The pilot episode of the web series will complete filming in 2019 and begin airing online in Spring 2020, with regular episodes to follow. Purchase tickets HERE.
Spencer and Rachel are so much fun and I had a BALL talking with them about my favorite Dixie Chicks song, as well as my adventures in Nashville on These Neon Boots . You can hear our conversation (it's not safe for work or the kids AT ALL lol) by clicking HERE.