As part of the Museum’s series “Live at the Hall,” singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Allison Russell discusses the circumstances that led to her first solo album, “Outside Child,” and performs “Nightflyer” and “Persephone” with accompaniment from cellist Larissa Maestro.
Russell’s solo venture follows collaborations in the group Our Native Daughters, with Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, and Leyla McCalla; the duo Birds of Chicago, with husband J.T. Nero; Po’ Girl, with Trish Klein; and the Vancouver-based band Fear of Drinking.
Russell began writing songs for “Outside Child” while on tour in 2019 with Our Native Daughters. Determined to tell her story and to focus on the power of love and empathy, Russell draws on her experiences as an abused child and the journey that followed, from falling in love at age fifteen as a runaway in Montreal to delving into music, which saved her life, she says.
She tells of how researching the life of her great-grandmother and discovering ancient Gnostic texts led her to an inner language that allowed her to express her experiences in positive, at times exultant, verse.
Alongside accompanist Maestro, Russell performs on acoustic guitar, banjo, and clarinet. Her music draws on the influences of blues, gospel, and traditional string bands.
Watch bonus tracks from Allison Russell's "Live at the Hall" here: https://watch.countrymusichalloffame.org/videos/allison-russell-bonus-tracks-live-at-the-hall-2021
Explore our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
FOLLOW THE MUSEUM