Why We Write with Kim Ruehl, Eps. 19: Allison Russell

Allison Russell has been writing incredible folk-rooted songs for around 20 years with her bands Po’ Girl, Birds of Chicago, and Our Native Daughters. But it was her solo debut in 2021, Outside Child, that finally broke through and gained her a taller platform and a wider audience.

Coming up on this year’s Grammy Awards, where Russell is nominated in three categories—Best American Roots Performance, Best American Roots Song, and Best Americana Album—we decided to share a special Grammy edition of the Why We Write podcast.

This conversation about songwriting, and all the parts of life that touch and influence it, was recorded at the end of 2021. Russell’s internet was interrupted, so she had to run to a nearby coffee shop for the recording, which explains some of the background noise. In a way, the bustle around her as she talks about what inspires her incredible songwriting, makes sense. Much bustle has been swirling around her for the past year.

Whether or not she takes home Grammy Awards, Outside Child was widely lauded as one of the best recordings of last year, and we look forward to what else she has to bring over the next 20 years. So press play and enjoy this episode of Why We Write with Allison Russell.

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