What can’t Allison Russell do?
The recent Grammy-nominated artist (for her 2021 album, Outside Child) previously announced a forthcoming new memoir. Now, Russell is set to dip her accomplished toes into the waters of podcasting with a new show this month, highlighting Black women musicians.
The woman-founded Wonder Media Network, which is based in New York City, has partnered with Russell for Black History Month, and the artist is set to host the daily show Womanica for the month of February, during which she’ll be “highlighting the notable (and sometimes forgotten) Black women musicians who changed the music industry,” according to a press release.
Russell will highlight stories from Etta James to Mary Lou Williams and many more.
“I could not be more honored and thrilled to guest host this month’s Womanica podcast. I’ve always admired the show’s ability to amplify the vibrant, untold stories of notable women throughout history,” said the acclaimed artist. “I’m especially galvanized and eager to highlight these brilliant Black Women—iconic, trailblazing musicians all. These timeless artists have had such a profound influence on my career and art, and a foundational, formative influence on the music industry, and society as we know it.”
Interested listeners can find the podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Russell, who has gone through unspeakable tragedies in her life, is one of the rising big names in music today. She is also being championed by Brandi Carlile, among many other established Americana artists.
And while she has endured much in her life already, she remains positive and hopeful. In December, she told American Songwriter about being a parent during the holidays.
“It’s really healing for me as a survivor of an abusive, broken home and unhappy childhood,” said Russell, “to experience the magic through my daughter’s eyes. One tradition is watching Meet Me in St. Louis. We watch the movie, sing the song. I also started teaching Ida French during the pandemic.”
“And if my experience can be helpful to anyone trapped in that cycle,” Russell said, “for them to know that that’s not what’s going to define you, that it does get better, that there are loving kind people in the world who will see and value you and hear you for who you are as equals. Don’t believe whatever story your abuser is telling you.”