‘Country Girl’ Rissi Palmer, on Touring, Thriving, and Staying Resilient

Rissi Palmer

‘Country Girl’ Rissi Palmer, on Touring, Thriving, and Staying Resilient

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom 

Rissi Palmer’s 2007 breakthrough hit “Country Girl” put her on the musical map, but it’s her more recent songs, like “Seeds” (off her album Revival), that have showcased her expansive talent — and incredible resilience. 

Lots of vocalists can belt out big, powerful choruses, but only the lived experiences of someone like Rissi can make for the kind of earnest, heartfelt material that transcends genres like country, soul, or Americana. Her most recent release, “Still Here,” with Miko Marks, may be her most poignant collaboration yet, proving that age doesn’t have to be a barrier, or change a musician’s career trajectory. 

We recently caught up with Rissi for the first time in two years, to talk about her current tour (which kicks off May 3rd), her new song with Marks, Sunny Sweeney, and Tami Neilson, and the advice she’d give to her younger self.


Rissi Palmer

Rockmommy: Your song “Still Here” with Miko Marks is powerful, and very timely: Can you tell us how that song came together? 

Rissi Palmer: One day I was cooking and just thinking about how hard this business (music) is and how so many people I started out with are no longer doing it. I laughed to myself because I’m either stubborn or crazy to still want to be here. The opening line came to me in that moment. I immediately thought of Miko and how she’s not only survived it all but thrived, and knew this was something I should write and sing with her. 

We all happened to be in Nashville for Americanafest in 2022, so I set up a writing session with Miko, Justin Phipps, my longtime friend and collaborator, Deanna Walker, and myself and we wrote it. This is a song for everyone who has endured the rain long enough to enjoy and appreciate the rainbow on the other side. You’ve earned it.

Rockmommy: Since our last conversation two years ago, we’ve experienced even more collective trauma in this world. How has that influenced or affected your writing process?  

Rissi Palmer: It’s hard not to affected. I’m a natural optimist, so I’m trying to lead with and write from a place of hope. 

Rockmommy: Can you tell us about your upcoming single with Sunny Sweeney, which drops on 5/12, ahead of Mother’s Day? What drew you to the project? 

Rissi Palmer: I’ve been a Sunny Sweeney fan for a while now so when she reached out, I was immediately interested. Then she told me that Miko and Tami Neilson were involved, I was past sold! It’s a remake of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” and everyone brings their own unique style to their verses and I think it sounds great! 

Rockmommy: You’re going on tour! What are you feeling as you venture out?

Rissi Palmer: This is actually my second tour since the pandemic. Last year my band and I went out for a month with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on his 662 Juke Joint Tour and had a ball. I’m excited to go out with Miko. She’s not only my friend but an artist that I admire, so I’m excited to hear her every night.

Rockmommy: What’s your biggest piece of advice to younger versions of yourself, or artists who are trying to figure out the music business side of things? 

Rissi Palmer: Figure out who you are and what you have to say. Once you are fully in purpose, the pieces will fall together. You have a confidence that only comes with knowing your “why.”

Rockmommy: You’ve been hosting  ‘Color Me Country’ for a while now! How’s that going? Any artist interviews that stand out that were particularly impactful? 

Rissi Palmer: We’re in the 3rd season of the show and it’s been great. I’ve had the opportunity to interview so many artists I’m a fan of, but I think my favorite was Anita Pointer from the Pointer Sisters. It was one of the last major interviews she did before she passed and I’m grateful to have had a chance to give her the recognition she deserves for being a trailblazer for black women in country music. 

Rockmommy: What are your biggest hopes for your daughters and the next generation? 

Rissi Palmer: I pray that by the time my daughters are grown that our society grants them full autonomy of their bodies. That they are granted true equity. I

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.  

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