Allison Russell is an artist, activist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of extraordinary power, talent and grace. A founding member of the acclaimed groups Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah), and Birds of Chicago (with her husband and musical partner JT Nero), the Montreal native has begun to emerge as a potent force among creative circles worldwide.
On her debut solo album (Fantasy Records, May 2021), Allison shares the harrowing story of her abusive childhood in a deeply moving, unforgettable song-cycle of courage, empathy, hope and love. With its vivid detail, brilliant songwriting and fearless soul, Russell’s album is both a triumphant artistic statement and life affirming achievement. Outside Child, received three Grammy nominations, multiple Americana Award nominations in the US and UK including a win for “Best International Artist”, two International Folk Music Award wins, three Canadian Folk Music Award wins, and the album was long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Prize. Allison recently made history at the 2022 Juno Awards as the first Black artist to win a Juno in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category. The record was named the #2 Best Album of the Year by the New York Times, and Allison’s song “Nightflyer” made Barack Obama’s annual list of favorites. Russell recently announced signing with publishing house Macmillan / Flatiron for the release of her upcoming memoir.
As producer Joe Henry wrote, her work "is an act of remarkable generosity--a cathartic, soulful, buoyant and redeeming gift to us all.”