Sunday, 3 February, 2008 6:57 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Rissi
by Jimmy Bruch
Entertainment recording artist Rissi Palmer
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
When Rissi Palmer invites
all the women in the house to "clap your hands . show the world
you're a Country girl," she's doing more than delivering a
show-stopping vocal over a stomping, fiddle-lashed groove. She's
actually practicing what she preaches.
That's the main reason
why the world didn't get the chance to know her first as an R&B
superstar. That opportunity beckoned when legendary producers Jimmy
Jam and Terry Lewis invited her into their stable of big-time clients,
which at that time included Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey,
Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson.
But as a finalist in
"Star Search" in 2003, the glitzy talent hunt phenomenon
of the 1980s and early '90s that CBS-TV had revived, she found her
true path, thanks to a few simple words from celebrity judge Naomi
Judd: Awarding Palmer the maximum score of five stars, the Country
legend said, "There are only two kinds of music, good and bad
- and Rissi is good."
That's made clear on
her self-titled debut featuring nine songs written or co-written
by Palmer. The swaying romanticism of "Hold Onto Me,"
thoughtful introspection of "Anybody Out There" and irresistible
strut of "Country Girl" testify to Palmer's refined, soulful
singing. But her writing chops are just as evident, making it no
surprise that one of her songs, "Faith," was included
in the soundtrack for the Miramax film "The Woodsman"
For all the travels she's
taken, creatively and personally, from the talent shows of her teenage
years in St. Louis to the publishing deal she signed with Song Planet
in Nashville at age 20, she presents her message with the assurance
you'd expect from a down-home Country girl on her way to the big
IN HER OWN WORDS
Who is your musical
"I admire Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand. They both have
had amazing careers, succeeding in music and film, and in Dolly's
case, songwriting. And they still do it today. They have longevity,
and that's what I want."
Which song would
you secretly like to cover?
"'Sweet Lorraine' by Patty Griffin. That song gave me chills
the first time I heard it."
What is your pet
"People who won't let you over in traffic."
What CD is on your
"I have a six-CD disc changer: Mindy Smith, Patty Griffin,
Sugarland, Craig Morgan, Robin Thicke and me."
What actor would
portray you in a biopic about your life?
"Someone with really curly hair."
What moment in your
life would you relive if you could?
"Any time spent with my mother."
Do you have a lucky
"My yorkie, Jeremiah."
Which mode of transportation
do you prefer - planes, trains or automobiles?
"I love the loud engine of my Mustang."
Who is your dream
"Vince Gill or Jamie O'Neal."
On the Web: www.rissipalmer.com
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