Celebrating 33 years of music, ideas, & community on the radio
eTown Time Capsule: Allison Russell / Parker Millsap

Join us at eTown this week as we revisit a show taped at The Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas featuring musical guests Allison Russell and Parker Millsap. Allison Russell’s career has exploded in the last few years–she’s received three Grammy nominations and has won several International awards including the Juno Award from her home country of Canada. Allison is joined by members of her “Circle of Goddesses” as they present some powerful and emotive tunes. Parker Millsap shares the bill and plays some conscientious and insightful Americana-flavored songs. Nick also has a sit-down with Tom Rohr of Food Loops to discuss the joys and smells of food composting.

Allison Russell

Grammy-winning artist Allison Russell is a weaver of stories and tales through the medium of music. Since the release of her first solo album three years ago, the self-taught singer, songwriter, poet, activist, and multi-instrumentalist has redefined what artistry means in the 21st century. From her devastatingly moving celebration of survivors’ joy through Outside Child to the body-shaking, mind-expanding, soulful expression of Black liberation that is The Returner, Russell’s music exceeds all reasonable (and unreasonable) expectations and affirms her place among today’s most vital artists.

Various honors include her Grammy win for Best American Roots Performance for the powerful single “Eve Was Black” alongside 7 additional nominations, the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, the Americana Music Association’s 2023 Spirit of Americana Award & 2022 Album of the Year Award, two International Folk Music Awards, three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and four UK Americana Music Awards.

Alongside the Rainbow Coalition Band – a talented ensemble of Black and POC, queer, and historically marginalized musicians from across the U.S. – Russell uses the power of music in order to spread her message of the “Beloved Community” and is dedicated to lifting others upwards as her own star climbs higher.

Parker Millsap

Hailing from the small town of Purcell, Oklahoma, Parker Millsap brings a maverick intensity to his brand of Americana. Ranging from the spare acoustic tone of his early-2010s output to the more nuanced structure of 2018’s rock-driven Other Arrangements, the singer and songwriter continued to hone the layers of his sound heading into the next decade. His fifth album, 2021’s Be Here Instead, was recorded live in the studio with a full band, and he fused acoustic and electronic instruments for 2023’s Wilderness Within You.

As a youth, Millsap alternately spent time singing hymns at his local Pentecostal church and saturating himself in old blues albums, which influenced his unique style along with folk, country, and vintage Elvis-flavored rock & roll. While still in his late teens, Millsap recorded his mostly acoustic debut, Palisade, with childhood friend Michael Rose accompanying him on double bass. Two years later in 2014, his self-titled second LP introduced his signature sound, bringing him national acclaim and leading to support slots with heavy-hitting roots acts like Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Lake Street Dive. His fiery Southern gothic songcraft was further developed on his third record, The Very Last Day, which arrived in early 2016. The following year saw the release of the Third Man Records-issued Luck Mansion Sessions, a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning folk artist Sarah Jarosz. Millsap made a slight stylistic detour for 2018’s Other Arrangements, dialing back on the gospel and folk and delivering a hook-filled set fueled by rock, power pop, and soul. The full-band sound continued on 2021’s Be Here Instead, which was captured live in the studio by producer/engineer John Agnello (Waxahatchee, J Mascis). For Wilderness Within You, his 2023 album, Milsap blended acoustic and electronic instruments; the title track featured guest vocals from Gillian Welch.

Timothy Monger

Tom Rohr: Food Loops

FoodLoops is closing the food loop by recycling food waste. They offer food waste recycling, selling compostable supplies, and zero-waste events in NWA. They reduce the amount of food that enters the landfill and produce an eco-friendly, sustainable compost fertilizer for local growers and residents. They work with the largest waste producers from stadiums and events with hundreds of thousands of attendees to corporate offices looking to make bold actionable steps toward zero waste.