Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Monday, October 12, 2020

The Country Soul Songbook Summit is a four-day music festival and conference created by artists taking place on the world-wide-web October 15th - 18th. The Summit will feature performances, curated conversations, interactive workshops, and joyful re-imaginings of the Country-Americana canon. 

Performances and conversations by Amythyst Kiah, Rissi Palmer, Pura Fé, Leyla McCalla, Rev. Sekou, Lavender Country, Kamara Thomas, Birds of Chicago, Cary Morin, Lilli Lewis, Karen & The Sorrows, Kandia Crazy Horse, Loamlands, Joy Clark, Geronimo Collins, Brian Farrow, Gangstagrass, Luis Rodriguez, J.Rees, Dusky Waters, Taylor Crumpton, Shirlette Ammons, Will Darity, Alice Gerrard, Molly Sarlé, Marcus K. Dowling, Charles L. Hughes, Phil CookBlue Cactus, Nana Grizol, Lee Bains + more.

THIS IS WHAT YOUR MAMA’S COUNTRY MUSIC LOOKS LIKE -- a sampling of the exciting conversations that will be taking place at the Summit:

Establishing Black Country in Black Pop Culture: Journalists and Tastemakers In Conversation - Country music's recent explosion of Black stars with crossover potential begs one question: could this be the moment where a sustainable spot in the Black mainstream emerges for Black creatives in country music? Between writer Taylor Crumpton, artist/author Kandia Crazy Horse, podcaster/tastemaker Geronimo Collins, and moderator Marcus K. Dowling, the knowledge and awareness are present to answer this question in this hour-long conversation.

Indigenous Voices: In Conversation with Pura Fé - Legendary artist, singer and activist Pura Fé, of Tuscarora Indian Nation, in conversation about art, songwriting, lineage, and the Land we share.

Ancestral Healing: Ode to Lavender Country - In the journey of inclusion and representation, we must search out and honor those that came before us!  We are excited to celebrate the life and career of queer country artist and elder Patrick Haggerty and his groundbreaking band ‘Lavender Country.’ 

Imaginary Chasm: The History of “Genre Defined by Race” in the Music Industry - Join Lilli Lewis, of Red Hot Louisiana Records and  Charles L. Hughes, author of “Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South” as they unpack how the music industry used and still uses race to define genre, and how this continues to restrict access and opportunities available to BIPOC and LGBTQUIA artists.

90’s Country Was Pretty Gay - The Neon Boots Podcast + members of The House of Coxx  Drag Fam get together to discuss the coopting of queer and BIPOC culture in mainstream country music videos of the 90’s. 

Crack Graham: SONG Power Hour - Join southern artists Nana Grizol / G-Clef / Loamlands / Lee Bains and more in the fight w/ SONG Power to take down Lindsey Graham, break up the power of the right and organize towards a South Carolina where Black, Brown, rural, LGBTQ, and working class South Carolinians can live free from fear.

How to Use Country Music to Organize White People for Racial Justice - Karen Pittelman of Karen & the Sorrows looks at how country music has been co-opted by the right wing, and talks to organizers, musicians, and historians about how we can take it back for our own agenda.

Country Soul Songbook is an online community platform celebrating under-represented voices in Country and Americana music. CSSB’s mission is to center and support historically marginalized artists as instigators of transformation in the spaces and hierarchies that have worked against their best interests.

We know that the music and culture we have come to know as Country, Soul, and Americana share history within a multi-racial, multi-identity, American soup.  Our community is coming together to celebrate what we know this music can be: equitable, integrated, truth-telling, and future-minded. 

Summit happenings include performances, panels, workshops and curated conversations brought to you by a colorful array of creatives and cultural activists. Beginning with land recognition, we’ll take a four day journey through the hearts and minds of Black, Indigenous, Queer, Southern, Spiritual, Working Class contributors to the Country / Soul / Americana community. 

The CSSB Summit is a call for gathering and engaging in vital conversations and accountability practices within our community and the music industry at-large. We will not only be engaging artists that are marginalized within the country music genre, but also those that have profited from systemic exclusion of these artists by asking them to engage with us and become co-signers of the CSSB project. 

Everyone that shares a love for Country & Americana music-- how it’s inspired, how it’s created, who it’s for, and where it's going, are invited to attend. We invite all people to register at our website and join us in raising the voices that are the bones of this music.  See y’all soon.