“Country Music’s Struggle to Define Women,” an official SXSW (South by Southwest) 2019 panel discussion on songwriting, sexism and country radio airplay will be held at the Austin Convention Center on March 13 at 3:30 p.m. The hour-long discussion will include Baby Robot Media publicist and music journalist Lorie Liebig, professor and award-winning music journalist Beverly Keel, acclaimed artist and songwriter Priscilla Renea and KOKE FM radio personality Rita Ballou.
SXSW attendees with Music Badges, Platinum Badges and Artist Wristbands will get primary entry into the panel event. Film Badges and Interactive Badges will get secondary entry if seating permits.
Lorie Liebig is a publicist at Baby Robot Media and is the former Managing Editor for Wide Open Country. Liebig has written for Rolling Stone Country, NPR Music, No Depression, and the Nashville Scene, and acts as an A&R Scout for Elektra Records.
Beverly Keel is a professor and chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry and an award-winning music journalist whose work has appeared in People, Parade, The Tennessean, and many other publications. In 2014, she joined forces with Tracy Gershon and Leslie Fram to create Change the Conversation, which has become an influential movement in the area of gender equality in country music.
The country-soul sound of Priscilla Renea’s game-changing new album, ‘Coloured’, finds the singer and chart-topping songwriter coming full circle. The Florida-born, LA-based singer-songwriter wrote her first song at age eight, got her start posting self-recorded songs on YouTube as a teenager, and hasn’t stopped creating ever since. Now, after spending nearly a decade as a songwriter-for hire, penning hits for stars like Rihanna, Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Demi Lovato and many others, Renea has emerged to tell her own story with the chameleon-like stylistic range and emotional intelligence that has brought so many others’ hits to life. Spanning classic R&B, dark-edged country and urban-soul, ‘Coloured’ is a fierce, political, and personal collection of stories that reckon with Priscilla’s childhood in rural Florida, sublime love, violent heartbreak and racial trauma.
Rita Ballou took the Texas/Red Dirt music scene by storm in 2010 with her controversial website RawhideandVelvet.com. Her snarky-but-fresh take on country music, celebrities, reality television and all things pop culture quickly became a must-read for over 50,000 music fans a month and one of the most respected sources for Texas/Red Dirt news. But when radio came calling, Ballou turned her attention to some of the biggest stations in Texas. In 2012, Ballou started her career as on-air talent at Shooter FM in Waco, but she soon took on the coveted afternoon drive slot at US 105 in Temple. Her last step up the ladder landed her where she is now, at Austin’s KOKE-FM. Ballou is also the social media/digital manager for KOKE-FM and preps the station’s Texas/Red Dirt music news segments (aptly named The Ballou News).