It’s Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday and today we feature an artist who is drawing praise across the country, currently touring as the opening act for Ronnie Milsap’s farewell tour. This past Saturday night, she drew a standing ovation at the end of her set at the Sugar Creek Casino’s event center warming the audience up properly for Milsap.
Risa Binder is not your normal up-and-coming country singer. Born in raised in Columbia, MD, Binder took a detour through the country hot bed of Brooklyn, NY on her road to Nashville, a borough whose only other contribution to country music was Eddie Rabbitt. But much like it did for Rabbitt, it gave Binder that “New York toughness” that helps one survive the twists and turns of Nashville. Her time in the city didn’t dim the memories of a childhood running through farmlands and deserted barns, it simply honed the edges.
Performing seemed to always be in Risa’s blood, singing from an early age (as she says from the time she could talk) and then following both of her parents into the theater, which is where her love of country music flourished. As soon as she was old enough, Binder moved to Brooklyn to pursue her career, soon finding herself saving all of her money from waitressing to finance trips to Nashville, attending songwriter nights at the legendary Bluebird Cafe and immersing herself in the city’s sights and sounds.
Binder found herself one of the most popular new artists at the 2014 CMA Festiville in Nashville, signing a constant flow of autographs at the Farm Boy/Farm Girl brands booth. After every show she hosts a “Sweet and Greet” for fans, where she chats and signs autographs and serves her guests cupcakes or other treats procured from local vendors.
Risa has been out on tour in support of her debut EP Nashville, opening for such legendary acts as Milsap and James Taylor. The EP was produced by Luke Wooten, the noted producer who has worked with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Kellie Pickler. Her song “Just Like That” from the EP was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Song in a Daytime Drama, after its prominent feature on the daytime drama General Hospital.
Binder and Wooten are currently in the studio on her off-days, working on her first full length album, a project that features songs from legendary Nashville writers Chuck Jones, Matraca Berg, Phil Barton, and more. The first single from the project is in our spotlight today. Risa Binder and “Pretty” is today’s Unsigned/Indy Artist Thursday Catch of the Day, new music you haven’t heard, but you’ll want to hear it again.
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