At six years old, Megan Palmer sat down at a piano with her grandfather to learn “Heart and Soul”. Now, she has built a rich body of work, weaving heartstrings together with her multi-instrumentalist skills. Take Good Care is a soul-stirring, genre-busting document of hope by an artist, a survivor, and a healer, that brings shimmering hope with heart-felt connections. Palmer’s eighth release is the latest in her extensive body of work, which started with Ohio’s The Spikedrivers before she established herself as a driving force on East Nashville’s roots-friendly scene with her own music and backing up artists such as Tim Easton, Amy Speace, Anne McCue, Darrin Bradbury and many others. Bomb Shelter Studio producer Andrija Tokic (Hurray For The Riff Raff, Alabama Shakes) lit up the roots-drenched EP with rays of sunny hope peeking out from beneath the dark clouds. Sixties-era guitar arpeggios bring vintage shimmer to Palmer’s voice as it reaches out into the world in a hopeful crescendo, calling for care and self-care, her colleagues responding with soulful harmonies. She sings and plays keyboard, violin, and guitar, with more magic tones coming courtesy of Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) on bass; Megan Coleman (Yola); JJ Tourville (Deslondes) on guitar and pedal steel; and Derry DeBorja (Jason Isbell) on synth and organ.
Palmer lives for making a difference—on a guitar or in the emergency room. In the palliative care unit of Nashville’s Vanderbilt Medical Center where she works as a registered nurse, empathy takes center stage; after all, as a cancer survivor, she knows what it’s like to be on the other side. Last spring, as COVID-19 began tearing down the doors and coming for everyone in sight, Palmer turned to music as medicine. Take Good Care was written with her co-workers – Dara Downs, Anna Henderson, Rebecca Hixson, and Paul Raymond – to process complex emotions while continuing to bring compassion to end-of-life care, regardless of their workload on the frontlines. As Palmer explains, “The EP commemorates this past year as a time capsule that we will never forget. Caring for each other and ourselves in these times is imperative to surviving as a nurse when there is so much turmoil.” The record is being released on June 3 – National Cancer Survivor Day.
“Her voice, attractively austere and affectation-free, is nonetheless versatile enough to suit the varied styles housing her intelligent lyrics and deft melodies.” – East Nashvillian
“Nurses’ musical voices give comfort in midst of pandemic.” – Associated Press
RIYL: Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jolie Holland, Faye Webster, Margo Price, Lillie Mae
Recommended Tracks: Track 1, “Wide Awake 5AM,” Track 2, “Stop For A Minute,” Track 5, “Take Good Care”