Two singers to combine forces, voices on TFAC stage

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

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Two rising-star musicians will join forces at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on Friday, October 28, for a unique concert of blended soul and country music.


Soul in My Country will feature Brian Owens and Rissi Palmer — both accomplished in both soul and country music — along with a full band. The concert will feature Owens’s soulful take on classic country and soul tunes and Rissi’s passionate brand of “southern soul.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $35 (standard seating) and $45 (premium seating) for adults and $20/$25 for students.

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Rolling Stone magazine has tagged Owens as a “Vibrant Soul Singer.” He will be on tour with one of his favorite collaborators, Palmer, who debuted in 2007 with the single “Country Girl.” She is the first black woman to chart a country song since Dona Mason in 1987. Rolling Stone magazine has also lifted up Palmer. Last year, she was hailed as one of the 25 artists to lead music into the next “golden age.” The List has said she is one of the four country artists everyone should know. With seven CDs to her credit, Palmer has produced music that bridges many different audiences, including families, children, and Christmas songs.


“Personally, I can’t wait to see and hear them,” said TFAC’s Executive Director, Marianne Carruth. “All reviews and reports are giving them a big thumbs-up. Tryon has always had a love of soul music, and Polk County is a stronghold of country music. Owens’s version of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire will blow you away. I believe this will be a great opportunity to bring those styles together in a community that enjoys both. It truly is a new experience to hear them sing classic country songs with a soulful style.”


Concertgoers can expect… “A lot of soul!” Owens said. “Rissi and I are always excited to share the stage with one another, and with the new show iteration, we will have the opportunity to dive deep into our individual and collective bags of originals and covers that pay homage to long-standing marriage between country and soul. We are very excited to share this experience with everyone, and I pray that folks are entertained and uplifted in their spirits!”


“Brian and I met while working on his project The Soul of Cash in 2016,” Palmer said. “We instantly connected over growing up in St Louis, MO, and our love of music, specifically country and soul. We enjoyed singing together and decided to continue our partnership through writing and performance. Brian produced by 2019 project, Revival, and we received our first Grammy nomination together in 2021 for our duet Little Black Girl, Little Black Boy from the compilation Children’s album, All One Tribe.”

Soul in My Country is an ode to both of our country and Americana influences, and a response to those who may have felt that folks that look like us can’t or shouldn’t have a voice in those lanes,” Owens said. “The show is composed of our original music, as well as covers by the likes of Johnny Cash. At its core, the show is simply a celebration and continuation of the influence and legacy of the music and artist we love who transcended those genres like Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Aretha Franklin. Quite honestly, I would love to think that Rissi and I have discovered something new, but soul and country are rooted in similar places; they are two branches that find their roots around the same tree.”


TFAC’s Box office and bar will open 30 minutes before show time. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call TFAC at 828-859-8322, Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.




Submitted by Debra Torrence