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Rissi Palmer with her guitar

Sails Original Music Series continues with Rissi Palmer

The City of Hickory’s Sails Original Music Series continues Friday, September 22, with Rissi Palmer. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. on The Sails Stage in downtown Hickory.

Rissi Palmer's gift lies in reaching across all musical boundaries. While she made her mark in country music, she is equally at home in R&B music, bringing the entire spectrum of popular music to bear on music she calls “Southern soul.”

The daughter of Georgia natives, Rissi was born near Pittsburgh, P.A. and spent her adolescent years in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in a musical family that loved both country and R&B, Rissi was part of a singing and dancing troupe sponsored by a local television station at age 16, and by the time she was 19 years old, she had already been offered her first publishing and label deal. 

“We’re so fortunate to be bringing Rissi Palmer to Hickory. She’s a Grammy-nominated African American woman and the first to ever hit the Billboard charts in the history of country music,” said Bob Sinclair, coordinator for the series. 

A few highlights throughout her musical career include performances at The White House, New York's Lincoln Center, and multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. She has toured extensively across the country, sharing stages with Taylor Swift, The Eagles, Chris Young, Charley Crockett, and many more. Rissi has also made numerous national appearances on Oprah & Friends, CMT Insider, CNN, CBS This Morning, GMA, Entertainment Tonight, and FOX Soul's "The Book of Sean,” and has been featured in Associated Press, Ebony, Essence, Huffington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, NPR's "All Things Considered," PEOPLE, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, to name a few. Rissi is also a Special Correspondent for CMT's Hot 20 Countdown.

As a passionate voice for country artists of color and those who have been marginalized in mainstream country music, Rissi launched her own radio show, Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer, on Apple Music Country. Since making its debut in August 2020, listeners have been treated to in-depth and riveting, often funny, yet very necessary conversations with Brittney Spencer, Cam, Chapel Hart, Crystal Shawanda, Maren Morris, Miko Marks, The War and Treaty, Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, and author/journalist Andrea Williams. In conjunction with her radio show, Rissi created the Color Me Country Artist Grant Fund designed to support new country artists of color who are just beginning to build their music careers.

The City of Hickory’s Sails Original Music Series was started in 2012 to showcase well-crafted, live music by bringing original music artists to The Sails on the Square. Original music is defined as music that is written or composed by the artist who performs it.

The music series continues with Brother Boys on September 29 on Union Square.

The Sails Original Music Series presents excellent musical entertainment from national and international touring acts with the support of numerous sponsors. Thanks to sponsors Atriax, Neill Construction Company, Protection Products, Metronet, Bob Sinclair Music, Larry’s Music & Sound, Pfahlert Creative Labs, Olde Hickory Brewery, and Crowne Plaza.

In addition to the seating available at Union Square, audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. A variety of close-by bars and restaurants offer food and beverages. 

ABC permitted businesses within the Hickory Downtown Social District will sell beer and wine in special marked cups that may be consumed on Union Square, sidewalks, and other public areas within the designated boundaries of the social district. No outside alcohol may be brought into the social district. To review additional restrictions and a detailed map of the social district’s coverage area, visit

For more information about the Sails Original Music Series and upcoming bands, please visit and follow the Sails Original Music Series Facebook page,