Rissi Palmer, who describes her musical style as “Southern Soul,” has received widespread media attention in national publications including Ebony, Parade, People, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and more. She has performed on the CBS Early Show, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show, Oprah & Friends, at the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Grand Ole Opry. Rissi has also shared the stage with such notable artists as Charley Crockett, Chris Young, Taylor Swift and The Eagles, to name a few. And, on top of all that, she made music history in 2007 with the release of her Top 40 debut single, “Country Girl,” becoming the first African-American woman to chart a country song since 1987.
Since the release of her nationally distributed debut album, Rissi has released two albums on her own indie label Baldilocks LLC, including the children’s album Best Day Ever and her latest critically acclaimed EP, The Back Porch Sessions. She is currently working on a new album scheduled for release in 2019.
Keenan Jenkins’ musical career began during his Ph.D. studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he played open mics and local showcases between long days on the third floor of the psychology building. By the time he’d finished his degree, drained and discontent, his musical moonlighting had meanwhile bloomed in full color. He took the cue and dove headfirst into the rich music scene in Carrboro, NC.
Jenkins now performs as XOXOK, crafting atmospheric soul music that is conceived on the fretboard, cultivated at the microphone, and cradled in headphones. The guitar and vocal influences are far-flung, but cohesive—see Jeff Buckley, Moses Sumney, and Anna Calvi, among others. His live performance is a model of intimacy and presence; armed with “sweet, ringing vocals” (Queen City Nerve), XOXOK delivers impassioned songs with unabashed conviction.
XOXOK’s debut EP Worthy is both a lush soundscape and an exercise in growth. On the opening track, “Nancy, M.D.”, he declares, “I need you / more than your patients will ever need you as their medic”. However, by the final song (the title track, “Worthy”), he has changed his tune: “I don’t need you to love me / I just want to be worthy”.