Thacker Mountain Radio Hour performs at The Lyric Theatre today at 6 p.m. and in Clarksdale, tomorrow, Friday, April 21, at 6 p.m. at the New Roxy Theatre, located at 363 Issaquena Ave. Both events are free and open to the public.
The Friday show in Clarksdale is part of the annual Juke Joint Festival, a four-day event of concerts, performances (pig races!) and art. More info: http://www.jukejointfestival.com/
Thursday’s Thacker show at The Lyric will feature North Mississippi favorite, singer/songwriter, Shannon McNally, debut novelist, Julie Buntin, bird expert Nathan Pieplow and blues trio, 61 Ghosts. The show is hosted by Jim Dees and Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers. Doors open at 5:30, show begins at 6 p.m. A cash bar will be available.
Thursday’s show will be broadcast on WUMS 92.1 FM in Oxford and streamed online at http://myrebelradio.com/.
Shannon McNally’s busy spring has included appearances at South by Southwest with Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan’s guitarist) and even joining Willie Nelson. Her previous album “Small Town Talk” (2013) was a tribute to Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles that featured Luther Dickinson, Vince Gill and Derek Trucks and was produced by Dr. John. Her new CD, “Black Irish,” will be released this June and is produced by Rodney Crowell.
Julie Buntin is the author of “Marlena“ (Henry Holt), an electric debut novel about love, addiction and loss. It’s the story of a teenaged friendship between the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena and her neighbor, Cat, who is inexperienced and desperate for connection. Cat is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit with fatal consequences for one of them. Buntin is from northern Michigan. She teaches fiction at Marymount Manhattan College, and is the director of writing programs at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Nathan Pieplow is the author of “The Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a groundbreaking book that explains how to visually distinguish birds by sound and ID them using a field guide format. Pieplow is the former editor of the journal “Colorado Birds“ and author of “Colorado Birding Trail.” He lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado.
61 Ghosts is a blues power trio fronted by New York veteran guitarist Joe Mazzari and the Mississippi rhythm section of Dixie Street on drums and J.D. Sipe on bass. Their latest release is the six song EP, “…To the Edge.” The group has another CD in the works as well as a spring/summer tour that includes dates in Ireland.
Admission to Friday’s show at the New Roxy in Clarksdale (363 Issaquena Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614) is free. The New Roxy in Clarksdale is a unique venue in that there is no roof so it is basically an outdoor venue. Lawn chairs are encouraged. A cash bar and food service will be available.
Guests for the show will be blues historian/radio host Scott Barretta and blues musicians Anthony “Big A” Sherrod and the Allstars, Lucious Spiller and Cameron Kimbrough. The show will be hosted by Jim Dees and Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers. A pre-show “meet and greet” will be held at the New Roxy beginning at 4:45 pm. The 6 p.m. show will be recorded for future air on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Scott Barretta is the host of “Highway 61,” a blues radio show heard every Saturday at 10 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. He is the co-producer (with Joe York) of “Shake ‘Em on Down,” a biographical film documentary on Mississippi Fred McDowell. A widely-published music journalist and a former editor of “Living Blues“ magazine, Barretta received the 2016 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Mississippi Heritage.
Anthony “Big A” Sherrod & the Allstars is led by Anthony Sherrod of Clarksdale. He is a former student of noted blues educator, Johnnie Billington. Sherrod and his band have developed into spirited performers who delight audiences with their fancy footwork. Sherrod wrote the title track and was featured in the 2012 film, “We Juke Up in Here.”
Arkansas bluesman Lucious Spiller recently moved to Clarksdale from Little Rock. In 2014, Spiller won placed second in the Solo/Acoustic Category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. His CDs include, “Born to Sing the Blues,” and a follow-up, “Still Paying Dues,” due out later this year.
Cameron Kimbrough also comes from a blues family; he is the grandson of North Mississippi Hill Country blues legend Junior Kimbrough and the son of blues drummer, Kent Kimbrough. In 2013 he released an EP of blues/hip hop, “Breakfast for Dinner.”
The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will wrap up its spring season of Oxford shows next Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m. with an outdoor show on the Oxford square as a kick-off for the Double Decker Arts Festival.
The show hits the road for a summer tour beginning in June. More information at http://thackermountain.com/.
By Jim Dees
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