The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, Oxford’s award-winning music and literature show, will open its spring season this upcoming Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at Off Square Books.
Guests for the first show will include acclaimed debut novelist Garth Greenwell and Mississippi blues musicians Ben Wiley Payton and Watermelon Slim. Admission is free. Off Square Books is located at 129 Courthouse Square. The show can be heard live on WUMS, 92.1 FM or online here.
Thursday’s broadcast will kick off 13 shows to be presented in Oxford culminating in an outdoor show on the Square on Friday night of the Double Decker Festival on April 26. Out of town shows will include a March 2 performance at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi and an April 12 date at the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale.
Thacker Mountain Radio has been on a two-month hiatus since it wrapped up its 2018 schedule in late November capped off by its annual Holiday Membership party Dec. 7. Thacker producer Kate Teague says the holiday party—which includes a popular silent auction to raise production funds—was a great success and provided momentum for 2019.
“We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who donated such cool items to our auction and to everyone who bid on those items,” Teague said. “It was our most successful auction yet and has really laid the groundwork for 2019.”
As usual, the spring season will offer Thacker’s unique mix of authors and musicians spanning a wide array of genres and subject matter. Thursday’s author, Garth Greenwell and his book “What Belongs To You” have made quite a splash since its release. The book, A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, has recently been released in paperback and was named a “Best Book of the Year” by over 50 publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages.
Thacker host Jim Dees says Thursday’s season premiere is a perfect example of the type of show Thacker producers strive to present.
“Garth Greenwell may not be a household name but he probably will be in a couple of years,” Dees said. “Having him on Thacker gives us all a chance to hear a young writer on the launching pad of what looks to be a long and solid career.
“But,” Dees adds, “as great as he is, I’m sure he’ll never again appear on a bill with Watermelon Slim. I think that’s the beauty of our show.”
Other highlights of the new season: Satirist Sam Lipstye (“Hark”) with hill country fife master Sharde Thomas at the Ford Center to kick off the Oxford Film Festival (Feb. 7); Deborah and James Fallows with their book, “Our Towns,” which chronicles their five years barnstorming America in a single engine prop plane (Feb. 21); spoken word artist Minton Sparks (March 21) and local band, the Soultones at the Lyric to kick off the Oxford Conference for the Book (March 28).
In addition to its local broadcast, the show is now heard every Saturday night at 9 p.m. on Alabama Public Radio as well as its long-standing slot on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (90.3 FM) Saturday nights at 7 p.m.
More information on the spring season is available on Thacker Mountain’s website.
Press release courtesy of Thacker Mountain Radio