by Jim Dees – The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour kicks off its fall season (and 20th anniversary year!) today in the friendly confines of Off Square Books on the Oxford square. Today’s show is a homecoming after the most successful summer road season in our history. Thacker played to full houses in Clinton, Tupelo, Jackson, and the Neshoba County Fair (five new overhead fans at the Pavilion!) culminating in a sold-out performance and after party at the magical Mary C. Cultural Center in beautiful Ocean Springs. With its breezy, tree-lined downtown teeming with art, restaurants and local quirks, Oceans Springs feels like Oxford on the beach.
Big thanks to everyone who came out this summer. It’s good to know we’re really on the radio.
As with every road trip, at some point, you have to come home. Rather than being a let-down, coming back to Oxford and Off Square Books doesn’t feel like the end of the fun but more like a moveable feast heading back where it belongs.
As the saying goes, you can’t make old friends. As cool as it is to meet new listeners and share the Thacker vibe up and down the state, nothing compares to walking into Off Square Books on Thursday at six and seeing the square lit up, the gathering of familiar faces and the shared feeling of love of a good story and a well-crafted tune. The air is electric with that nervous anticipation of live radio before a packed audience. There is an undeniable magic as it comes together and the green light pops on: “Showtime!”
Tonight’s show will feature new Oxford resident, Catherine Lacey, who is this year’s Grisham Writer-in-Residence. She has an intriguing new novel out called The Answers about a wealthy whacko who hires different women to attend to his various needs in what he calls, “The Girlfriend Experiment.” Lacey is no stranger to dark themes – and critical acclaim. Her first novel, Nobody is Ever Missing, garnered great reviews even though it dealt with a woman shrouded in hopelessness who decides to drop out and turn her back on loved ones. Despite her seemingly heavy plots, both books are very funny, as one reviewer wrote, “pitch-black comedy.”
Our musical guests will include Oxford favorites, And the Echo, a synth-pop duo with Morgan Pennington and Winn McElroy who have just released their second CD. Also, we’ll have the Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, not a CIA front, but a reggae band from Memphis who will kick off the show with acoustic healing music dedicated to victims of the historic and horrific storm, Harvey.
Speaking of storm, we may be dodging some raindrops tonight to and from the show but that’s OK. A little wind and rain won’t dampen the spirit of tonight’s Thacker Mountain Radio.
After all, we’re home.