At some point, a hot, frisky Saturday night becomes Sunday morning. The blues wail turns into a gospel moan as sin and salvation start a foot race to dawn. We’re going to explore that mercurial moment this Thursday at 6 pm at The Lyric Oxford on The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour.
The Barnes Brothers, Chris and Courtney, of Memphis (above) have been singing church gospel all their lives. Their mother, Deborah, was one of the back-up singers for Ray Charles. The brothers know the potent nether world of Saturday-night-Sunday-morning.
Chris and Courtney have teamed up with Oxford’s own Bruce Watson of Fat Possum and Big Legal Mess Records, to release their debut gospel album, Nobody’s Fault But My Own. The album is on the Bible and Tire label, founded by Watson. His mission is to bring back the classic, soulful gospel sound.
“Deep soul gospel music is soul music without the sex,” he writes on the label’s website. “I wanted to start a Memphis-based record label that specializes in finding these artists and presenting gospel in the spirit and sound of the past.”
They succeeded. On this album, The Sensational Barnes Brothers give Saturday night a run for its money with a crackin’ band (including Jimbo Mathus, Kell Kellum, Liz Brasher and Jim Spake) while harmonizing from a deep well of brotherly gospel chops. For their Thacker appearance, the brothers will team with our own Yalobushwhackers, a match made in somewhere other than heaven. The Lyric may levitate.
Country singer Maggie Rose will stop by for a quick couple of songs. After an appearance on the Today show and opening for Jason Isbell, she is building her own audience on the success of her latest album, Change the Whole Thing. Maggie is performing at this year’s Harvest Supper at Rowan Oak and is graciously visiting us before joining that worthy cause.
Our author this week is young adult novelist Morgan Parker who is actually a prize-winning poet with her first prose fiction, Who Put This Song On? (Delacorte Press). Her book is an unflinchingly look at teen suicide and feelings of being an outcast. Like gospel triumphing over blues, her novel details the journey to overcome “life’s never-ending hamster wheel of agony.” (Oh, to be 17 again!)
Join us at the Lyric for this special show. Bring a friend, come early (Doors: 5:30 pm) and have a cocktail. It’s Thacker Thursday!
“Retread Your Soul!” (Bible and Tire Records)
— Jim Dees
The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Thursday, Oct. 17 at 6 pm at the Lyric Oxford (1006 Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission.
Guests: Author Morgan Parker (“Who Put This Song On?”), gospel group the Sensational Barnes Brothers (“Nobody’s Fault But My Own”) plus a special appearance by country singer Maggie Rose (“Change the Whole Thing”)
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)