Meet the winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction!

Beat the winter blues with Birmingham tunes, jazz piano and conversation with one cool cow

Live from Off Square Books February 14, 2019 at 6 pm

Join us for The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission.

Guests: Author Bren McClain (“One Good Mama Bone”) with jazz pianist Bill Perry, Jr and acoustic roots musician, Early James
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)

This show will be heard on Mississippi and Alabama Public networks:
Mississippi: Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 pm:
Alabama: Saturday, Feb. 23 at 9 pm:



Bren McClain

Bren McClain is the author of One Good Mama Bone (Story River Books). Set in rural South Carolina in the early 1950s, the novel chronicles Sarah Creamer’s quest to care for a boy who is not her own but instead is the product of an affair between her late husband and her best friend and neighbor, a woman she calls “Sister,” now deceased by suicide. A cow named Mama Red becomes an unlikely “teacher” and confidant for Sarah. The potential cash winnings in 4-H cattle contest provides a possible way out of poverty for Sarah and her stepson – if she can defeat one (overly) determined neighbor cattleman.

One Good Mama Bone was awarded the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.

“A thought-provoking story about families and the animals who sustain them.” – Kirkus Reviews

A native of Anderson, S.C., McClain now lives in Nashville. She is currently at work on a new novel, Took, which won the 2016 William Faulkner-William Wisdom prize for a Novel-in-Progress.


Bill Perry, Jr.

Bill Perry, Jr. is a jazz pianist and music composer who lives in Oxford. His most recent releases are Beyond The Darkness and Phantom. He also wrote and produced Mother Universe and All Her Children, a visual concept album which features five musical movements. Proceeds from live performances of the album have benefited Piano Discoveries (an Ole Miss music camp for kids), and Griot Arts.

Perry is currently at work on a new solo piano album.

Early James

Early James is a folk/blues musician based in Birmingham, Alabama. James puts his own spin on folk, blues, jazz and country with his dark, rusty, vocal stylings. His latest release, recorded with upright bassist, Adrian Marmolejo, is the 4-song EP Early James & the Latest.

Following his Thacker appearance, James will perform a full set Thursday night at Proud Larry’s at 9 pm.

Check out the show!