The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour kicks off its spring 2019 season Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission.
Guests: Author Garth Greenwell (“What Belongs to You”) and blues musicians Watermelon Slim (“Church of the Blues”) and Ben Wiley Payton (“Digging Up Old County Blues’). Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
NOTE: This show is part of Pop Up Oxford, a weeklong schedule of lectures, programs & events sponsored by Visit Oxford. More information: http://visitoxfordms.com/about-oxford/
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)
This show will be heard on Mississippi and Alabama public radio networks:
Mississippi: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 pm: http://www.mpbonline.org/
Alabama: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 9 pm: http://www.apr.org/#stream/
Garth Greenwell is the author of the novel, What Belongs to You (Picador) in which an American teacher, working in Bulgaria, enters into a dangerous affair with charismatic young hustler. The relationship turns from lust and tenderness into violence. The teachers struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates and is forced to grapple with the anti-gay world of his southern upbringing and the foreign country he finds himself in.
What Belongs to You, Greenwell’s debut, has recently been released in paperback. Upon its initial release in hardback in 2016, it was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, it was named a “Best Book of the Year” by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages.
“A virtuosic, tender exploration of loneliness and desire, with sentences so breathtaking you’ll find yourself returning to them over and over again.” – NPR
Greenwell lives in Iowa City, IA. He is currently the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.
Bill “Watermelon Slim” Homans has built an international following with his raw, impassioned intensity. HARP Magazine wrote, “From sizzling slide guitar…to nitty-gritty harp blowing…to a gruff, resonating Okie twang, Slim delivers acutely personal workingman blues with both hands on the wheel of life, a bottle of hooch in his pocket, and the Bible on the passenger seat.”
The Boston native’s latest album Church of the Blues is set for release on Jan. 25, with originals plus tributes to blues masters like Muddy Waters, and Fred McDowell. Homans lives in Clarksdale.
Ben Wiley Payton is a blues guitarist/vocalist originally from Coila (co-why-la), Mississippi, a small community in Carroll County, east of the Delta. During his years living in Chicago, Payton honed his chops playing with such acts as Bobby Rush, Joe Evans and the Supersonics, Otis Clay and the late Howling Wolf’s backing band, among many others. His career has since taken him to the stages of the Chicago Blues Festival, the King Biscuit Festival and the Kennedy Center. His latest CD is “Digging Up Old Country Blues.”