Happy Spring! We have to keep meeting like this!
Due to ongoing health concerns, our next month of shows will be performed in the studio – the Thacker Shack! – without an audience and using recorded performances.
Every Saturday, on air and online. Check local radio listings or click the links. Next show:
Air date: Mississippi: Saturday, March 28 at 7 pm: Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Alabama: Saturday, March 28 at 9 pm: Alabama Public Radio
This week’s guests:
Author Lee Durkee (“The Last Taxi Driver”), Memphis musician/songwriter Paul Taylor, New Memphis Colorways and the University of Mississippi World Percussion Ensemble
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Enjoy the show and stay safe, everyone!
Lee Durkee is the author of The Last Taxi Driver (Tin House Books), a darkly comic novel about a day in the life of an exhausted, middle-aged hackie about to lose his job to Uber, his girlfriend to lethargy, and his ability to stand upright to chronic back spasms.
The story careens through the highways and backroads of North Mississippi as cabbie Lou Bishoff becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee’s novel is an homage to a dying American industry.
“A wild, funny, poetic fever dream that will change the way you think about America.”—George Saunders
Durkee’s previous novel is Rides of the Midway (W. W. Norton). In 2021 Scribner will publish his memoir, Stalking Shakespeare, which chronicles his decade-long obsession with trying to find lost portraits of William Shakespeare.
Durkee lives in Oxford, MS.
Multi-instrumentalist Paul Taylor’s new album is The Music Stands. Taylor played most of the instruments on the album under the name, New Memphis Colorways. This project also released an EP in 2018.
Taylor has performed, toured and recorded with the cream of Memphis musicians including the North Mississippi Allstars, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Amy LeVere, the late Sid Selvidge and Jim Dickinson and Ann (“I Can’t Stand the Rain”) Peebles among many others.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal called Taylor “one of Memphis’ most-talented musician-songwriters.”
This innovative student group will take us around the world in a drum: from American ragtime to West Africa to Disney’s Little Mermaid.
The ensemble is under the direction of professor Ricky Burkhead, who has been on the Ole Miss faculty since 1994, teaching applied percussion, percussion ensembles, steel drum and salsa band. He formed the popular University of Mississippi Steel Drum Band in 1995.
Burkhead has performed extensively in a wide variety of venues from blues clubs to jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras. He has presented steel drum clinics across the US South as well as in Jamaica, Argentina and Uruguay.
Burkhead became the drummer for the Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers, in 2016.
His latest release is Perfect Peace: A Lifetime of Songs, which features his original compositions and musical contributions from Thacker regulars Effie Burt, Damein Wash and Kell Kellum.