Host Post: Oxford music still kicks in the land of lit

by Jim Dees – Oxford’s rich musical history has been well-documented by The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour. Recent guests have included Jim Weatherly, Cary Hudson, Effie Burt, Guelel Kumba, And the Echo, (one of the show’s founders) Caroline Herring, and (next week’s guest) Cedric Burnside. Our radio show has been fortunate to be in a unique position to provide a platform for world-class Mississippi artists. This week’s show continues that tradition in a solid and eclectic fashion.

Kate Teague is a singer-songwriter from Mobile, AL who moved to Oxford to attend Ole Miss as a vocal major and stayed here after her 2015 graduation to further her nascent musical career. She and her band recently wrapped a multi-city tour of the South and Midwest and Teague is now prepping her debut EP. Here’s the kicker: she’s done all of this – writing, rehearsing, recording, touring – while maintaining her (many) duties as producer-director of this show. We couldn’t be prouder.

Kell Kellum is a multi-instrumentalist based in Water Valley who is an in-demand sideman for some of Oxford’s favorite bands. He has played with such area groups as Anne Freeman, Water Liars, Greater Pyrenees, The Great Dying and Jimbo Mathus – all of whom are Thacker regulars.
Kellum’s latest release is Adding to the Ashes (Muscle Beach Records) a gorgeous instrumental album that features Kellum’s mastery of ambient soundscapes on the pedal steel guitar. He will perform some of the album’s haunting selections with an eight-piece band (!) on Thacker this Thursday.

Our author this week is French filmmaker and author, Éric Vuillard. Vuillard’s latest novel, The Order of the Day (Other Press) won the 2017 Prix Goncourt Prize, the French equivalent of our Pulitzer. The book concerns the rise of Nazism in 1930s Europe thanks to propaganda and the financial backing of corrupt corporate overlords. (Ahem).

This week’s show is a microcosm of what we try to present every week: new and surprising music paired with top-shelf literature. Thursday’s show checks those boxes. That our “new and surprising” musical guests just happen to be from North Mississippi should not be surprising.

There’s art in these here hills! Come celebrate it with us.

Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission. Guests: Author Éric Vuillard, singer-songwriter Kate Teague and multi-instrumentalist Kell Kellum
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)

And don’t miss: Before and after Thacker: Thursday, Nov. 1 – 5-8 pm – Southside Gallery – Reception for painter/printmaker Andrew Blanchard and quilter Coulter Fussell. Southside Art Gallery is located on the square at 150 Courthouse Square.

Photo: Kate Teague and band (Thacker Mountain Radio)