Thacker News – Rick Bragg talks “Best Cook” in Mobile, AL Saturday

Bestselling author Rick Bragg will appear in Mobile, AL on Saturday, May 4 at 7 pm as part of The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, an award-winning, Mississippi-based music and literature show. Bragg’s latest book, The Best Cook in the World – Tales from My Mama’s Table, has just been released in paperback. The “food memoir” is a love letter to his mother, Margaret, and a rollicking history lesson about her (very) colorful family and their recipes, food ways and shenanigans.

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, from Oxford, Mississippi, will bring its mix of author readings and eclectic musical performances to Alabama for the first time at the Cedar Street Social Club. Along with Bragg, the show will feature Mobile native, multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough plus Birmingham songwriter Love Moor (Erica Andrew). The show is hosted by Thacker Mountain’s house band and Mississippi writer, Jim Dees. Admission is free though seating will be limited and offered on a first-come, first serve basis.

The Cedar Street Social Club is located at #4, 2106 N Cedar Street in Mobile.

“We’re really excited about hosting the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour’s Alabama debut at our venue,” said Ben Jernigan, spokesman for the Cedar Street Social Club. “This should be a great evening.”

Following the one-hour live recording of the show, Kimbrough and his band will play a one hour set beginning at 8:20 pm.

In the opening pages of The Best Cook in the World, Bragg writes: “Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in “dabs” and “smidgens” and “tads” and “you know, hon, just some.” She cannot be pinned down on how long to bake corn bread (“about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the mysteries of your oven”). Her notion of farm-to-table is a flatbed truck. But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits and butter rolls.”

The book includes many Bragg family recipes recorded for the first time and “handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next.”

Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and author of two bestselling memoirs, All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man. He lives in Fairhope, AL.

Check out this excellent podcast interview with Rick from Garden and Gun that includes a playlist:

Bragg will sign copies of The Best Cook in the World, from 6-7 pm at Cedar Street with books provided by Page and Palette of Fairhope. Thacker host Jim Dees will sign copies of his recent book, The Statue and the Fury, at 3 pm at Page and Palette.

Will Kimbrough is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. A Mobile native, he’s now based in Nashville. His latest album was just released on April 19, I Like It Down Here. Kimbrough has produced albums for Shemekia Copeland, Radney Foster and Jimmy Buffett and toured with Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris, among others.

Rolling Stone previews both of Kimbrough’s new singles here:

Love Moor (Erica Andrew) is a neo soul singer-songwriter based in Birmingham. Her latest album is Simp Girl. included Love Moor on its 2018 list of “25 essential Alabama musicians to know.”

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour airs on Alabama Public Radio (APR) on radio and online every Saturday night at 9 pm.
David Duff, music director for APR believes the show is good fit for Alabama listeners. “We’re very happy to have The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour as part of our weekend line-up. The combination of regional music and the focus on authors from the area makes the program perfect for our audience.”

The Mobile show on May 4 will not be carried live but will be recorded for future air on APR.

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrated 20 years on the air in 2017. The program has booked a wide array of authors over two decades, including bestsellers such as Bragg, Elizabeth Gilbert, John Grisham, Donna Tartt and Jesmyn Ward as well as regional favorites Michael Knight, Ron Rash and Ace Atkins. Past musical guests have included Elvis Costello, Drive-By Tuckers, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and Oscar winner Paul Williams. The program has been honored for broadcast excellence by its home state’s Governor’s Awards and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

More information is available at the show’s website: