American Daughters!

Let freedom rock!

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrates stories and songs depicting fierce women: American Daughters!

Author: Maurice Carlos Ruffin (“The American Daughters”) “ [A] stirring story of freedom…”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Music: Amy LaVere and Will Sexton (“Painting Blue”) and Mississippi funk band Monty J and Element (I Just Wanna Party)

Hosts: Jim Dees with Paul Tate and the Yalobushwhackers

(Originally aired: March 8, 2024)

Air times:
Thursday, Thursday, July 18 – 6 pm (CT) WUMS 92.1 FM – University of Mississippi

Friday, July 19 – 6 am (CT) WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN

Saturday, July 20 – 3 pm (ET) WUTC 88.1 FM Chattanooga, TN

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, July 21

3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville

2 pm (MT) KNCE 93.5 | Taos, New Mexico

Archived here: Spotify, SoundCloudGoogle PodcastiHeart Radio



Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The American Daughters (One World) a novel of hope and triumph. The book reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.

Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are inseparable. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future.

When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and directionless until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters.

Ady soon begins her journey toward liberation and imagining a new future.

“ [A] stirring story of freedom…”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A high adventure, a revealing history, and a chronicle of one woman’s self-realization… displayed with cunning imagination and caustic wit.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Ruffin’s previous books include the novel, We Cast a Shadow, and the story collection, The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You.

Ruffin was the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.


Amy LaVere and Will Sexton

Amy LaVere is a singer, songwriter, upright bass player and actress who started out playing punk music as a teenager in Detroit. For the last 20+ years, LaVere has been in Memphis, making Americana music.

Her latest album, Painting Blue produced by husband Will Sexton, received four out of four stars from Mojo Magazine.

NPR’s Robert Siegel says LaVere “specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for.”

“Her growing catalogue of material and steady critical acclaim suggest a first-tier presence on the Americana and indie-folk/punk circuits.”– NPR

Will Sexton, is an accomplished writer, producer and session player. His musical family includes wife Amy LaVere and his brother, guitarist Charlie Sexton.

Will’s latest album is Don’t Walk the Darkness.


Monty J and Element

Monty J and Element are a funk band from New Albany, MS. Formed in 2021, the band covers a variety of music including, gospel, country, R&B, jazz, Southern soul, and blues.

Monty J cites his influences as Earth, Wind, & Fire, Prince, The Whispers, Ray Charles, PJ Morton, among others.

The band’s latest singles are “I Just Wanna Party” featuring Tirvarrus and “Change the World,” featuring Robert Fleming, Jr.