‘Be Holding’ – Hoop dreams with poet Ross Gay, plus singer-songwriter James Cox and a special appearance by Jimbo Mathus and the New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers!

Season Finale! Rocking into the holidays with Dr. J, a traveling songwriter and a secret North Mississippi blues session!

November 28, 2020 at 7 pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting; 9 pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio; 3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Thursdays 6 pm (CT) University of Mississippi; Fridays 9 am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio

Saturday, Nov 28The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour welcomes poet Ross Gay, singer-songwriter James Cox and blues “super group” the New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers! Join us for our season finale!

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Saturday. November 28 – 7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

3pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Thursdays 6pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Fridays 9am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio



Ross Gay

Ross Gay’s new book-length poem is, Be Holding (University of Pittsburgh Press). This inventive work is a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving—known as Dr. J—who dominated courts in the 1970s and ‘80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia ‘76ers.

Gay connects Dr. J’s famously impossible move from the 1980 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to pick-up basketball and the flying Igbo and the Middle Passage, to photography, surveillance, state violence, music, personal histories of flight and familial love.

“This extraordinary book offers an unforgettable flight from the conventional boundaries of the sentence.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Gay is the author of the poetry collections Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens (with Aimee Nezhukumatathil), River (with Rose Wehrenberg), Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, and the essay collection The Book of Delights.

He teaches poetry at Indiana University.


New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers

The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers came together in January 2008 when musician brothers Luther & Cody Dickinson sat down for a guitar jam with Squirrel Nut Zippers leader Jimbo Mathus (pictured) along with blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite, guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart and the Dickinson’s dad, the well-traveled blues shaman, Jim Dickinson.

The result was some 20 tunes recorded under the name New Moon Freedom Rockers to which Jim added “Jelly Roll.” The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers were born but the tapes sat on the shelf — until now!

These songs were done in one take off the floor over a couple of late nights, with each musician taking turns singing and improvising on the spot.

Jimbo Mathus will join us to to recall these spontaneous sessions, the comraderie of these old friends and their effortless musicianship.

The first 10 tracks are now available on the prestigious Canadian roots music label, Stony Plain Records, with the next 11 songs coming in spring 2021 on Volume 2.

Read the No Depression review and hear the opening track.

Jimbo Mathus’ latest album is Incinerator (Big Legal Mess).

James Cox

James Cox is a traveling singer-songwriter having lived and worked in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Pacific Northwest and the Southeastern United States where he spent time in Nashville before moving to the musically-rich Mississippi Delta. Over the last few years he has released albums based on his geographical location.

His “Portland album,” ANNA was released in 2014, and his “Nashville album,” CABBAGE, was released in 2017. With influences such as Elliott Smith, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley, and now living in the land of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, we look forward to his “Mississippi album,” which is scheduled for spring 2021.

“If your record is called CABBAGE there better be something significant behind it. In this case there certainly is. James Cox is not being hokey anywhere on this record, and those who are willing to sit down and listen will be greatly rewarded.” – Divide and Conquer