Celebrating American Landscapes!

Meditations on grief, love, joy... and road trips!

On air and online: Friday, Nov. 10 – Sunday, Nov. 12 – The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour hosts a very special show celebrating Southern art, literrature, landscapes and… road trips!

Author: William Dunlap, Ke Francis and J. Richard Gruber –  American Landscapes: Meditations on Art and Literature in a Changing World “A big, elegant fish-fry of a book…” – Roy Blount, Jr.

Author: Luke RussertLook for Me There: Grieving My Father, Finding Myself

Music: Rising Stars Fife and Drum BandThe Evolution of Fife and Drum Music

Music: Andrew BryantProdigal Son

Hosts: Jim Dees with Paul Tate and the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Friday, Nov. 10 – 6 am (CT) WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN

Saturday, Nov. 11 – 3 pm (ET) WUTC 88.1 FM Chattanooga, TN

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, Nov. 12

3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville

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



American Landscapes

William Dunlap has distinguished himself as an artist, arts commentator and educator, during a career that has spanned more than three decades. His paintings, sculpture and constructions are included in dozens of prestigious collections.

J. Richard Gruber is director emeritus of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He has published more than forty-five books and catalogs, including Dunlap: William Dunlap.

He also has been the executive producer of William Dunlap: Objects Found and Fashioned, an award-winning documentary film.

Ke Francis is a narrative artist who has been actively producing artwork for more than forty years. His book works, paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures are in over thirty major public and private international collections.

Luke Russert

“Look for me there,” the late NBC news legend Tim Russert would tell his son, Luke, when confirming a pickup spot at an airport, sporting event, or rock concert. After Tim died unexpectedly, Luke kept looking for his father, following in Tim’s footsteps and carving out a highly successful career at NBC News.

After eight years covering politics on television, Luke realized he had no good answer as to why he was chasing his father’s legacy. As the son of two accomplished parents–his mother is journalist Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair–Luke felt the pressure of high expectations but suddenly decided to leave the familiar path behind.

Instead, Luke set out on his own to find answers. What began as several open-ended months of travel to decompress and reassess morphed into a three-plus-year odyssey across six continents to discover the world and, ultimately, to find himself.

The result is his memoir, Look For Me There – Grieving My Father, Finding Myself (Harper’s Horizon) which encourages readers to take risks and discover their truest selves.

Luke Russert is an Emmy-winning journalist who was an NBC correspondent from 2008-2016. He lives in Washington, D.C.


Sharde Thomas & the Rising Stars Fife and Drum Band

Sharde Thomas is the granddaughter of the late Othar Turner, a leading practitioner of the North Mississippi fife and drum tradition. Her most recent – and highly successful collaboration – was with the Voices Of Mississippi tour that included Luther and Cody Dickinson, Cedric Burnside, Bobby Rush, Ruthie Foster and Bill Ferris.

She also recently toured Africa, particularly Senegal.

Sharde has developed a new show and album that explains and celebrates her music: The Evolution of Fife and Drum Music, with Thomas on fife and vocals and Chris Mallory on bass drum.

NOTE: Sharde continues Otha Turner’s long tradition of goat roast picnics in August. The 73rd Annual GOAT Picnic was held this past August 25th and 26th at Coldwater Shrine Club in Coldwater, MS. Info at goatpicnic.com.

The New York Times has called Thomas and her band, the Rising Stars Fife and Drum Band, “the last living link to fife and drum music.”

Andrew Bryant

Andrew Bryant is a singer-songwriter and producer from Oxford, Mississippi. He makes his own records and is also a founding member of the band Water Liars.

His latest album, Prodigal (Sentimental Noises) will be released on Nov. 3, 2023. The album features the cream of Memphis musicians including, Will Sexton, Mark Edgar Stuart, Will McCarley, Rick Steff, Art Edmaiston and Jim Spake.

“…tuneful, twangy rock ‘n’ roll… Bryant is sturdy, skilled, and serious about his craft.” – Daily Bandcamp.com