Celebrating R.L. Boyce

Suspense in the Deep South, new-soul grooves and rollin' and tumbling with the late R.L. Boyce

Friday, Dec. 1 – Sunday, Dec. 3 – Tune in for a small town murder mystery where the whole town is a suspect, plus down-home blues and soul! We’ll take a moment to celebrate Mississippi bluesman, R.L. Boyce, who performed on this show (recorded Feb. 2023) and who passed away on Nov. 9, 2023.

Author: Jamila Minnicks – Moonrise Over New Jessup“…compelling characters and a heart-pounding plot.” – Barbara Klingsolver

Music: Blues musician R.L. Boyce and songwriter/guitarist Ally Durr

Hosts: Jim Dees and house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Friday, Dec. 1 – 6 am WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN.

Saturday, Dec. 2 –3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, Dec. 3 – 3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville

Listen: Thacker Mountain Radio Hour on Spotify



Jamila Minnicks

Jamila Minnicks is the author of Moonrise Over New Jessup (Algonquin Books), which won the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

The novel takes place in 1957 as Alice Young steps off the bus into the all-Black town of New Jessup, Alabama. The residents there have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. Instead, they seek to maintain, and fortify, the community they cherish on their “side of the woods.”

Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, an organizer whose activities challenge New Jessup’s longstanding status quo and could lead to the young couple’s expulsion—or worse.

“…compelling characters and a heart-pounding plot.” – Barbara Klingsolver

Minnicks’ essay, Politics of Distraction, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Howard University School of Law, and Georgetown University, Minnicks has family roots in Alabama and currently lives in Washington, DC.


R.L. Boyce

R.L. Boyce’s 2017 album Roll And Tumble earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album. His latest release is the EP, True Man. Like all Boyce’s recordings and performances, the music perfectly captures the juke-joint, moonshine-fueled, picnic party life of the north Mississippi blues.

Boyce is from Como, Mississippi, home to Mississippi Fred McDowell. He started out as a drummer and driver for the Rising Star Fife and Drum band with cane fife master, Otha Turner. Since branching out as a solo act, Boyce’s releases include the EP Sometimes I Worry, and the albums Rattlesnake Boogie and Ain’t Gonna Play Too Long.

Ally Durr

Ally Durr is a singer songwriter from Jackson, MS. Her latest releases include the singles What You Livin’ For and Keep Fighting, which is included on the soundtrack of the film, I’m From You.