Michael Farris Smith’s prequel to Gatsby: Nick! with Lucky 7 Brass Band and rockers, Monsters At Large!

From the Threefoot Festival in Meridian, MS at the historic Temple Theater

May 29, 2021 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, May 29 – The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour welcomes author, Michael Farris Smith and his “prequel” to The Great Gatsby entitled, Nick, with music by The Lucky 7 Brass Band and rock bandMonsters At LargeThis show was recorded at the Temple Theater in Meridian, MS at the 2021 Threefoot Festival.

Hosts: Jim Dees and Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times – On line and on air:

Saturday, May 29 – 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



Michael Farris Smith

Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in his new novel, Nick, a “masterful” look into his life before Gatsby (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and Chances Are).

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the center of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.

Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence.

An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know but few have pondered deeply.

The book’s many accolades include, Entertainment Weekly’s Top Reads to Start 2021; O Magazine’s Best Books of the New Year; Town & Country 27 Books to Sink Your Teeth Into; and Garden & Gun Top-of-2021 Reading List for Southerners.

Michael Farris Smith is the author of the novels BlackwoodThe FighterDesperation RoadRivers, and The Hands of Strangers.


Lucky 7 Brass Band

The Lucky 7 Brass Band is a Memphis powerhouse that brings a multitude of influences into their dynamic live sets from the sweet soul sounds of Stax to rock, pop and hip-hop. The band is Ryan Peel (drums), Neal Bowen (bass), Randy Ballard (trumpet), Jawaun Crawford (trumpet), Nathan Duvall (trombone), Victor Sawyer, trombone), and Jeremy Louis (alto sax). Veteran alto sax man, Jim Spake, often performs with the band.

Monster At Large

Based on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Monsters at Large is a classic rock, funk, cover band that enjoyed immediate success and appreciation since it’s inception in 2015. It’s original members included seasoned players from The Dock of the Bay Music Company Band, including former Blood, Sweat, and Tears singer Jerry Fisher.

The band is currently led by veteran saxophonist Casey Ray Lipe.

A professional musician for over 40 years, Lipe is a member of the Ole Miss Jazz Hall of Fame and has performed in venues from New York to New Orleans. He studied jazz education at the University of North Texas. Lipe currently has two releases out, Down the River and The Scavengers.