Bring a friend and join us for The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6 pm at the Lyric Oxford (1006 Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission. Doors: 5:30 pm – Cash bar
Guests: Debut novelist Maria Kuznetsova (Oksana, Behave!) with blues singer Tony Boyd and gospel group, the Walker Family Singers
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)
Maria Kuznetsova is the author of the novel, Oksana, Behave! (Random House Trade Paper) an irresistible coming-of-age story about a Russian American girl’s bumpy road to adulthood.
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Told in a series of long vignettes, Oksana’s story begins in her last moments in Ukraine as a young girl and traverses the U.S. from Florida to Ohio, the East Coast to the West Coast over the next 20-odd years. Along with her fiery, sexy grandmother, her gentle and brilliant father, and her nervous but loving mother, Oksana attempts to assimilate, but her efforts are thwarted by her own bad behavior.
“Known as “little idiot” to her family, Oksana seems incapable of taking on the role of Model Immigrant.”
Maria Kuznetsova was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and moved to the United States as a child. She is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Oksana, Behave! is her first novel.
She lives in Auburn, Alabama with her husband and daughter and teaches at Auburn University. She is at work on a second novel, which will be published by Random House in 2021. She is also a fiction editor at The Bare Life Review, a journal of immigrant and refugee literature.
In April of 2010, Robert, Bobby, Alberta, Delouse, and Patricia gathered at the home of their parents, Raymond and Joella Walker in Como, MS to make a record for the independent funk and soul label, Daptone Records. The result was Panola County Spirit (2016) a real and raw acapella version of spirituals, hymns, and quartet-style singings, recorded in their living room. The album received global airplay and positive reviews (“Beautifully intense- A rating” – The Vinyl District).
According to their producer, Michael Reilly, it took almost seven years to realize the project because of the “daunting depth of their repertoire.”
“Their songbook runs so deep that they don’t always even know what they know.”
Ten years later, the Walker adult children continue to sing in the family tradition: acapella and full-throated with no instruments save their highly-honed harmonies.
Tony Boyd is a North Mississippi musician who has played the juke joints and honky-tonks of the Mid-South for over 30 years, including backing blues guitarists Don McMinn and Kenny Brown among many others.
He is currently recording a new album.