When the Levee Breaks!

When the Levee Breaks with Candice Ivory, poems from the Navaho Nation and... pothole blues!

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour returns to our roots with this show recorded on Feb. 15, 2024 at Off Square Books – our original broadcast home!

Author: Jake Skeets – “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers: Poems”

Music: Memphis/St. Louis jazz/blues vocalist Candice Ivory (performing with the Yalobushwhackers) and songwriter Drew Young

Hosts: Jim Dees with Paul Tate and the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:
Thursday, Feb. 15 – 6 pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Friday, Feb. 23 – 6 am (CT) WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN

Saturday, Feb. 24 – 3 pm (ET) WUTC 88.1 FM Chattanooga, TN

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, Feb. 25

3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville

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



Jake Skeets

Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed Editions) winner of the National Poetry Series and a 2020 American Book Award, among other accolades.

The collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, and also a fierce reclamation of a living place–full of beauty as well as brutality.

“Skeets is a new, essential voice in poetry, in literature.” — Tommy Orange, author of There, There, winner PEN/Hemingway Award; finalist 2019 Pulitzer Prize.

Skeets is from the Navajo Nation and is the 2023-2024 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi.


Candice Ivory

After releasing three acclaimed albums of jazz-driven original songs, vocalist Candice Ivory reveals a whole new sound on When the Levee Breaks: The Music of Memphis Minnie (Little Village Records).

Raised in Memphis and based in St. Louis, Ivory hails from a musical family that shaped Memphis’s secular and sacred sounds. Her great-uncle was the singer and guitarist Will Roy Sanders of the Fieldstones, one of the premier Memphis blues bands from the 1970s to the 1990s.

When the Levee Breaks brings together all of her formative musical experiences in a tribute to Memphis Minnie (1897-1973), whose powerhouse vocals and compositional creativity served as inspiration for Ivory’s own innovations as the Queen of Avant Soul.

Produced by guitarist-bassist Charlie Hunter, Ivory’s When the Levee Breaks is a midnight run to the crossroads, where jazz, blues, gospel, and R&B converge.

Drew Young

Songwriter Drew Young’s latest album is Bourbon and Bad Decisions, a collection of songs that chronicles his journey to sobriety.

During, and since the pandemic, Young has recorded a backlog of songs in Nashville with top session players.  The result is some 60 songs that are being released one-by-one as singles.

His current release is “I’ve Come To Love You Madly.”

To date the songs have amassed over three million streams and counting!

Photo: Joe Vegna