Ron Rash’s haunting new novel, “The Caretaker”

A night of voices new and tried and true

Friday, Oct. 6 – Sunday, Oct. 8 –  This week  Thacker Mountain Radio Hour features acclaimed author Ron Rash, singer-songwriter, Teneia and Grammy-winning songwriter, Rebecca Lynn Howard.

Hosted by Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

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

Saturday, Oct. 7 – 3 pm (ET) WUTC 88.1 FM Chattanooga, TN

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, Oct. 8 

3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville

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



Ron Rash

Ron Rash’s latest novel, The Caretaker, (Doubleday) is told against the backdrop of the Korean War, as a small Appalachian town sends its sons to battle.

In 1951 North Carolina, wealthy Jacob Hampton, is conscripted to serve. He enlists the local cemetery caretaker, Blackburn Grant, to look after his wife, Naomi.

Sixteen-year-old Naomi Clarke was an outcast in Blowing Rock, an outsider, poor and uneducated, who worked as a seasonal maid in the town’s most elegant hotel. When Naomi eloped with Jacob a few months after her arrival, the marriage scandalized the community. His wealthy parents disinherited him. Now they are fearful that Jacob may never come home.

Ron Rash is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to the critically acclaimed novels The Risen, Above the Waterfall, The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight.

Rash is the author of five collections of poems; and seven collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Nothing Gold Can Stay, a New York Times bestseller, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award.

Three times the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, his books have been translated into seventeen languages.

Rash teaches at Western Carolina University.



Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Teneia is an award-winning, international touring musician with seven albums to her credit. Her latest releases are the single, Angry Man, and the album, Black Empress.

Her work has been featured on HBO and Netflix as well as in several independent films. One of Teneia’s most prominent pieces, “Stand,” earned a placement in the HBO documentary, Prom Night in Mississippi, featuring Morgan Freeman.

Last November she collaborated with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra as her chamber choir piece, “Breathe,” was performed by the Tougaloo College Concert Choir.

“With the skill of a jazz singer and a warm, disarming stage presence, Teneia can make her voice do just about anything — charm you into a hypnotic trance, make your heart beat faster, or motivate you to get out of your chair and dance.” – David Accomazzo (Phoenix New Times)

Rebecca Lynn Howard

Crossover country-pop singer, and two time Grammy Award Winner, Rebecca Lynn Howard has written hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Julianne Hough, John Michael Montgomery, and Clay Aiken.

Her latest album is “I”m Not Who You Think I Am” which includes the single, “I Am My Mother.”

Of note is Howard is a founding member of the Loving Mary Band, who are currently backing up Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Rebecca is the bassist and one of three vocalists in the band.

For her Thacker appearance, Howard will be accompanied by noted Nashville producer and songwriter (and husband) Elisha Hoffman. The duo will also perform at 8pm for the Ole Miss Women’s Council Songwriters Showcase.