Season Finale! Double Decker Special at the Powerhouse!

Cigars with Mark Twain! Plus gospel greats the Staples Jr. Singers and NOLA rapper Alfred Banks!

Powerhouse Arts Center, Oxford, MS 38655 April 27, 2023 at 6 pm

Join us Thursday, April 27 at 6 pm for a very special season finale! FREE Admission. Warm up for Double Decker weekend with this hot show!

Venue: Powerhouse Arts Center – 413 S 14th St, Oxford, MS 38655 (next door to Newks)

Doors: 5:30 pm – Refreshments – Show: 6 pm – Come early and bring your party posse! Plenty of seating.

Admission: FREE! Public invited!


Author: Tom Piazza – The Auburn Conference  ( “…intriguing mix of humor and underlying seriousness makes this an engaging change of pace…”) – Kirkus Reviews 

Music: Gospel groovers The Staples Jr. Singers and New Orleans rapper Alfred Banks

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers Big Band with the Thacker Horns

Air times:

Thursday, April 27 – 6:00 pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Friday, May 5  – 6 am WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN.

Saturday, May 6 –3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Sunday, May 7 – 3 pm (ET) WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville




Tom Piazza

It is 1883, and America is at a crossroads. At a tiny college in Upstate New York, an idealistic young professor has managed to convince Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Confederate memoirist Forrest Taylor, and romance novelist Lucy Comstock to participate in the first (and last) Auburn Writers’ Conference for a public discussion about the future of the nation.

By turns brilliantly comic and startlingly prescient, The Auburn Conference vibrates with questions as alive and urgent today as they were in 1883—the chronic American conundrums of race, class, and gender, and the fate of the democratic ideal.

Tom Piazza’s twelve books include the novels A Free State and City of Refuge, the story collection Blues and Trouble, and his nonfiction work Why New Orleans Matters. He was a principal writer for the HBO series Treme, and lives in New Orleans.


The Staples Jr. Singers

The Staples Jr. Singers were part of a vanguard of soul gospel artists in the 1970s that broke from tradition to testify with the groove, writing songs that were stone cold soul.

Like many gospel acts of the time, they were a family band: Annie, A.R.C., and Edward Brown from Aberdeen, Mississippi. They were just teenagers, Annie was only 14, A.R.C was 15, and Edward was 16 when they recorded an album, When Do We Get Paid.

Forty years later, the album has now been reissued by international record label, Luaka Bop (founded by Talking Heads front man, David Byrne) and The Staples Jr. Singers have become a global sensation, touring venues around the world.

The group appeared on Luaka Bop’s critically acclaimed compilation World Spirituality Classics 2: The Time for Peace Is Now – Gospel Music About Us (2019), which features their single “We’ve Got a Race to Run.”

Alfred Banks

Multi award-winning New Orleans rapper/singer Alfred Banks has garnered acclaim from some of hip-hop’s most esteemed publications. He recently completed three legs of a North American tour with Grammy nominees Tank & the Bangas.

His latest release is the six-song EP, The Range 2. His 2019 collaboration with The Soul Rebels, “Greatness,” was a prominent anthem in ESPN’s 2020 basketball coverage.

Burning Sands, the 2017 Netflix film executive produced by Oscar winner Common, featured Banks’ “UnderDogCentral” on its soundtrack.

Banks’s notable live appearances include SXSW, A3C, Voodoo Festival, and BUKU Music + Art Project. He has supported tours from international bounce icon Big Freedia as well as MegaRan, Mickey Factz and has led several headlining tours of his own.

In 2017, Banks released The Beautiful, an album which debuted at #12 on iTunes’ “Rap/HipHop” Charts & #79 on Billboard’s “HeatSeeker” Charts.

The album features a conceptual approach dealing with schizophrenia.

His 2021 album, One Guy Standing By Himself, debuted at #3 On iTunes “Rap/HipHop” Charts, the performer’s highest debut.