Celebrate the sounds and stories of the evolving South with Thacker Mountain Radio Hour this Saturday, April 28th, at 7 p.m., on your MPB radio station.
Your hosts will be Jim Dees and house band the Yalobushwhackers. They'll welcome author Eric Barnes, Delta writer Jimmy Reed, blues powerhouse JJ Thames and former Yalobushwhacker John Paul Keith.
John Paul Keith has two new releases out: his latest solo CD, Heart Shaped Shadow, and In the Meantime—the full-length debut from Motel Mirrors, the band he fronts with bassist/vocalist Amy LaVere. Both CDs are on Last Chance Records.
Keith’s previous CDs include Memphis Circa 3AM (Big Legal Mess Records). That was produced by the late Roland Janes—longtime house guitarist and engineer for Sun Records.
John Paul Keith is an avid student of Memphis music history. He appears as a frequent contributor on NPR’s Beale Street Caravan. Keith’s radio experience also includes a stint as the bandleader of the Yalobushwhackers on the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour (2015–2016).
Keith recently contributed a song to the new Don Bryant album on Fat Possum Records, Don’t Give Up on Love.
Soul singer JJ Thames has lived in Mississippi and Detroit. Her 2014 debut album Tell You What I Know (Delchamp) was co-produced by Grady Champion and garnered critical acclaim. The title song was written while Thames was a single mom in a homeless shelter.
Her follow-up, Raw Sugar, was produced by Eddie Cotton and recorded at famous Malaco Studios in Jackson. For her Thacker appearance, Thames will be backed up by the Yalobushwhackers.
Eric Barnes is the author of The City Where We Once Lived (Arcade Publishing), a haunting novel of the near future that combines a prescient look at climate change and industrial flight with a deeply personal story of one man running from his past. Chris Offutt wrote, “The City Where We Once Lived kept me enthralled throughout. At the core is a deep and admirable compassion for humanity.”
Barnes is the author of the novels Shimmer, an IndieNext Pick, and Something Pretty, Something Beautiful. He has also published more than 40 short stories in venues including Prairie Schooner, North American Review,The Literary Review and Best American Mystery Stories. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jimmy Reed is the author of One Hundred by Five Hundred (Christian Faith Publishing) a collection of 100 stories—each 500 words in length—chronicling life in the Mississippi Delta. Many of the stories revolve around life lessons handed down on the farm by an African American mentor, Jaybird.
Reed retired from a two-decade farming career and completed a second career as a university professor in Oxford, Mississippi.