Join us for a special show that was recorded on the grounds of Rowan Oak, home of William Faulkner! This episode is part of Sarahfest, a celebration of readings, screenings, lectures, concerts—and radio shows—put on by the University of Mississippi's Sarah Isom Center.
The author: Poet Ashley M. Jones
The musicians: Memphis soul sax band Hope Clayburn and the Soul Scrimmage, and New Orleans singer-songwriter Tasche de la Rocha
The time: Saturday, December 29, at 7 p.m.
Your hosts: Jim Dees and house band the Yalobushwhackers
Click here for more information about Thacker Mountain Radio Hour—celebrating the music and stories of the emerging South.
Ashley M. Jones is the author of the poetry collection dark // thing, which won the 2018 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry from Pleiades Press. Her previous book, Magic City Gospel (Hub City Press), was a love song to the author’s home of Birmingham, Alabama, the “Magic City of the South.”
Using traditional forms and free verse poems, Jones takes readers on historical, geographical, cultural, and personal journeys through her life and the life of her home state. From De Soto’s “discovery” of Alabama to George Wallace’s stance in the schoolhouse door to the murders of black men like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner in modern America, Jones weaves personal history with the troubled, triumphant, and complicated history of Birmingham, and of America at large.
Jones is a faculty member in the creative writing department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Hope Clayburn and the Soul Scrimmage is one of Memphis’ funkiest bands—and that’s saying something. Clayburn’s saxophone, flute chops, and soulful vocals have vaulted her to the forefront of the reinvigorated Memphis music scene. Her band, the Soul Scrimmage, mixes soul and funk with Afrobeat and reggae. The band has released a 6-song EP, Love is on The Way, and recently finished recording a full-length album, Y’ALL SO LOUD, at Memphis’s famed Ardent Studios.
The Soul Scrimmage ensemble includes Robert Allen Parker on guitar, Khari Wynn on guitar/bass, Blake Rhea on bass, Jarvis Payne on drums, Victor Sawyer on trombone, Shayla Jones on trumpet, and Mike Sweep on keys.
Jam band magazine Relix said, “Is there no Hope? There is, and she will funk you up!”
Clayburn, it should be noted, also works as a trauma nurse in the emergency room of a Memphis hospital.
Tasche de la Rocha is a New Orleans singer-songwriter-guitarist who brings a beguiling mix of rock, doo-wop, garage, dream soul, and grunge to her sound. Gambit Weekly notes that de la Rocha has “built a reputation on Frenchmen Street, finding rhythms and celebratory sadness in her cloudy, Pacific Northwestern-inspired blues.”
The Portland, OR, native’s latest release is Gold Rose.