When the American Booksellers Association gathered in Memphis this year for their annual conference, Thacker Mountain Radio Hour was there to close out the event with style, songs and stories. Listen in this Saturday!
Your hosts: Jim Dees and house band the Yalobushwhackers.
The guests: Cold Mountain author Charles Frazier (Varina), poet/novelist Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X), author/songwriter Dar Williams (What I Found in a Thousand Towns), Memphis soul band The Bo-Keys (Heartaches By the Number).
The Bo-Keys are a soul/jazz band from Memphis formed to pay homage to the city’s rich musical tradition. The band is made up of young musicians—who help breathe new life into the soul sound—as well as veterans who actually played on the original hits from Hi and Stax Records.
Their albums include 2004’s The Royal Sessions, which was made at Memphis’ Royal Studios, where producer Willie Mitchell and Al Green cut their soul and pop hits; 2011’s Got To Get Back, featuring guest vocalists Otis Clay and William Bell, Bo-Keys singer Percy Wiggins, and Grammy winning blues harmonica kingpin Charlie Musselwhite; The Electrophonic Singles, Vol. 1 (2014), which includes their take on the soul classic "At the Dark End of the Street" and "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly."
Their latest release is Heartaches By the Number (Omnivore 2016), which is the Bo-Keys' soulful interpretations of classics from Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Swamp Dogg and Ray Price.
The New Yorker has called Dar Williams “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.” Her most recent album is Emerald (2015). Williams is also an activist and author. Her most recent book is What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, & Open-Mike Night at a Time (Basic Books). The book is a love letter to America’s small towns and a hopeful message about the potential of America’s lively and resilient communities.
Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He is the author of three award-winning, New York Times bestselling novels: Nightwoods, Thirteen Moons and Cold Mountain, which won the 1997 National Book Award and was made into a film that received seven Academy Award nominations.
His newest, which came out in April, is Varina (Ecco) about the life of Varina Howell Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America.
Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut novel is The Poet X (Harper Teen). Her other books include two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths and Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm, which won the 2016 Berkshire Award. Acevedo has performed her poetry for more than 14 years on stages around the world and on several TED Talks. She is a former National Slam Champion, and in 2016 she was the Women of the World Poetry Slam representative from Washington, D.C. where she lives.