Host Post: Out with a Bang and a Twang


by Jim Dees – The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is ringing down the curtain on a great fall season this Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 pm at the Lyric Oxford. Admission is free and drink service will be available. Doors at 5:30. Our headliner, Southern Avenue, is a rocking blues band from the Bluff City of Soul, Memphis, Tenn.

Hear here: Radio: 92.1FM (Oxford) Online:

Southern Avenue is anchored by two powerhouse sisters raised as “church kids,” vocalist, Tierinii Jackson (pronounced “Tyranny,” which is apt because she rules the stage) and sister/drummer Tikyra. These two have melded their gospel sensibility with a jazz bassist, Daniel McKee, and Ori Naftaky, an Israeli-born guitar virtuoso who grew up on blues and funk. The resulting sound reflects their namesake street in Memphis which runs from East Memphis to Soulville: deep, dirty blues with blasts of soul and detours to country.

Fittingly, their debut album will be released next year by legendary Memphis soul label, Stax Records.

Thursday on the Lyric stage expect Tierinii to prowl, shimmy and wail like a young Tina Turner, while Naftaly earns his blues stripes conjuring the ghosts of Duane, BB, Albert, Little Milton and the whiskey ghosts of Delta jukes past. McKee will hold down the phat bottom while Tikyra bangs out a deep soul pocket. Jeremy Powell adds the sizzle of Memphis organ.

This is music that offers sin and salvation, sometimes in the same song.

Also on this final show of 2016, we’ll have British travel writer, Geoff Dyer, and his new book, White Sands: Experiences From the Outside World (Pantheon). Dyer is a crabby traveler (like most of us) who writes down his experiences, often to hilarious effect (like no one else).

We’ll also have Delta bluesman Watermelon Slim: “Slim delivers acutely personal workingman blues with an Okie twang and both hands on the wheel of life, a bottle of hooch in his pocket, and the Bible on the passenger seat.”

I’ve done 300 Thacker shows but never as an author. It will be strange indeed to introduce myself and then – what? – interview myself?  Chat with a ghost of the Lyric? Whatever happens, I’ll be proud to be there among such dynamic guests and our cool crew and band with my new book about Oxford, The Statue and the Fury.

Jim Dickinson would have turned 75 this week; Mose Allison passed away on Tuesday. We’ll have both families in our hearts. I believe Jim and Mose would have loved Southern Avenue – and you will too.

Bring some pals and come early for a cocktail. We’re sending the 2016 Thacker season out with a bang and a twang. As Dickinson used to say: “If you ain’t ready, better get ready.”

Let us rock.

  The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will resume live production on February 2, 2017. In the meantime, the show can be heard every Saturday night at 7 pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

A special Membership/Holiday Party to raise funds for the show will be held on Friday, Dec. 2, 6-9 pm at Southside Gallery, 150 Courthouse Square.