TMR returns for another season

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour resumes live performances tonight at 6 p.m. at Off Square Books.

Guests will include novelists Elizabeth McKenzie and Ed Tarkington with musical guest, Memphis soul/jazz band, the Jo Restivo 4.

Jim Dees is host with house band, the Yalobushwhackers featuring John Paul Keith.

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Admission is free.

The show can be heard locally Thursday on WUMS 92.1 FM or online at

Thacker host Jim Dees said the show’s producer, crew and band is ready.

“We always look forward to coming back after a break,” Dees said. “It’ll be fun to see everybody again. I just hope we remember how to do it.”

Guests for upcoming shows include bestselling mystery author Erik Larson, southern author Dennis Covington, Memphis songwriter Keith Sykes, Memphis brass band the Might Souls Brass Band, songwriter Cary Hudson, national reporter (and former Daily Mississippian editor) Jesse Holland and Austin, Texas rockers, The Nightowls.

A full schedule is available at the show’s website:

“The Portable Veblen” (Penguin Press) by Elizabeth McKenzie is a dazzlingly original novel that is big-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny.

Set in and around Palo Alto, California amid the culture clash of new money and anti-establishment values, a young couple, Veblen and her fiancée Paul, find their engagement in danger of collapse. The couple deals with each other’s dysfunctional families, a seductive pharmaceutical heiress, and intimate interaction with a very charismatic squirrel … that’s right, a squirrel.

Ed Tarkington’s debut novel is “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (Algonquin), a small town Southern Gothic story of family loyalty, scandal, murder and the persistence of love.

It is a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of good kid Rocky who finds himself framed for a double homicide in 1970s Virginia. Mississippi author Brad Watson calls it a “deeply fun, deeply satisfying, page turner of a book.”

A native of Central Virginia, Tarkington lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joe Restivo is a Memphis guitar player with nearly 20 years of professional experience as a performer including stints with the Bo-Keys and City Champs. The Joe Restivo 4 celebrates the sound of guitarist Calvin Newborn and the Memphis instrumental tradition of the 1950s and ‘60s from celebrated Memphis record labels such as Sun and Hi.

Following their TMR appearance, the band will perform a one-hour set at the Shelter on Van Buren, across the street from Off Square Books in the basement of Neilson’s.