Thacker Mountain Radio Hour starts its new season with New Orleans murder mystery

Published 11:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour kicks off its spring season of live performances tonight at 6 p.m. at Off Square Books. Guests will include New Orleans novelist Nathaniel Rich, country rockers Young Valley and Australian songwriter Harry Permezel. Hosts are Jim Dees and Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers. Admission is free. The show can be heard locally Thursday on WUMS 92.1 FM or online at

Nathaniel Rich will read from his new novel, “King Zeno” (MCD Farrar, Straus, Giroux). Set in New Orleans in 1918, the story richly details the explosion of jazz bands, the devastating Spanish flu, the construction of the canal linking the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, and an unknown “axman” killing local grocers. Rich’s previous books include the novels “Odds Against Tomorrow” and “The Mayor’s Tongue” and a book of non-fiction, “San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present.” Rich lives in New Orleans.

Young Valley is a country music band from Jackson. Its sound includes traditional country and southern-tinged rock. The band’s debut CD, “No Filter,” was released in 2015. Their new CD, “Young Valley,” was recorded at Water Valley’s Dial Back Studios, and will be released this spring. Following their Thacker appearance, Young Valley will play a full set at Proud Larry’s at 9 p.m.

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Harry Permezel is a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. His eponymous debut album was released in 2016 on Oxford-based Muscle Beach Records. His second CD, “Weird and Wonderful Demos,” was released last spring.

On Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will perform at the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the campus of the University of Mississippi. The show is in conjunction with the Oxford Film Festival. Guests will include filmmaker and Slamdance co-founder, Dan Mirvish, debut novelist Xhenet Aliu, Mississippi native country musician Charlie Worsham and special guest, artist/musician Tav Falco. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Other highlights of the spring 2018 season include roots rocker and author J.D. Wilkes (March 1); Memphis music journalist/filmmaker Robert Gordon (March 8); bestselling essayist Sloan Crosley (April 5); up-and-coming blues powerhouse JJ Thames (April 19); and Thacker’s annual Double Decker show, outside on the Square on Friday, April 27. Out of town performances are planned for Clarksdale, Tupelo, Cleveland, as well as Ocean Springs and the Neshoba County Fair.

The complete Spring 2018 schedule is updated frequently on the show’s website,

Host Dees is looking forward to the new season.

“We’re so appreciative of the people of Oxford,” he said. “We look forward to another year of seeing our friends in the audience at Off Square Books and broadcasting Oxford’s love of books and music to the world.”

In addition to the Thursday broadcast on WUMS, the show can also be heard every Saturday at 7 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, (90.3 FM in Oxford) or online at:

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrated 20 years on the air last October.