Sunday, August 14, 2022

Thacker Mountain Radio Returns with New Yalobushwackers Leader

John Paul Keith
Meet the new leading man of the Yalobushwhackers, John Paul Keith.

One of Oxford’s most famous radio shows is back and better than ever for the spring season with an exciting line-up and the debut of the house band’s brand new leading man at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Ravi Howard
Award-winning novelist Ravi Howard

With weekly author readings and a wide array of musical performances, the Thacker Mountain Radio show will host its first broadcast for 2015 from Off Square Books. Guests will include award winning novelist Ravi Howard, blues musician Terry “Harmonica” Bean, and a North Mississippi drummer/songwriter Andrew Bryant. Thursday’s show will also feature a segment with The End of All Music, CD and record store owner David Swinder. Jim Dees and Thacker Mountain’s house band, Yalobushwhackers, will be hosting the talent-filled evening.

The night will feature Howard’s second novel, “Riding With the King,” which is a fictional portrayal of a real event that occurred in 1945 when singer Nat King Cole was attacked on stage in Alabama. Bean, Pontotoc-based bluesman who has played at various festivals around the world, will be playing a variety of his music including songs from his latest album, “Rock This House Tonight “. Bryant, drummer of the acclaimed trio White Liars, has just recently released his sixth solo album, “This Is The Life” and audience members will hear an assortment of songs from the newest CD.

Thursday night is not only a packed premier of Thacker Mountain Radio’s spring show, but it also marks the first performance for the Yalobushwhakers new bandleader, John Paul Keith. The Memphis rockabilly veteran will be taking the place of Jack Fussell on guitar and lead vocals.

Terry Harmonica Bean
Blues musician Terry “Harmonica” Bean

Keith’s latest CD is Memphis Circa 3AM (Big Legal Mess), which was produced by a legendary figure in Memphis music, Roland Janes. With Mississippi ties and a passion for old-school radio, Keith is enthusiastic to begin a new chapter of his musical career with the Yalobushwackers.

“I’m excited to try and walk a mile in Jake Fussell’s very capable shoes,” he said. “Plus, I have a lot of Mississippi in my life; I’ve made three albums for Big Legal Mess Records, Bruce Watson’s imprint at Fat Possum, including one we recorded in Water Valley, and my sister is in school at Ole Miss. I can’t wait to get started on Thacker. It’s definitely going to be a new experience for me”.

This is a night that Oxford locals do not want to miss. Admission is free but the show can also be heard on Rebel Radio at 92.1 FM. The show will be rebroadcasted every Saturday at 7 p.m. on Mississippi Public Radio at 90.3 FM and also at MPB Online.

The show’s spring season will run every Thursday at 6 p.m. through April, primarily at Off Square Books and occasionally at the Lyric. Thacker Mountain Radio will also present an outdoor show at this year’s Double Decker festival on Friday night.

Podcasts of previous shows can be found on Soundcloud and photos from past events can be seen on the Thacker Mountain Radio Facebook page. For more information on upcoming shows and special events, visit their website.

Jana Rosenberg is a staff reporter and can be reached at

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