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Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Kicks Off Double Decker Friday

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour kicks off the 2015 Double Decker Arts and Music Festival on Friday, April 24, at 6 p.m. Entertainment begins on the Graduate Hotel Stage (North Lamar) with a one hour concert by alt-rockers, the Water Liars followed by the Thacker Mountain Radio show at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m., North Mississippi gospel powerhouse, the Reverend John Wilkins, closes out the evening.

Greg Iles
Greg Iles

Suspense novelist Greg Iles will appear on the radio show to discuss his latest thriller, The Bone Tree. The show will also feature author Jamie Brickhouse and his memoir, Dangerous When Wet. Wilkins and the Water Liars will also each play a set for the broadcast. The radio show is hosted by Jim Dees and the Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers, led by Memphis guitarist John Paul Keith.

Director of Visit Oxford, Mary Allyn Hedges, says the radio show, now in its 17th year, is a perfect fit for Double Decker.

“Thacker Mountain Radio is a great partner with tourism throughout the year,” she said, “and it’s a bonus to tourism to have this partnership with the Double Decker Arts Festival. Thacker is a great way to kick off the festival weekend which highlights all Oxford has to offer and celebrate through the arts and literature.”

Thacker producer, Kathryn McGaw York, says the radio show books its Double Decker show with an eye toward showcasing local talent to celebrate the arts in Mississippi.

“We think this year’s line-up represents the best in Mississippi talent. The Water Liars were co-founded by Andrew Bryant, who’s from here. Rev. John Wilkins is from our backyard in Tate and Panola Counties and Greg Iles is from Natchez. Our other author, Jamie Brickhouse isn’t a Mississippian but he is represented by Stella Connell, a longtime resident of Oxford.”

Rev. John Wilkins
Rev. John Wilkins

Born and raised in Memphis, Reverend John Wilkins has roots in North Mississippi. On his latest CD, You Can’t Hurry God (Big Legal Mess) his music rocks with a nod to Memphis beats and Mississippi hill country blues. His rousing live performances now feature Bo-Keys bassist Scott Bomar and Memphis keyboardist Adam Woodward. Wilkins’s three daughters add soulful back-up vocals.

Iles grew up in Natchez and is the author of thirteen New York Times bestsellers including Natchez Burning and the just released, The Bone Tree (William Morrow). The two books are part of a trilogy that continues the story of Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage. The sprawling saga is set in Mississippi and bristles with conspiracy, greed, murder, race, family and justice. Iles’s books have been translated into more than twenty languages and published in more than thirty-five countries worldwide.

Water Liars
Water Liars

Andrew Byrant and Justin Kinkel-Schuster formed the band Water Liars in 2011 and soon were joined by GR Robinson on bass. Their CDs include Phantom Limb (2012), Wyoming (2013) and Water Liars (2014).

Their sound is rock with a punk aesthetic. The trio tours extensively sharing the stage with Drive-By Truckers, Angel Olsen, Felice Brothers, Mountain Goats and others.

Oxford author William Boyle notes, “If you haven’t listened to Water Liars, their pain is the pain of the wretched and beautiful South.”

Jamie Brickhouse
Jamie Brickhouse

Jamie Brickhouse is author of Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Press) a “blisteringly funny, and wrenching account” of his battle with alcohol. Brickhouse’s career includes stand-up comedy and voice-overs for the legendary cartoon show, Beavis and Butthead. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post.

This Double Decker show marks the last live performance of The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour in Oxford until September. The show will travel to Jackson on May 7, to the Neshoba County Fair on July 25 and Ocean Springs on Aug. 15. Live performances at Off Square Books resume Sept.3.

Admission is free (lawn chairs encouraged) and the Thacker Hour will be recorded for future air on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

In the meantime, the show can be heard statewide every Saturday night at 7 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, 90.3FM in Oxford or online. More information is available at the show’s website. Photos from past shows can be found on the show’s Facebook page and podcasts can be heard on the show’s Soundcloud page.

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