Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Thacker Fall Season Continues at Old Armory Pavilion at New Time

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour continues its fall season this Thursday at the Old Oxford Armory Pavilion.

In an effort to avoid the harsh heat of sunset, this season’s shows will start 30 minutes later than its usual pre-COVID-19 6 p.m. time when Thacker was held indoors.

“We’re going to start at 6:30 p.m. for all of our Pavilion shows this fall,” said Thacker producer Kathryn McGaw York. “We hope our audience can adapt to the new time.”

York says a “Half-Hour Happy Hour” will be available for those who arrive before six.

“Party Waiting to Happen and Cat Head Vodka are sponsoring a signature drink that will be for sale before the show for those who arrive a little early,” York said.

Mary Katherine Backstrom. Photo provided

Admission is free. Lawn chairs and picnics are encouraged. The Old Oxford Armory Pavilion is located at the corner of Bramlett Boulevard and University Avenue and is where the weekly Oxford Community Farmer’s Market is held.

Guests on Thursday’s show will include author Mary Katherine Backstrom (“Holy Hot Mess”), singer-songwriter, Michael Jay Hughes and north Mississippi blues artist Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.

The show is hosted by Jim Dees and the Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers.

Sharde Thomas

The live radio broadcast can be heard locally every Thursday on WUMS (92.1 FM in Oxford) and online at Each Thursday show is broadcast the following week on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and other outlets.

In “Holy Hot Mess,” author Backstrom uses heartbreaking and hilarious stories of friendship, motherhood, and even depression, to illustrate how we are all a “hot mess.”

One reviewer wrote: “’Holy Hot Mess’ is so immediately engaging, so filled with humor, and so seemingly effortless, [the book’s] depth and insight sneak up on you.”

Sharde Thomas is the granddaughter of the late Othar Turner, a leading practitioner of the North Mississippi fife and drum tradition. The New York Times has called Thomas and her band, the Rising Stars Fife and Drum Band, “the last living link to fife and drum music.”

Michael Jay Hughes

Singer-songwriter Michael Jay Hughes hails from Goshen, Alabama, and bills his sound as “real country music.” His latest singles are, “Playing with Fire” and “Dirt Road Whiskey.”

Guests for future shows include Chef John Currence (“Tailgreat!”) (9-23); Jimbo Mathus (9-30); Kenny Brown and Cary Hudson (10-7); and Bobby Rush (10-21).

The long-running radio show, now in its 24th year, has temporarily moved from its normal venue, Off Square Books, to the Old Oxford Armory Pavilion, which is an open-air facility and allows for audience spacing. The show will perform at the Pavilion every Thursday from 6:30–7:30 p.m. through Nov. 11.

The show’s season finale is currently scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Lyric Oxford.

Staff report