Thacker Mountain Returns To The Delta!

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The Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University will host the award-winning Thacker Mountain Radio Show Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. in DMI’s Studio A on the campus of Delta State.

This marks the seventh year for the Thacker in the Delta event, which serves as a fundraising event in support of DMI programming and the Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund.

This year’s featured authors will be New York Times bestselling author Tom Franklin and poet Beth Ann Fennelly, reading from their co-written work, “The Tilted World,” a thriller set in the fictional Delta town of Hobnob Landing in 1927.

Franklin is the author of “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include “Poachers, Hell at the Breech” and “Smonk.” Franklin teaches in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

Fennelly directs the MFA program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2011. She has published three full-length poetry books — “Open House,” “Tender Hooks” and “Unmentionables” — and a book of nonfiction, “Great with Child,” all with W. W. Norton.

Featured musicians for this year’s show will be Delta favorites Jim “Fish” Michie and Kristian Dambrino, who are nearing completion of a new collaborative project to be released in the summer of 2015.

Michie graduated from Delta State and cites Mose Allison, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Oscar Peterson, Booker T. Jones, Lori Mechem and Duke Ellington as major influences. The Merigold native performed as a key member of the Tangents, “Mississippi’s House Band,” before moving to Nashville where he performed with major artists such as Lee Roy Parnell, T. Graham Brown, Charmaine Neville, Gary Rossington, Ace Cannon, Vince Gill and Bo Diddley. Michie currently performs with his jazz quartet, Fish and the Chips, and accompanies classes at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.

After winning the title of Miss Mississippi in 2005, and competing in the Miss America Pageant, Grenada native Kristian Dambrino completed a degree in graphic design at Delta State and began a performing career, sharing the stage with artists such as Morgan Freeman, Pam Tillis, Brian McKnight and others. A finalist in the Willie Morris Writing Competition, Dambrino is a published author (“Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember”) and has written hundreds of original songs as well as two original plays. She currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she is working as a graphic designer as well as pursuing musical projects.

In addition to the featured guests, Ol’ Skool Revue and Tricia Walker from the DMI will perform. Thacker Mountain Radio is hosted by Jim Dees and features the show’s talented house band, The Yalobushwhackers.

Thacker in the Delta is open to the public at no charge, but gifts and donations to the Friends of DMI fund are encouraged. For online giving, visit www.deltastategiving.org and search for Delta Music Institute.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/dmi.