The fifth season of the critically acclaimed TrueSouth Presented by Yellawood debuts on Sunday, Sept. 11., kicking off in Kentucky and shining a light on the town of Tompkinsville. The series, now in its fifth season on SEC Network, revolves around two food stories told from one place, which TrueSouth sets in conversation to make larger points about Southern beliefs and identities. Returning in season five is a special bonus episode with behind-the-scenes content and storytelling.
TrueSouth drives the rolling back roads of southern Kentucky, to gnaw pork shoulder steaks cooked over hickory fires and eat burgers fried in shallow oil. In Episode 18, we introduce viewers to a cultural microclimate that straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee line, where old traditions thrive and grown men gather in the Monroe County Marble Club Super Dome to play serious games of great skill that are compelling to watch and complex to score.
Two restaurants anchor the episode:
- At R&S BBQ, Anita Hamilton Bartlett leads a family crew. Brother-in-law Tommy Moody lights the fire. Son Radford Graves stokes the pit. Daughter Samantha Smith works the front. A fierce love binds this family. And a peculiar sauce, stirred with a base of lard, bastes the pork that pilgrims to R&S crave.
- Just down the street at Dovie's, a 1930s era burger joint, Renee Short and an all-woman crew work the griddles. In honor of founder Dovie Moore, they wear skirts on the floor and broadcast kind regard for their community. The women of Dovie's tease. They sass. They outwork the men in this onetime sawmill town.
Local music is forever important to our shows. For this episode of TrueSouth, we sampled bands across Kentucky, including Swift Silver, the duo of Anna Kline and John Looney, and S.G. Goodman, a farmer's daughter who makes music in the town of Murray.
Season five of TrueSouth begins in Tompkinsville, Ky. Four more episodes follow. In October, we travel to Madisonville, Tenn. Come November, we're in Jackson, Miss. This December, we land in Brunswick and St Simons Island, Ga. Join us in January for our second annual behind-the-scenes road trip across the belly of the SEC.
Advance press screeners of TrueSouth: Tompkinsville, Ky. are available upon request: Amanda.D.Brooks@espn.com