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Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka (1942), graduated from the University of Minnesota (1966) with a major in English and journalism, and lives in St. Paul with his wife, Jenny Lind Nilsson. He has worked for Minnesota Public Radio since 1969 and began A Prairie Home Companion there in 1974. He is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance; O, What A Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound (Grove Press); and The Keillor Reader (Viking). He is also the editor of the Good Poems anthologies. In the fall of 2016, he will be performing with the Royal Philharmonic in London, giving the keynote speech to the annual meeting of the John Updike Society, and speaking at the sesquicentennial of Carleton College, in addition to finishing a Christmas play and a novel, You Can Count On Me.
One minute he’s mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he’s George W. Bush or Ira Glass or Barack Obama, even Donald Trump. It’s pretty darn difficult to stump Tim. Want proof? Check out Tim Russell: Man of a Thousand Voices, a CD collection of favorite moments from his work on APHC. On film, his roles include the part of Al, the stage manager, in the Robert Altman movie A Prairie Home Companion and a detective in the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man. Tim is also a film critic; his reviews can be found at russellreviews.com.
Sue Scott has taken her talents from the stage to the airwaves doing “funny voices on the radio” with A Prairie Home Companion’s Royal Academy of Radio Actors since 1992. Never short on versatility, she has played everything from overly concerned moms to Guy Noir femme fatales to black-belt reference librarians to devastatingly beautiful supermodels to leathery crones who’ve smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. A highly regarded character actor who is well known for her extensive voice-over work on radio and television, Sue has also appeared on theater stages throughout the Midwest and is featured as Donna the makeup lady in the movie A Prairie Home Companion, directed by Robert Altman. Sue Scott, Seriously Silly, a CD produced by A Prairie Home Companion, highlights Sue’s best work on the show … so far.
Fred Newman first learned to spin tales and scatter sounds from great storytellers in small-town Georgia. Today, he is an actor, writer, musician, composer, and sound designer for stage, screen, cartoon, and concert hall. He is also the sound-effects guy for A Prairie Home Companion. Author of the book MouthSounds, he has appeared on TV shows including Saturday Night Live, Sesame Street, Disney’s New Mickey Mouse Club, and public television’s Between the Lions. His recent projects range from the debut of his first symphony in San Francisco to imagining, for the National Park Service, the sound of Old Faithful from five miles below to surface eruption — all done with his mouth.
Jay Albright has played piano, composed, and/or music directed at Minneapolis’s Illusion Theater, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Old Log Theater, Minnesota Festival Theater, Old Creamery Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, to name just a few. But he is primarily an actor and has appeared on most of those stages and more. In 2014, he did double duty as actor and music director for the History Theatre’s production of Garrison Keillor’s play Radio Man. Jay makes his home in Minneapolis with his wife, Angela Timberman, and their two sons, Sam and Abe.
Originally from Anoka, Minnesota, actor and singer Kate Beahen earned a degree in music theater from Florida State University, spent a few years in New York, and is now based in Minneapolis. She has been seen locally at the Guthrie Theater, Theater Latté Da, the Ordway Center, Lyric Arts, Skylark Opera, and DalekoArts. Kate has also spent time directing and teaching youth workshops across the state. She has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion from New York and from venues closer to home, and is delighted to be onboard for this Prairie Home cruise.
Pianist and accordionist Dan Chouinard made his first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in 2003 and was rehearsal pianist for the APHC movie in 2005. Accompanist for a long roster of Twin Cities musicians, he also creates live programs for Minnesota Public Radio and hosts popular community sing-alongs. He frequently returns to France and Italy on bicycle, accordion in tow, in search of tunes and adventure. He spent six years as host and producer of The Singer’s Voice, an acclaimed live-performance radio series. His recordings include two volumes of P.G. Wodehouse songs with soprano Maria Jette, a collection of Gershwin tunes with Prudence Johnson, plus albums with Peter Ostroushko, Ann Reed, Peter Mayer, Neal and Leandra, the Rose Ensemble, and others.
Mike Compton and Joe Newberry
Mike Compton and Joe Newberry mine that period of country music history during the 1930s and ’40s, when brother duet music was transforming into bluegrass. Mandolin Magazine calls Grammy- and IBMA Award-winner Compton a player with “a worldwide reputation as one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin … one of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices anywhere.” Newberry is well known for his powerful banjo work and is a prizewinning guitarist, singer, and songwriter too. Recipient of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year Award for “They Called It Music,” he is a founder of the string band Big Medicine, and performs with old-time music legends Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, and Jim Watson. Compton and Newberry also team up with Bruce Molsky and Rafe Stefanini as The Jumpsteady Boys.
Whether opera, oratorio, concerts, or recitals, Minnesota-born tenor Thomas Cooley has established a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic — and beyond — as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity. He has appeared with the Bavarian State Opera, the Krakow State Opera, the Minnesota Opera, North Star Opera, and Ex Machina Baroque Opera, and with symphony orchestras across the globe. Frequently invited to perform in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, he has sung the work in Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Spain, and throughout the U.S. Cooley is a well-known interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel, most especially in the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions.
The DiGiallonardo Sisters
The DiGiallonardo Sisters, born and raised in Brooklyn, have been singing together since early childhood, and they still call New York City home. Daniela has sung with a variety of bands, including The Demensions and The Kings County All-Stars. She also teaches at Brooklyn’s Mark Twain School for the Gifted & Talented. Nadia is a pianist, composer, arranger, and singer, who served as music director for the most recent Broadway productions of HAIR and Pippin. She will also be music directing/conducting the upcoming Broadway production of Waitress in the spring of 2016. Christine is a singer/actor whose theater credits include Carousel (Live from Lincoln Center), The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall), and My Fair Lady (Lincoln Center). Her voice can be heard on TV commercials for Mr. Clean, Aquafresh, Febreze, and more.
Texas-born Bob Douglas has lived in Minnesota since his college days. During that time, he worked with acoustic ensembles and jug bands, performing at coffeehouses on Minneapolis’s fabled West Bank. Music became a full-time vocation in Germany when he teamed up with a Canadian group called The String Band, completing three European tours and two recording projects. In the early years of A Prairie Home Companion, Bob did mandolin duties, sang harmony, and played spoons on the show with the Powdermilk Biscuit Band and the New Prairie Ramblers. Recently retired from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, he currently performs with the Blood Washed Band, the Show’d Up Band, and the Tune Jerks.
Originally from Sharon, Pennsylvania, Bernie Dresel has been in the percussion game since he got his first drum kit at the age of two. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he headed to Los Angeles. He’s worked with countless artists, from Chaka Khan and Maynard Ferguson to David Byrne and Brian Wilson, and spent 15 years with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He currently plays with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and heads up his own 12-piece funk band, BERN.
Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is music director for A Prairie Home Companion, where he leads the band, composes themes, improvises script underscores, and collaborates with such diverse guests as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, and Sheryl Crow. Vocalist Kristin Chenoweth included his song “Goin’ to the Dance with You” on her album Let Yourself Go. Rich has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS, and has released many recordings of original material, including his latest, All In Due Time.
For four seasons, Rob Fisher was music director — and led the popular Coffee Club Orchestra — for The American Radio Company, Garrison Keillor’s New York-based radio show. He is an internationally recognized authority on American music and musical theater, and has been a guest of virtually every major orchestra in the U.S. as conductor or pianist. He was music director for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s revival of Hair in Central Park, and was music supervisor for its Tony Award-winning run on Broadway. He served as music supervisor for the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Anything Goes, and score supervisor and arranger for An American in Paris (2016 Grammy nominee for Best Musical Theater Album). For his work on the Encores! series at New York’s City Center, Rob was presented the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement. A native Virginian, he lives in Manhattan and upstate New York.
Actress/singer Kate Fuglei got her professional start at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater and has worked in regional theaters across America. Her stage credits include roles at the New York Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, and many more, in productions such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Crime and Punishment, and Love’s Labour’s Lost, to name a few. Her one-woman show, Rachel Calof, won Best Musical at the United Solo Festival in New York City. She has acted in eight feature films, four films for television, and dozens of episodic TV programs ranging from ABC’s The Real O’Neals and Showtime’s Masters of Sex to The Closer and NCIS. Kate and her husband, writer Ken LaZebnik, make their home in Los Angeles.
Okemah, Oklahoma’s John Fullbright got his start at the legendary Blue Door listening room in Oklahoma City. It was there that he recorded a live album and found his base, opening for many other writers including fellow Oklahomans Kevin Welch and Jimmy Webb. His 2012 studio debut, From the Ground Up, received a Grammy nomination for Americana Album of the Year, and later that year he won ASCAP’s Harold Adamson Award for lyric writing. The most recent recording from this Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer is 2014’s Songs (Blue Dirt Records).
Adam Granger has sung and played guitar since Eisenhower was president. After working in his native Oklahoma as well as in Arkansas and Nashville, he moved to Minnesota in 1974, where he became a charter member of The Powdermilk Biscuit Band. Some 160 Prairie Home Companion shows and 40 years later, he considers himself, literally, an old hand in the business. He now focuses on songwriting, solo performing, and on duo collaborations with a number of colleagues, including Alan Munde, Pop Wagner, Bob Douglas, Anni Spring, and Dick Kimmel.
Sarah Jarosz is a gifted multi-instrumentalist (mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, banjo), an expressive and distinctive vocalist, and an accomplished songwriter. Still in her 20s, she has already carved out a solid niche in the world where contemporary folk, Americana, and roots music intersect. In addition to appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, Sarah has had guest spots on Austin City Limits, the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions, Conan, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. She has been nominated for multiple Grammys, including two for her album Build Me Up From Bones. A new recording is scheduled for release in 2016. This New England Conservatory of Music grad is native of Wimberley, Texas, and now makes her home in New York City.
Versatile soprano Maria Jette can sing opera one minute, then make a sharp turn to pop songs, chamber music, oratorio, or show tunes the next. She is often a guest on A Prairie Home Companion and has appeared with orchestras nationwide, including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra. She has collaborated with choral groups across the U.S. and has been a frequent performer at the Oregon Bach and San Luis Obispo Mozart festivals and the Oregon Festival of American Music. Among her recordings are two albums of P.G. Wodehouse songs, with pianist/accordionist Dan Chouinard: In Our Little Paradise: Songs of P.G. Wodehouse and The Siren’s Song: Wodehouse & Kern on Broadway.
Bassist Larry Kohut has played on dozens of albums and many film scores, as well as performing with jazz artists such as Patricia Barber, Mel Tormé, Vincent Colaiuta, and Tony Bennett. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches acoustic and electric bass.
Minnesota-based multi-instrumentalist Richard Kriehn has been playing on A Prairie Home Companion since 2010. He has also performed in symphony orchestras, bluegrass bands, baroque ensembles, pit orchestras, cover bands, and country bands. While living in Nashville, he toured with Travis Tritt, Aaron Tippin, and Michael Peterson, all the while, playing in the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946. He made numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, and you may have caught him on Prime Time Country — or even an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Prior to moving to the Twin Cities, Richard and his family lived in Eastern Washington where he was a faculty member in the School of Music, Washington State University.
Growing up in rural Maine, Heather Masse sang hymns and folk songs around home with her family. Now based in New York, this New England Conservatory of Music alum is a one-third of the Juno Award-winning Canadian trio The Wailin’ Jennys. Following the release of her solo album, Bird Song, on Red House Records, she joined forces with piano legend Dick Hyman — whom she met when they were both booked on A Prairie Home Companion — to release an album of jazz standards and originals, 2013’s Lock My Heart (Red House). Her newest Red House recording is August Love Song, a collaboration with trombone maverick Roswell Rudd.
For a decade, Aoife O’Donovan wielded her remarkable voice as the lead singer of the Boston-based progressive string band Crooked Still. She has collaborated with some of the most eminent names in music, across a wide variety of genres — singer/fiddler Alison Krauss to jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas. She recently joined forces with Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz in the folk trio I’m With Her, and she was a featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. In 2013, Aoife released her debut solo recording, Fossils. Her sophomore album is 2016’s In the Magic Hour (Yep Roc Records). Written in the wake of her grandfather’s death, it is her most introspective effort yet.
From bluegrass to big band jazz, Chris Siebold knows his way around a guitar — or bass or banjo or mandolin or lap steel or a bunch of other instruments, for that matter. And did we mention his vocal chops? Based in Chicago, this composer-arranger-instrumentalist-vocalist draws from a deep well of influences and styles, and has put his talents to work in ensembles such as Howard Levy’s Acoustic Express and Kick the Cat. In 2010, he formed the band Psycles, a large and extremely versatile group whose album Live at Martyrs’ was released the following year.
Vern Sutton has collaborated with major musical organizations as a singer, actor, director and educator. He was a founding member of the Center Opera Company, which became the Minnesota Opera, and composers Dominick Argento, Robert Ward, Conrad Susa, Libby Larsen and others have written for his voice. For 36 years, he taught at the University of Minnesota School of Music, and for four summers he was artistic director of Opera in the Ozarks. At the Guthrie Theater, he has appeared in productions of A Christmas Carol and 1776. Vern was a guest on the very first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.
Funny how things come together. Born in Rome, Italy, to parents from Minnesota, Hilary Thavis grew up loving music — especially folk music — from Woody Guthrie to Italian folk singers like Fabrizio De André and Francesco De Gregori. But it was the blues that ultimately captured her attention. Trouble & Truth is the 2011 recording from her band Gaia Groove. Now making her home in the Twin Cities, Hilary is working on a solo album of original songs.
When Angela Timberman was a youngster, her mom entered her in the Brazil (Indiana) Professional Business Women’s fundraiser talent contest. Angie won, twirling baton and singing, and she’s been performing ever since — for the past 25 years on Twin Cities stages, including Guthrie Theater, Illusion Theater, Ordway Center, Children’s Theatre Company, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and more. In 2014, she appeared in the History Theatre’s production of Garrison Keillor’s play Radio Man. Angela lives in Minneapolis with her husband, actor/musician Jay Albright, and their teenage sons, Sam and Abe.
Pop Wagner — folksinger, fingerstyle guitarist, fiddler, cowboy poet, songwriter, horseman, lariat spinner, humorist — grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio, during the Great Folk Scare of the late 1950s and ’60s. He picked up a guitar at age 14, his grandfather’s fiddle at 20, and he never looked back. Drawn to the legendary music scene in Minnesota in the early 1970s, he became a regular on A Prairie Home Companion during its formative years. He performs old-time string band music, country blues, traditional cowboy tunes, and ballads. And a principal role in Benjamin Britten’s opera Paul Bunyan landed him a British Gramophone Award in 1990. He revived the role in a 2013 production. Pop has toured 44 states and 10 countries, and he has played in schools, clubs, and festivals all over Alaska — one of his favorite spots on earth.
Sara Watkins is a Southern California-based singer-songwriter and fiddle player. Along with her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile, she was a founding member of the Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek. In 2015, Sara and Sean released their “family-band-of-sorts project,” Watkins Family Hour, and then embarked on a tour that included stops at Conan, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, and the Newport Folk Festival. Sara wrote or cowrote every song on her latest recording, Young in All the Wrong Ways (New West Records), her first solo offering since 2012’s Sun Midnight Sun (Nonesuch).
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Sean Watkins has long been known for his work as one-third of the Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek (starting when he was only 12) and, more recently, for helming, with sister, Sara, the itinerant, genre-hopping Watkins Family Hour ensemble. Now, as a solo artist, his recent albums include 2014’s All I Do Is Lie and 2016’s What To Fear (Family Hour Records). On his own, he displays tremendous warmth and soulfulness as a singer, a refreshing candor and humor as a lyricist, and prodigious skill as an arranger.
Pianist Jed Wilson first gained attention for his musical abilities as a teenager on the Portland, Oregon, jazz scene. A lifelong student of the art of accompaniment, he may be best known for his collaboration with singer Heather Masse, whom he met while both were studying at the New England Conservatory of Music, and with whom he has toured widely. He has also performed with singer Aoife O’Donovan, cellist/composer Rushad Eggleston, and guitar legend Dean Magraw. Jed lives with his family in the wilds of western Maine.
Kim Christensen is a knitter, a spinner, and — as luck would have it — a teacher. Based in Minnesota, she has taught at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, and any number of yarn stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Kim’s classes will provide lots of inspiration for novice knitter and “dyed-in-the-wool” expert alike!
Joy Davina always knows the latest steps. She should — she’s been dancing, performing, and teaching for the past 25 years, and she’d be the first to tell you that dance is great exercise. But better than that, it’s great fun. Past Prairie Home Cruisers may have attended one of Joy’s dance sessions. If not, here’s your chance. No experience needed. Founder of the Social Dance Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Joy recently moved to Portland, Oregon, to be near family.
Nan Elliot first came to Alaska for a summer job — to teach Yupik Eskimos how to swim. By profession, she is a writer and filmmaker. By nature, she is an adventurer. And like most Alaskans, she has worn many hats: worked as a newspaper reporter, as staff to Alaska’s governor, and as a writer for a presidential commission. She’s been down in the coal mines of Appalachia; mushed and filmed dogs on the Iditarod Trail; kayaked the coast of Southeast Alaska; been a naturalist on cruise ships; and traveled to the Himalayas to research the story of a legendary Alaska climber who died beneath the summit of Mt. Everest. Her books and films include “I’d Swap My Old Skidoo For You”: A Portrait of Characters on the Last Frontier; ALASKA: National Geographic’s Guide to America’s Outdoors; and ALASKA: A History in Five Parts (film series).
Ray Hudson lived in the Aleutian Islands from 1964 to 1992, during which time he worked with Native elders to promote traditional skills such as model skin-boat making and Aleut basketry. He returns now and then to hike, visit, and participate in local events. He has written or edited numerous articles and books on the chain, including Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir; Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians; and An Aleutian Ethnography by Lucien Turner. In 1990, the Alaska State Council on the Arts presented him with the Governor’s Award, in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the arts in the Aleutians. Ray and his wife, Shelly, live in Middlebury, Vermont.
Ken LaZebnik writes for television, film, theater, and more. He shares story credit with Garrison Keillor for director Robert Altman’s last film: A Prairie Home Companion, and he wrote the Lionsgate film Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage. For over seven years, he was a writer/producer for TV’s Touched by An Angel. He also has written for Army Wives, Providence, Star Trek: Enterprise, and the new series When Calls The Heart (Hallmark Channel). He is author of the book Hollywood Digs: An Archaeology of Shadows (Kelly’s Cove Press), and his play Rachel Calof, adapted from the memoir of a Jewish homesteader in North Dakota, is a one-woman show starring his wife, Kate Fuglei. Ken’s other plays include Garden of Joy, about the Harlem Renaissance, Theory of Mind, and On The Spectrum, which was awarded a Steinberg Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association.
Todd Paulus knows how to make learning dance easy — and a lot of fun. With 16 years of experience teaching competitive dancers and brand-new dancers alike, Todd knows how to customize his teaching style to best match each individual. In the past several years, Todd has been teaching dance classes (alongside Joy Davina) on the Prairie Home Companion Cruises. He was the top teacher for several years at Shall We Dance in Tucson, Arizona, co-owner and vice president of Social Dance Studio during a portion of its existence in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is now building a new dance community and studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
John Saucke is a “a Scotch connoisseur of the highest order.” So says the Campus Club of the University of Minnesota. How did he get that status? John explains: “It was luck. Back in the ’90s, I was in a bagpipe band, where the members introduced me to good Scotch. That led to my evolving into an enthusiast. In addition to leading the Scotch whisky presentations, this former member of the Minnesota Police Pipe Band will serve as the cruise bagpiper.
Since 1978, Dr. Mark Seeley has been Extension Climatologist and Professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota. In addition to doing research and teaching, he is a commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s Morning Edition and writes the weekly blog “Minnesota WeatherTalk.” For Twin Cities Public Television, he has helped produce documentaries on Minnesota’s historical weather events and the effect of climate change on the state’s infrastructure and natural resources. He is author of Minnesota Weather Almanac (Minnesota Historical Society Press) and co-author (with Don Breneman) of Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park (Afton Press). Among other honors, he is the recipient of the 2013 Siehl Prize in Agriculture for lifetime contributions to knowledge.
An Alaska resident for more than 40 years, Fran Ulmer has been mayor of Juneau, a four-term state representative, and lieutenant governor. She is currently chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in 2011. She also acts as an Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy to the State Department, to assist the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. From 2007 to 2011, she was Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and the Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. Ms. Ulmer is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and chairs the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association. She lives in Anchorage.
Liz Van Hoose
Liz Van Hoose offers editorial, book doctoring, and writing services to authors, agents, and trade book publishers. For more than a decade, she worked in the editorial departments of Viking Penguin and Alfred A. Knopf, where she edited a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including works by Martin Clark, Ron Currie, Jr., Kim Edwards, Alex Gilvarry, Garrison Keillor, William Kittredge, Robert Love, Dan Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Jim Shepard, Amor Towles, Jessica Maria Tuccelli, and Danielle Trussoni. She has been a guest editor for writers’ conferences at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Aspen Summer Words, where she served on the faculty in 2015.
Naturalist Rich MacDonald fancies himself a bird nerd. Wherever you fall on the birding spectrum, from backyard bird feeder to globe-trotting life-lister, Rich will help you see something new. During the past year, his birding travels have taken him to six countries and three continents, including Antarctica (for the third time). He has long been involved in studying the natural world spanning much of the northwestern Atlantic, from New York State’s Adirondack Mountains to Newfoundland (with the Dominican Republic thrown in for good measure). Wherever Prairie Home Companion cruises have gone, Rich has been on hand to help passengers discover the birds of the area. Along with his wife, Natalie Springuel, he operates The Natural History Center, a bird and nature tour business and retail store based in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Lytton John Musselman
Lytton John Musselman earned a Ph.D. in botany from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and was chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he holds the Mary Payne Hogan Chair of Botany. A passionate botanist and teacher, he is author of The Quick Guide to Edible Plants, and is working on books on plants of the Adirondacks and on using native plants for bitters and cordials. Lytton has also published on plants of the Bible and Qur’an, and is currently a consultant for new Qur’anic gardens in Albania, Qatar, and Brunei Darussalam. Recipient of four Fulbright awards, the most recent at the University of Brunei Darussalam where he is a Visiting Professor.
Naturalist Natalie Springuel combines her passion for the marine environment and coastal heritage with a love of teaching and adventure to assist people in discovering the ocean and coast — from whales and dolphins to fish and even fishing boats. She works for the Maine Sea Grant College Program, creating programs on the ecology and culture of coastal regions. She has led thousands of visitors on ocean and coastal adventures, by land and by sea. Part of the Prairie Home Cruise team on all the trips except Norway (when daughter Anouk was only two months old), Natalie never loses her enthusiasm for helping passengers decode the mysteries of the deep.
A Prairie Home Companion Cruise is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media. Ship’s registry: The Netherlands.