Special Guests
Saturday, March 22, 1997

The Nashville Bluegrass Band has, since its debut in 1984, become one of the most popular and widely respected bluegrass outfits working today. In the United States, the band has appeared in a variety of venues, including a sold-out 1991 concert at Carnegie Hall and a series of performances from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. The Nashville Bluegrass Band was the first of its genre to play in mainland China, and the group continues to appear before international audiences in Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia. The band's first music video, "Blue Train," was frequently seen on the Country Music Televison cable network, and they have also appeared on several of that network's most popular programs, including Crook & Chase, New Country, and Fire on the Mountain. In addition, they have been special guests on The Nashville Network's American Music Shop, the BBC, and public radio programs such as Mountain Stage and Good Evening. The Nashville Bluegrass Band received two Grammy Awards: one in 1993 for Waitin' for the Hard Times to Go (Sugar Hill) and one in 1996 for their latest CD, The Nashville Bluegrass Band-Unleashed (Sugar Hill). and Grammy nominations for two previous Sugar Hill releases: New Moon Rising (1988) and The Boys are Back in Town (1990). Three earlier recordings -- My Native Home, Idle Time, and To Be His Child-were released on Rounder Records. Members of the band include: Pat Enright, guitar; Alan O'Bryant, banjo; Stuart Duncan, fiddle and mandolin; Gene Libbea, acoustic bass, and Roland White, mandolin. White played with Bill Monroe in the Blue Grass Boys.

Kate MacKenzie has been a favorite guest of A Prairie Home Companion since 1981. For many years, she was lead singer of Stoney Lonesome, with whom she recorded six bluegrass albums, toured Japan and North America, and was featured in the public television series, Showcase. With the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, MacKenzie has recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall, performed at folk festivals in Scotland and Denmark, and performed on PBS' Austin City Limits. Her work with A Prairie Home Companion has included coast-to-coast tours, farewell and reunion shows, 20 Disney Channel television broadcasts, the 1993 Book of Guys tour, and a recurring dramatic role as Sheila, the Christian Jungle girl (wild, yet pure). Her first solo album, Let Them Talk (Red House Records), was on the National Bluegrass Charts for 10 months. A new album, Age of Innocence (Red House), was released last fall. MacKenzie's success was noted in The New York Times, which grouped MacKenzie in "the new wave of strong female voices."

Peter Rowan's career has spanned more than 30 years. He's played with father of bluegrass Bill Monroe, with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements, Ricky Skaggs, and Jerry Douglas. And he plays several instruments, among them steel string guitar, flamenco guitar, mandola, and banjo. Rowan comes from a musical family-his uncle and grandfather taught him how to play the guitar and his two younger brothers, Lorin and Chris, are also professional musicians. The three of them first played together as the Rowan Brothers in the early '70s, but got back together in the studio in 1994 to record the reunion album, Tree on a Hill (Sugar Hill Records). Peter Rowan's latest CD is the Grammy-nominated Bluegrass Boy (Sugar Hill).

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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