Special Guests
Saturday, January 27, 2001



Leo Kottke

Born in Athens, Georgia, LEO KOTTKE taught himself to play the guitar after learning theory and harmony from trombone lessons. In 1969, his album 6 and 12 String Guitar was released on John Fahey’s independent Takoma Records (re-issued on Rhino Records) and was widely praised by Rolling Stone and media across the nation. Kottke has since toured extensively and, over the years, has played with a wide range of musicians including Lyle Lovett, the late jazz virtuoso Joe Pass, the Violent Femmes, John Gorka, Paco Peña, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Kottke’s performances and fingerpicking style have become legendary, and his compositions have become standards in their own right: The University of Wisconsin includes his music in their Guitar Studies coursework. He wrote and performed music for the BBC’s documentary on Raymond Carver, and guided the production of Taylor Guitars’ 12-string “Leo Kottke” model. Among his many recordings are The Leo Kottke Anthology (Rhino Records), Standing in My Shoes, and Great Big Boy, all on BMG/Private Music. His most recent CD is One Guitar, No Vocals (BMG/Private Music). (www.leokottke.com)



Butch Thompson

BUTCH THOMPSON first became interested in jazz during his childhood in Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota, where he discovered the piano at age three. He led his first band (Shirt Thompson and his Sleeves) and played his first professional engagements as a teenager. In 1962, he joined the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band on clarinet and began a series of pilgrimages to New Orleans. It was there he studied with clarinetist George Lewis and became one of the few non-Orleanians to guest occasionally at Preservation Hall. As a soloist, Thompson has long been regarded as a leading traditional jazz musician. He currently tours as a soloist, with Laura Sewell, with the Butch Thompson Trio, and with his eight-piece band, the New Orleans Jazz Originals. Thompson has released nine CDs in his solo series, Thompson Plays Joplin (Daring/Rounder Records), and his latest CD is Bethlehem After Dark (Daring), a holiday record with cellist Laura Sewell. (www.butchthompson.com)

DUKE HEITGER started playing the trumpet professionally with his father’s band in Toledo, Ohio at the age of twelve. He moved to New Orleans in 1991 to work with Jacques Gauthe, and has since played at jazz festivals across the U.S., as well as in Europe and New Zealand. He currently leads the Steamboat Stompers jazz trio, playing daily on the steamboat Natchez. With them, he released Duke Heitger’s Steamboat Stompers. He was featured on the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ platinum CD Hot, and on recordings with Banu Gibson. His new CD, Rhythm Is Our Business (Fantasy), was released last year.


Robin and Linda Williams

ROBIN AND LINDA WILLIAMS have been frequent guests on A Prairie Home Companion since 1976. They have appeared on the Nashville Network’s Fire on the Mountain, Nashville Now, and Music City Tonight, and have been heard on other nationwide radio programs, including the Grand Ole Opry, Mountain Stage and NPR’s All Things Considered. Their numerous recordings include Devil of a Dream and Sugar for Sugar (both on the Sugar Hill label), and Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group—Live, Sugar Hill’s re­release of Strictly Country Records’ Live in Holland. Robin and Linda’s harmonies can also be heard on Mary Chapin Carpenter’s album, Stones in the Road, and on Iris DeMent’s recording, My Life. As part of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, the duo recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall (produced by Chet Atkins, on Sony Records), toured across the United States and Europe, and was featured on PBS’ Austin City Limits. Their most recent recording is In the Company of Strangers (Sugar Hill). (www.robinandlinda.com)

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).

Available now»

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