Special Guests
Saturday, February 10, 2001



Greg Brown

GREG BROWN’s mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played banjo, and his father was a Holy Roller preacher in the Hacklebarney section of Iowa. He studied classical voice and piano as a kid, and sang with choirs and in state competitions. When he was six or seven, he picked up the pump organ, and at twelve he learned the basics of guitar from his mother. At age 18, Brown moved to New York City, where he got his first professional singing job running hootenannies (folksinger get-togethers) at the Gerdes Folk City. After a year, he moved west to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he was a ghostwriter for Buck Ram, founder of the Platters. After a few years, Brown moved back to Iowa and began writing songs and playing in midwestern clubs and coffeehouses. His songs have been performed by artist as varied as Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He recorded his first album in 1974, and later founded Red House Records, on which many of his albums, including One Big Town and The Poet Game, were released. Brown’s two latest recordings are Covenant (Red House) and Over and Under (Trailer Records). Brown also recently added author to his resumé. His new book, The Watsonville Sonata, was introduced to the public at a reading last fall. Brown and Garrison Keillor will perform a concert here at the Fitzgerald Theater following this evening’s broadcast. (www.gregbrown.org)



Jeff Lang

JEFF LANG is a native of Geelong, in the Australian state of Victoria. He started out playing the clarinet, but was so intrigued by the blues in his father’s record collection that he switched to guitar. After many years of playing in electric rock bands, Lang decided to devote himself to solo acoustic music. By the early 1990s, he had developed a reputation as one of Australia’s most acclaimed blues guitarists, especially on slide guitar. Lang has performed at festivals as diverse as Port Fairy, Woodford, Byron Bay, Mudslinger, and Livid in his homeland, and has toured with Albert Collins, Ani Di Franco, Richard Thompson, Chris Whitley, Loudon Wainwright III, and Dar Williams. His international touring has taken him from the Dublin Blues Festival to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and from the Winterhawk Festival in Hillsdale, New York to the experimental music mecca The Knitting Factory in New York City. Lang’s latest CD, Everything Is Still, was just released this month. Although he has several other CDs to his credit, Cedar Grove (Wind River) is his only other recording available in the U.S. (www.jefflang.com.au)



Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

JAY UNGAR was raised in New York City on the popular music of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, and the folk songs of his immigrant parents. He began violin lessons at age 7, and was soon composing his own melodies. He was introduced to bluegrass and American folk music in high school, and began performing in Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the mid-’60s. He later toured the country with a variety of folk groups. Some of Ungar’s compositions can be heard as theme music on radio, TV and in films, including “Ashokan Farewell,” which was used as the theme of the Ken Burns’ PBS-TV series, The Civil War.

MOLLY MASON grew up in Washington State, where she played and sang traditional fiddle tunes and country songs with her family. She was an accomplished accompanist on guitar while still in her teens. She started her musical career in the mid-’70s, playing festivals, clubs and colleges on the West Coast. After a stint as a member of APHC’s Powdermilk Biscuit Band, Mason moved east to join the band Fiddle Fever. As a member of that group, she first collaborated with Ungar to create some of the material performed and recorded by the band. Her compositions can be heard in the soundtrack of the film Brother's Keeper and the Rabbit Ears production of Rip Van Winkle. The duo’s most recent CD is Harvest Home (Angel Records). Ungar and Mason are joined this evening by Ruth Ungar. (www.jayandmolly.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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