Special Guests
Saturday, February 23, 2002


Barn Owl Band

The BARN OWL BAND is the house band for the Central Iowa Barn Dance Association in Ames, whose web site asks that you come and have a good time, and help each other learn the steps with humor and grace; but please, people, have a little respect for your neighbors. It's not a free-for-all or a competitive sport and it isn't child care service either. And you're not allowed to wear your street shoes on the dance floor. You get the impression that if you want to go out and make of fool of yourself on Saturday night there are plenty other places around who'll be glad to have you: places where you need to keep your street shoes on.

They do New England-style contradances, American square dancing and the occasional polkas, schottisches, reels, and circle dances, and one called the hambo. Group dances are walked through and called.

There are seven in the band: fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, piano, accordion, and upright bass. Their musical backgrounds range from classical piano schooling to a jug band that got gonged on the Gong Show; from jazz percussion training at the Chicago School of Music to family string bands to classical violin.

They are a Mathematics professor; a researcher specializing in disease-resistant corn; a mother of four who works in the Registrar's Office of a rival College, at Indianola, Iowa; a Sociology professor specializing in juvenile delinquency; a Facilities Planner at Hi-Bred International Co.; an Environmental Sociology professor who has written four books; and a PhD candidate in Veterinary Pathology who has run the Boston Marathon and is a five-time Midwestern Fiddle Champ and the current Grand Champion Fiddler of the Iowa State Fair. Your typical Midwestern string band makeup these days, and it seems to be working.

They play other places around the Midwest besides their monthly gig at the Barn Dance Association, and in 2000 they released a CD called Barn Owl Night. They have another in the works, scheduled for release later this year.

The Barn Owl Band is:

Roger Alexander: Piano, Accordion, Penny Whistle
Michael Bell: Mandolin, Guitar, 4-string Banjo, Octalute, Vocals
Jon Duvick: Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Merle Hall: 5-string Banjo
Jason Huntley: Fiddle, Vocals
Marty Miller: Bass, Percussion
Bettie Swarts: Fiddle


Da ve Moore

DAVE MOORE: Working on oil rigs and spending a lot of time in South America is the sort of polishing that a lot of musicians miss out on in these times of credit cards and cell phones. Used to be more common for songwriters and singers to put themselves through that kind of adventure and misery, so as to acquire seasoning and develop an authentic raspiness in the voice, but nowadays a lot of them are bypassing the heavy lifting phase and just going straight to the studio. But Dave has done all of that and a lot more, and he doesn't much want to brag about it. He plays guitar, accordian and harmonica and he writes at least half the music he sings. His latest album is all originals; it's called Breaking Down to 3, on the Red House label. It has drawn a good deal of raving from critics who seem to know what they're talking about, and we're happy to have him back on our show.


Radoslav Lorkovic

RADOSLAV LORKOVIC was born to a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, in the late 50s. His grandmother Melita Lorkovic was an internationally known concert pianist, and his grandmother Antonita Bujas sang folk songs to him in Croatian, Slovenian and Czech. They said he could sing back on pitch at the age of one. It was a house full of music, both folk and classical. They moved to America when Radoslav was six. At the age of 14 he was well on the way to a career in classical piano when a friend showed him the blues scale, and things were never quite the same after that. Six years of hard work later he began touring with Bo Ramsey and the Sliders, having honed his boogie technique on the styes of Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Freddie Slack. In Ramsey's band he was pushed farther into Mississippi, into Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and he began to study artists like Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins. Which all leads a young man towards New Orleans and syncopation; Professor Longhair and James Booker, and then on into zydeco, and a little farther west into Tex-Mex and folks like Flaco Jiminez. It's been an interesting sojurn, to say the least. He recorded his first album in 1990; he now has five to his credit, two of which were recorded live in castles in Italy.


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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