Special Guests for August 26, 2003


Stephanie Davis

STEPHANIE DAVIS has a cattle ranch in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains in Montana, up where the entire island of Manhattan could be hidden away in a box canyon and lie undiscovered for decades; this doesn't necessarily give a person wisdom but it does offer a certain perspective. She grew up in Bridger, part of a fourth generation of Montanans, and if you've been raised there it draws you back.

She had a successful career writing songs in Nashville and singing and touring, but at some point it all seemed no more important than raising cattle; she still travels, but now writes from a one-room log cabin on the range built by a Finnish bachelor and reclaimed from years of occupation by Angus steers. It's springtime there and wildflowers are blooming, and calves are running around and acting about as silly as cattle ever get. And if you press her on it, she'll admit to writing better than she ever has.

DAN NEWTON, a.k.a. "Daddy Squeeze," studied folklore and music at the University of Nebraska and traveled extensively in the British Isles and across the U.S., learning whatever he could about regional music and food. Dan now resides in St. Paul where he maintains his life-long fascination with all things spicy, pungent food, French Roast coffee, dark beer, Jug-band, Cajun Gypsy and Cumbia music, and unbelievable stories. He collects hot sauce, and enjoys playing baseball and watching Betty Boop cartoons with his son, Walker. Dan spends most his time playing accordion with his group, the "Café Accordion Orchestra," performing the repertoire of the popular Parisian dance bands of the 1920s and 30s, Musette orchestras. He also performs regularly with country blues singer and guitarist Dr. John Walker as "Daddy Squeeze and the Doctor," and with the bands Jumbo Ya Ya, Guys Can Talk, dotCombo, and Art Carnage. He has appeared on recordings by Prudence Johnson, the Proclaimers, Peter Ostroushko, Son Volt, and Neal & Leandra. In 2002 Dan released his 7th CD, La Vie Musette.

PETER OSTROUSHKO's latest album is Meeting on Southern Soil, with Norman Blake. There are eight previous, all beautiful and most interspersed with wry humor, with song titles such as "Rumba de los Holsteins," "Whalebone Feathers," "B-O-R-S-C-H-T," "Sluz Blues," "Too Tight Polka," "Corny Dog Ramble," and "Puppy Belly Dance," "The Pig's Eye Reel," and "Unknowingly She Walked With Grace Among Tall Men."

Asked how many albums, besides his own nine, that he had played on, he said: "Played on... well... Hard to say, exactly... five hundred is the number that comes to mind. It would be right around that..." He's currently working on a project of old live tracks of the Mando Boys, and he's also transcribing music of the great Irish fiddler John Dougherty to put in book form. He recently took a trip to Ireland, particularly to County Donegal and to the archives in Dublin, to track down his works; said he liked Ireland a lot more than he expected to.

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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