Saturday, December 13, 2003
Suzzy and Maggie Roche sang with their sister, Terre, as The Roches for over twenty-five years. Recently, Suzzy and Maggie have recorded Zero Church an unusual collection of prayers they gathered and set to music as a part of Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University.
Butch Thompson is well remembered for his 12-year run as the house pianist on A Prairie Home Companion, dating back to the show's second broadcast in July 1974. In 1978, The Butch Thompson Trio was formed for the show and remained the house band until 1986. As a soloist, Thompson has long been regarded as a leading traditional jazz musician. More recently, he has put together an eight-piece group called the New Orleans Jazz Originals. In 1962, he joined the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band on clarinet and began a series of pilgrimages to New Orleans, where he studied with clarinetist George Lewis and became one of the few non-Orleanians to guest occasionally at Preservation Hall. Thompson's first recording, Butch Thompson Plays Jelly Roll Morton Piano Solos, has been re-issued as a Biograph CD. His most recent offerring is a solo release called, On Tour, recorded in England.
Vince Giordano has been a working musician since the age of 15. He is the founder and leader of Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, a band dedicated to performing the music from Jazz’s golden age. He has performed at the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. He played Sean Penn's bassist in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, and also works as an archivist for BMG records.
Violinist and saxophonist Andy Stein has been called "The original fifth Shoe." A member of Guy's All-Star Shoe Band on A Prairie Home Companion from 1989 to 2001, Stein collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson. He has appeared on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman, and has performed with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and many others.
Trumpeter Randy Sandke played in Benny Goodman's big band from 1985 until Goodman's death. He has also recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, and Doc Severinson, to name a few, as well as performing with Steve Allen, Woody Allen, and Bill Cosby. He has performed as a soloist at Carnigie Hall over a dozen times, and has appeared at Kennedy Center, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl.
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).