Saturday, January 29, 2005
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky ThunderHe was born in eastern Kentucky in 1954. The terms 'child prodigy' and 'youthful phenomenon' can be a heavy weight to hang on a person, but when the person has played in the company of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers by the age of ten, they do sort of fit. And it hasn't seemed to bother Mr. Skaggs much, who is now in his 34th year as a working musician. Hard to believe he's been on the scene that long and still looks that young. He's had 12 number one singles and recorded 14 country albums and a gospel album. He has released seven bluegrass albums on his own label, Skaggs Family Records, every one of which has earned a Grammy™ nomination. The latest one, Brand New Strings, is the current number one CD in bluegrass. He was inducted last year into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. He's won nine Grammy Awards and will receive an Honorary Doctor of Art degree from Eastern Kentucky University in May. He's won some forty-one other honors from the CMA, the IBMA, the BBC (that BBC), the Academy of Country Music, the Playboy Music Poll, the Guitar Player Reader's Poll and numerous others.
Prudence JohnsonPrudence Johnson's 25 year career in music has taken her from nightclubs and honky-tonks to Carnegie Hall, from the theater stage to the Silver Screen (Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It), from the Midwest to the Middle East. Her 10 album releases include Little Dreamer, a collection of international lullabies, Moon Country, which features the music of Hoagy Carmichael, and S'Gershwin, a collaboration with pianist Dan Chouinard. She recently collaborated with four Minnesota composers to create A Girl Named Vincent, a presentation of the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay set to music, to be released on CD this year. She is a 2001 recipient of the McKnight Artists Fellowship for Performing Musicians and enjoys a steady schedule of concert appearances across the country.
The Geezers Jug BandThe Geezers Jug Band are a chronologically mature jug band, who have been around the Twin Cities music scene awhileif not musically, at least temporallysince the early 70s. During any given song The Geezers play what they describe as "a cacophony of struck and plucked objects" including, but not limited to jugs, kazoos, washboard, spoons, shakers, "scrapey" things and washtub bass. They are gearing up to defend their title next month for the 23rd annual Battle of the Jug Bands, for which the winners receive a trophy of a traveling waffle iron. The Geezers Jug Band is Pete Albrecht, Tom Skramstad, Don Venne, Bill Giese, "Fiddlin'" Mary DuShane, Mary Rose Cossi and Gai Skramstad.
The Baldwin SistersSoprano Jennifer Baldwin Peden is a frequent performer on music and theater stages throughout the Twin Cities. At the Guthrie Theater, she performed the roles of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance and the Diva in Comedy of Errors. With Theatre de la Jeune Lune, she has appeared in productions of The Ballroom, Carmen, Figaro and Cosė fan tutte. She also sang the soprano solo in Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony with the Saint Mark's Music Series and served four years with The Minnesota Opera Chorus. Peden's film credits include Drop Dead Gorgeous as one of the pageant contestants. She holds degrees in vocal performance from DePaul University and the University of Minnesota, and is also an amateur contortionist. She makes her Minnesota Orchestra debut with these performances.
Mezzo Christina Baldwin holds degrees in vocal performance from Lawrence University and the University of Minnesota. A frequent guest with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Baldwin has appeared in Carmen, Circus of Tales, Figaro, The Man Who Laughs and Cosė fan tutte. She also performed the role of Edith in the Guthrie Theater's production of The Pirates of Penzance. Other appearances have included North Star Opera, Great American History Theatre and Ex Machina Baroque Opera Ensemble. Baldwin has also done commercial and voice-over work, and in her spare time enjoys knitting and hiking. These concerts mark Baldwin's Minnesota Orchestra debut.
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).