Special Guests
Saturday, February 12, 2005

Old Crow Medicine Show

The band met in New York; their first tour was in 1998, a loose trip through Canada, played mostly on street corners. They landed in the hills of western North Carolina, living in "all sorts of dilapidated structures: wood and steel, some on blocks and some on wheels." They were busking in front of a drug store in Boone, NC, when a woman asked them if they'd be there long enough for her to go get her father. They would, and her father was Doc Watson, who invited them to play at his annual Merlefest. This led to an invitation to play street style in the plaza in front of the Grand Ole Opry House; they moved to Nashville and played on the Opry main stage in 2001. Since then they've been seen on CMT and in three documentary films, and they've toured with Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard. They play pre-WWII music with the sort of reckless drive one might expect from musicians raised under the influence of Nirvana, Public Enemy, and AC/DC.

Bob Rogers

Bob is a writer and speaker on the subject of content-based themed entertainment. His specialty is drawing lines between the modern world and the past by designing technologically savvy things like "360 degree film" and "Holavision Theatre" to immerse the visitor more deeply into whatever environment they are learning about, whether it be Henry Ford or The Old West.

He joins us at Prairie Home this weekend to talk about his latest endeavor, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, which will celebrate a grand opening in April of 2005. Learn more at www.brcweb.com.

Prudence Johnson

Prudence 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.

John Niemann

He got started in music at the right time and place, and for the right reasons; he was in high school and there were girls there. He began with Leo Fender's gift to the world, the electric bass, and started a rock and roll band. In college he discovered acoustic music on the West Bank in Minneapolis and learned the guitar, fiddle and mandolin, eventually finding himself playing a 1920s Gibson mandocello in Peter Ostroushko's band, the Mando Boys. He played kick-butt fiddle for seven years in the Stoney Lonesome bluegrass band, did a number of guitar gigs with various honkytonk bands around the cities, and for three years was in "the house band at a place called Billy Bob's, or something," at Riverplace. After years spent as a road musician and working in construction, he has settled into the relatively quiet St. Paul life of a finish carpenter. He keeps his music honed with jam sessions in the basement.

Peter Ostroushko

He grew up in a musical community, Ukrainian Northeast Minneapolis as it used to be called, and he learned to play a number of instruments early on. He was hired in high school to compose and play the music for a one-man staging of A Christmas Carol, at the Children's Theater School. In the thirty years since that beginning he has been sideman to and traveled with the very famous, been a session player on three or four hundred CDs, has written and produced nine of his own albums and has composed works performed by the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of both Rochester and Des Moines. He's written film scores for Ken Burns' documentaries Lewis & Clark and Mark Twain and has just completed a new soundtrack, released on Red House, for Minnesota: A History of the Land which will be broadcast February 21and 22 . He is a musician's musician and has a press kit filled with superlatives; everything from "solemn grace" and "joyfully funky" to "breathtaking, technically brilliant music." But Jethro Burns put it best when he said: "Go out of your way to see Pete."

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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