Saturday, April 22, 2006
Emmylou HarrisEmmylou Harris's albums are mainstays in any music fan's collection: Wrecking Ball, Luxury Liner, Roses in the Snow, The Ballad of Sally Rose, Trio, Red Dirt Girl. The list goes on and on. And you can add to it the most recent release, All the Roadrunning (Mercury Records), her duet CD with Mark Knopfler, new this spring. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in North Carolina and Virginia, Harris began playing the guitar at sixteen and eventually left college to pursue a career in music. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird, in 1969. In the early '70s she moved to Los Angeles and joined forces with Gram Parsons, with whom she made two albums. After Parsons' death in 1973, Harris moved back to the Washington, D.C. area and made her major label debut, Pieces of the Sky. Now, after more than 30 years of performing, more than 30 albums, and countless awards, including 11 Grammys, Emmylou maintains a widespread and loyal following, whether she's singing folk, country, pop or traditional tunes. She's currently working on a new album with producer Buddy Miller.
Mark KnopflerMark Knopfler is perhaps best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for Dire Straits, but he's also a producer (for artists such as Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman) and composer, including film scores for Local Hero, The Princess Bride, Wag the Dog, and others. He grew up in the northeast of England, and played in bands as a kid. After high school, he took a journalism course at a technical college, then pursued an English degree at Leeds University. In the late 1970s, he formed the phenomenally successful British rock band Dire Straits, with which he released a string of hit albums, including Brothers in Arms, the top-selling record in British history. The group disbanded in the mid-'90s, and Knopfler launched his solo career with the album Golden Heart. He followed with Sailing to Philadelphia (2000) and The Ragpicker's Dream (2002). After taking time to recover from a motorcycle accident, he released Shangri-La in 2004 and One Take Radio Sessions in 2005. Knopfler and his associated bands have sold more than 100 million albums, and once his duet CD with Emmylou Harris, All The Roadrunning (Mercury Records), hits the stores, look for that number to jump.
John NiemannFiddler and mandolinist John Niemann started out playing electric bass in a high school rock 'n' roll band. Later he took up guitar, fiddle, mandolin and mandocello. He was a member of Peter Ostroushko's quartet The Mando Boys, and he spent seven years with the Minnesota-based bluegrass group Stoney Lonesome.
Jearlyn SteeleA native of Indiana, Jearlyn Steele first sang with her siblings (as The Steele Children) in churches, concert halls and on radio and television. After Jearlyn left home to attend the University of Minnesota, one by one the rest of the Steele kids followed, and they started singing together again as The Steeles. Now music is the family business. Fans still remember their participation in The Gospel at Colonus at the Guthrie Theater and on Broadway. Jearlyn has voiced many local and national commercials, and she has recorded with top acts including George Clinton and Prince. Her most recent CD is titled Steele Praising Him. Jearlyn Steele hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis and is heard in some 30 states nationwide.
Andy SteinAndy Stein (violin, saxophone) 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 artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.
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).