Saturday, September 23, 2006
Old Crow Medicine ShowWith a little luck and a whole lot of talent, Old Crow Medicine Show went from playing their slash-and-burn brand of old-time music on the streets of Boone, North Carolina, to bringing down the house at the Grand Ole Opry. Willie Watson (guitar), Ketch Secor (fiddle), Critter Fuqua (banjo, slide guitar), Kevin Hayes (guitjo) and Morgan Jahnig (bass) have wowed audiences coast to coast with their distinctive take on pre-World War II blues, fiddle tunes, rags, hollers, hokum and jug band styles. They have been included in several documentaries, including PBS's American Roots Music series; In the Valley Where Time Stands Still, a film about the history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance; and Bluegrass Journey, a portrait of the contemporary bluegrass scene. Their second album, Big Iron World, was just released on Nettwerk Records.
Prudence JohnsonThat silky alto and striking styleyou'd expect to find Prudence Johnson singing at a high-tone nightspot. And you might. But be it a concert hall, the silver screen, a little jazz club or A Prairie Home Companion, Pru is the perfect complement. Her recent CDs include 'S Gershwin and Moon Country, a collection of songs by Hoagy Carmichael.
Erica RhodesJust a tiny kid when she first appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, Erica Rhodes is now a seasoned actor. She studied at Boston University's College of Fine Arts and the Atlantic Theater Conservatory in New York. With some colleagues, she recently started The Group B Project, a New York theater ensemble based in Manhattan's West Village. They just completed a run of "All in the Timing," an evening of comedic short plays written by David Ives.
John NiemannAfter playing electric bass in a high school rock 'n' roll band, fiddler and mandolinist John Niemann 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 bluegrass group Stoney Lonesome.
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).