Saturday, March 31, 2007
Jen LarsonWhether she's singing country, old time, or straight-ahead bluegrass with her band Straight Drive, Jen Larson's voice finds the perfect delivery. As Bluegrass Unlimited magazine recently wrote, "She calls on a beautiful blue, throaty quality when the song or the mood requires it and, with ease, shifts to an almost fragile lilt, often within a single phrase." Raised in a small town north of Boston, Jen Larson now makes her home in New York City. In addition to her work with Straight Drive whose CD I'll Take a Page from Your Book (Cabinwood Music) was released in 2005 Jen has recorded with banjoist Tom Hanway and with the Long Island-based bluegrass band Miller's Crossing.
YeraSonYeraSon is a New York-based Cuban Charanga Orquestra with a multinational flair. Its members represent a cross-section of countries, from Cuba and Panama to the Dominican Republic, England and the U.S. Though steeped in the tradition of the Cuban son, YeraSon has successfully adapted and integrated many diverse Latin American styles into its repertoire. With music that ranges from South American cumbias to merengue, rumba-guaguanco and classical chamber music, this conjunto is truly greater than the mere sum of its parts. The band is: Yrving Yeras (violin, vocals, minor percussion, recorder, charango), who came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1999 and created YeraSon in 2002; Alex Fernandez Fox (tres, guitar, vocals, percussion, piano); Lisa Crowder (violin, viola, accordion, piano); Hector Torres (bongos, timbales, vocals); Mauricio Smith Jr. (flute, sax); Rafael de Los Reyes (congas, vocals); Conal Fowkes (bass, piano, vocals); Ronald Baro (vocals).
Andy SteinAndy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings, He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he 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).