Special Guests
Saturday, June 2, 2007

the Rhubarb Sisters

The Rhubarb Sisters — Peggy Hanson, Stela Burdt and Beth Hennessy — first got together just last year for Lanesboro, Minnesota's 2006 Rhubarb Festival, but they're already a favorite with audiences in southeastern Minnesota. With piano accompaniment by Heidi Dybing, the singing trio mixes classic standards with their own "riffs on rhubarb." Peggy (who owns and operates the Cady Hayes House B & B in Lanesboro), Stela (an actor with Commonweal Theatre Company), Beth (former Executive Director of Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis who now volunteers at the Chatfield, Minnesota, Brass Band Music Lending Library), and Heidi (an organic farmer whose acreage east of Lanesboro is named "Folkvangen") make frequent appearances on the local weekly radio broadcast "Over the Back Fence" on KFIL, Preston, Minnesota. Fans can also enjoy the Rhubarb Sisters' music at Whalan, Minnesota's Stand Still Parade and at Lanesboro's annual celebration of rhubarb. Of course!

Andy Stein

Andy 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.

Bob Bovee and Gail Heil

Husband-and-wife duo Bob Bovee and Gail Heil have spent almost three decades crisscrossing the country with fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica and autoharp, playing old-time music in concerts, on TV and radio shows, and at fairs, dances and schools, as well as festivals like Altamont, New York's Old Songs Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Merlefest and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. Bob, a Nebraska native, first learned the old songs from his family — his grandmother played some mandolin and harmonica and had a fondness for cowboy and train wreck songs; his uncle sang unaccompanied and favored hobo and cowboy numbers. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Gail learned a large part of her music and dance repertoire from older Ozark performers. Bob and Gail now make their home in southeastern Minnesota. They are the founders and organizers of the Bluff Country Gathering, a four-day traditional music and dance event held annually in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Their latest CD is When the Cactus Is in Bloom (Copper Creek).

Joe Ely

Joe Ely left West Texas as a teenager in the late '60s and put on miles like a trucker; "followed Woody Guthrie west and the blues guys down south ... was on the West Coast during all the big hippie days." Lubbock has that effect on people, generating rebels and making a large mark on the country. Buddy Holly came from there, and Roy Orbison, Bob Wills, Waylon Jennings, the Gatlin Brothers, Mac Davis and Tanya Tucker; Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. And so did Kenny Bernstein, a 330-mph dragster driver, and Raymond Beadle, the first to turn over 300 in a funny car; Joe watched them drag race '55 Chevies by the Hi-D-Ho Drive-In when he was a kid. He came back when it felt the time was right and because "I always knew the best musicians were in Lubbock." He put a band together and within a year had a contract with MCA Records. His discography now lists dozens of albums, with names like Honky Tonk Masquerade, Texas Special, Musta Notta Gotta Lotta, Lord of the Highway, Love and Danger, Twistin' in the Wind and Streets of Sin. Ely's latest CD with The Flatlanders is Wheels of Fortune (New West Records). His current solo recordings are Happy Songs from Rattlesnake Gulch and Silver City, both on Rack 'Em Records. His new book, Bonfire of Roadmaps (University of Texas Press), is a collection of poems and drawings culled from his traveling journals. Ace guitarist Rob Gjersoe — well known for his work with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, The Flatlanders and Robbie Fulks — joins Ely for this performance.

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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