Special Guests
Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nashville Bluegrass Band

The Nasvhille Bluegrass Band brings to town it's heavy burden of accolades, awards, critical acclaim, peer approval and storied past, not that we need any of that to enjoy the music or that we think it makes the experience any more fulfilling; but it sure doesn't hurt anything either. We just hope it doesn't bother the musicians that we already know stuff about them before they even get here.

Chuck Suchy

Critics like to call him an undiscovered treasure of the northern Great Plains, and we might expect a title like that to be hung on a singer who works towns named Keister and Coon Valley. But the picture changes when we add Chicago to that, and the Smithsonian Institute and the Kennedy Center; the sort of venues that put an end to anonymity. So he's been discovered. He's a still-working farmer from the blue hills along the Missouri River south of Mandan. He's sung and played guitar and accordion most of his life, and in 1982 realized that it was a life worth writing songs about. He has five CDs out, the latest called Evening in Paris. An enticing title from a songwriter better known for dance halls, dimestore perfume and dancin' in the kitchen.

Inga Swearingen

Inga Swearingen always loved singing, whether it was with her elementary school choir in San Luis Obispo, California, or performing her own songs in high school, or during her years of voice lessons. But it may have been joining a jazz choir while pursuing her education at Cuesta College that sealed her decision to be a jazz singer. In 2003, after studying with Swiss artist Susanne Abbuehl, she won the Shure Jazz Voice competition at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival. She earned a master's degree in choral conducting from Florida State University, then returned to California, where she now performs, works on recording projects, and teaches at Cuesta College — her old alma mater. Reverie, her latest CD, is on the Rhythome label.

Stephanie Davis

In a circa 1900 one-room homestead cabin—a building on her ranch in south-central Montana—Stephanie Davis composes and records songs that reflect her life in Big Sky country. Back when, she spent a couple of years in Nashville, writing songs for the likes of Garth Brooks, Roger Whittaker, Martina McBride and Shelby Lynne. But there's no place like her home state of Montana—where her family has lived for four generations—and Stephanie is the first to tell you, daily ranch life provides constant inspiration. Her albums include I'm Pulling Through, River of No Return, Crocus in the Snow and her brand-new CD, Home for the Holidays (Recluse Records), a collection of holiday favorites, old and new.

Peter Ostroushko

Mandolinist Peter Ostroushko grew up listening to mandolin, balalaika, and bandura tunes played at family get-togethers in the Ukrainian community of northeast Minneapolis. It's the music that provides the basis for many of his compositions. His first recording session was an uncredited mandolin set on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Since then, his compositions have been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, among others. Ken Burns used Ostroushko's music for his PBS documentary Lewis & Clark, and Twin Cities Public Television commissioned Peter to provide music for The Dakota Conflict. Among Peter's recent CDs is Postcards: Travels with a Great American Radio Show (Red House Records), songs he composed while on tour with A Prairie Home Companion.

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

She may have grown up in West Los Angeles in the '70s, but Gillian Welch draws on the roots of rural Appalachia for her sound. She began a successful duo act with fellow Berklee School of Music student David Rawlings; they now live in Nashville and tour the world.

Studs Terkel

Studs started in business a long time ago doing a record show "The Wax Museum" on WENR, playing records by his friends Big Bill Broonzy, Woody Guthrie, and Mahalia Jackson, and he chugged along at WBEZ until 1997. Studs is the soul of the city. He describes himself as looking like "a minor mob figure the day after he died" but he's a scrapper, a union guy, a White Sox fan, an old progressive, an admirer of Fighting Bob LaFollette and Clarence Darrow because they were their own men and didn't take orders from anybody.

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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