Saturday, June 21, 2008
Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen may be best known as a charter member of the Jefferson Airplane and the equally legendary (and still-touring) Hot Tuna. But these days, thousands of guitarists also know him as the founder of Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, located in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. It is the business Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen started in 1998 - a place where music enthusiasts gather for classes offered by some of the best guitarists to ever pick up a six-string. Along with the other members of the Jefferson Airplane, Kaukonen is a 1996 inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The latest of his more than a dozen solo albums is Stars in My Crown (Red House Records).
The Wailin' Jennys
When The Wailin' Jennys first got together in 2002, it was supposed to be a one-time gig. But the collaboration proved such a success that within a few weeks the trio was on tour and people were calling them "a bona fide Canadian sensation." They have continued to wow audiences across North America and beyond. As one music critic wrote, "This is about as good as contemporary folk gets." The group's critically acclaimed CD 40 Days won a 2005 Juno Award for Best Roots and Traditional Album of the Year. Their latest recording, Firecracker, released in 2006 on the Red House label, has their ever-widening fan base coming back for more. The Jennys are soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky Mehta and alto Heather Masse. Jeremy Penner joins them on fiddle and mandolin.
Robin and Linda Williams
"Individually their voices can melt cheese, and in duet they can do all-purpose welding," Garrison Keillor has said of Robin and Linda Williams. And while their fans might not put it quite that way, they'd certainly agree. Singing the music they love, be it bluegrass, folk, old-time, or acoustic country, these two have carved out a three-decade career that has taken them from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. And they have written dozens of terrific songs, ones that have been covered by Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, The Seldom Scene and many others. Radio Songs, a CD of favorite APHC performances, was released last fall on Red House Records.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky (keyboard) and features Pat Donohue (guitar), Gary Raynor (bass), Andy Stein (violin, saxophone), and J.T. Bates (percussion).
Blossom Music Center
Opened in 1968 as the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Music Center is located within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The name honors the Dudley S. Blossom family, major supporters of the Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. The first season consisted of six weeks of performances by the orchestra and eight jazz-folk concerts. Over the years, this schedule has expanded to include today's 10-week Blossom Festival of orchestral music, as well as a summerlong season of concerts devoted to rock, jazz, country and other popular music. At the heart of Blossom Music Center is the Blossom Pavilion, situated at the base of a natural bowl. The architect for this award-winning structure was Peter van Dijk; the acoustician was Heinrich Keilholz, with preliminary acoustical design by Christopher Jaffe and studio engineering by Vladimir Maleckar. The pavilion seats 5,281 beneath its roof, and there is room for another 13,500 concertgoers in the lawn seating area.
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).