Special Guests
Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nick Lowe

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer Nick Lowe has certainly left his stamp on popular music, starting with his stint with the pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz — a strong influence on 1970s punk music — and during his years with Rockpile. His songs include "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," which, in addition to being covered by dozens of other artists and appearing on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, is still an anti-war anthem after three decades. Labour of Lust, The Impossible Bird and The Convincer are among his acclaimed albums. His 2007 recording, At My Age (Yep Roc Records), is described by the Village Voice as having "a benevolent, whimsical, grandfatherly air that's both sincere and devilishly devious."


The Boston Globe called Solas "the finest Celtic ensemble this country has ever produced." Indeed, since forming in 1996 — the year they made their first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion — Solas has taken its cutting-edge brand of Irish music to audiences worldwide, building their fan base with each concert. And while the group's members have changed over the years, they have always been drawn from both Ireland and the U.S. For this performance, Solas is Sťamus Egan (flute, banjo, mandolin, whistles, bodhran), Winifred Horan (violin), Mick McAuley (accordions, concertina, low whistle), Donal Clancy (guitar), and Máiréad Phelan (vocals). Their latest recording, For Love and Laughter (Compass Records), was released this past August.

Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A keyboard master with an arsenal of ideas, he has worked with artists from Al Jarreau to Kristin Chenoweth to the Hopeful Gospel Quartet. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me (Prairie Home Productions).

Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.

Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.

When a very young Marc Anderson (percussion) saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, the die was cast. He started taking drum lessons, and before long he had his first band. Over the years, he has studied drumming styles from the far corners of the globe. In addition to performing, he is an adjunct professor in Hamline University's Anthropology Department.

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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