Special Guests
Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jean Redpath

The Edinburgh Evening News may have put it best: "To call Jean Redpath a Scottish folk singer is a bit like calling Michelangelo an Italian interior decorator." Indeed, this song collector, vocalist and M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) is a pivotal figure in traditional music. She arrived in the U.S. in 1961, fresh out of university with $11 in her pocket. A hootenanny appearance at Gerdes Folk City led to bookings and a rave review in The New York Times. Now, 40 albums and thousands of performances later, Redpath is still exploring the wealth of Scottish oral tradition, and she continues to win raves from fans worldwide. Her latest CD is By Request (Jean Redpath Records).

Dailey and Vincent

What everyone thought was a one-time recording session back in 2003 led to the launch of Dailey and Vincent, a duo that's taking the bluegrass world by storm. Not that they're newcomers to the scene: Darrin Vincent (bass) spent years with Ricky Skaggs' band, Kentucky Thunder, and with his sister's group, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage; Jamie Dailey (guitar) had a long tenure with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. The two released their debut album, Dailey & Vincent (Rounder Records), just a year ago. In October, they took seven International Bluegrass Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year. Look for a new CD, Brothers from Different Mothers, in March. The band: Jeff Parker (mandolin), Joe Dean (banjo) and Adam Hayne (fiddle).

Andra Suchy

Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area — including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's solo CD is called Patchwork Story.

Butch Thompson

For 12 years of his four-decade career, Butch Thompson was the house pianist on A Prairie Home Companion, dating back to the show's second broadcast in July 1974. As a soloist, he has earned a worldwide reputation as a master of ragtime, stride and classic jazz piano. Described by Jazz Journal International as "the premier player in traditional jazz today," Thompson also performs with his trio, his eight-piece New Orleans Jazz Originals, and with symphony orchestras from Minnesota to Cairo, Egypt. His recent recordings include Butch Thompson's Big Three: 'Tain't Nobody's Business (Jazzology Records) and At First Light (Turnagain Music).

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 masterful keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.

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.

Originally from Cloquet, Minnesota, pedal steel player Joe Savage made his way to Minneapolis in the 1980s. These days, he is a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, performing with a number of artists in addition to keeping up his work as a studio musician.

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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