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Sam Bush Band
Sam Bush was just 11 when he got his first mandolin. By the time he was 17, he had won the title of National Junior Fiddle Champion for three years running. And he had made his recording debut, Poor Richard's Almanac. Founder of groundbreaking bands like New Grass Revival and Strength in Numbers, he has also been the go-to sideman for Lyle Lovett, the Flecktones and dozens of others. For five years, he led Emmylou Harris' Grammy-winning Nash Ramblers. He has recorded a number of solo albums. The most recent, Circles Around Me, comes out next month on Sugar Hill Records. The band: Stephen Mougin (guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), Byron House (bass), and Chris Brown (drums).
When Twin Cities jazz singer Connie Evingson was a kid in Hibbing, Minnesota, she loved listening to her dad's record collection Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee. Then she grew up to be a top-flight artist in her own right. Many know her work with Moore By Four or her solo performances on concert and club stages worldwide. She is the creator of Fever, A Tribute to Peggy Lee, which she has performed coast to coast, and a new Peggy Lee show called "Happy with the Blues." Connie has released eight albums on the Minnehaha Music label. The latest, Little Did I Dream, is a collection of songs by Dave Frishberg.
Sarah Jarosz's debut album, Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill), came out last spring at just about the same time the 18-year-old graduated from high school. She went from cap and gown to a round of summer music festivals, and now she has pulled up stakes in Wimberley, Texas, and enrolled in Boston's famed New England Conservatory of Music. The kid who started playing mandolin at 10, and branched out to clawhammer banjo and guitar, and got hooked on bluegrass and singing her own songs is now reaping rave reviews and drawing comparisons to Alison Krauss and Lucinda Williams.
Salsa del Soul
Salsa del Soul formed almost a decade ago with one purpose in mind: to provide great dance music for Twin Cities salsa fans. Playing merengues, cha-chas, son montuno, and of course, salsa, this spicy nine-piece orchestra keeps dancers crowding the floor at clubs, festivals, and other events. The musicians of Salsa del Soul, who represent some of the finest on the local Latin music scene, are: Shai Hayo (timbales), Gloria "La Niña" Rivera (vocals), Nelson Rosado (vocals), Juan Bautista (vocals), José Peña (bass), Bryan Rossi (piano), Scott Agster (trombone), Matt Hanzelka (trombone), and José Reyes (congas).
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.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
Richard Dworsky, who week in and week out leads A Prairie Home Companion's Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, is a classically trained pianist and composer who rocks, swings, plays great blues and gospel, tears it up on Hammond B3 organ, and keeps up with world-class pickers playing his unique "bluegrass piano" style. He writes all APHC's script themes and underscores, and during his 16-year stint, he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. 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.
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.
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).