October 24, 2009 Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Guest Information

Harry Smith

Harry Smith joined CBS News in 1986 as a Dallas-based reporter. Since then, he has covered events worldwide —Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 London terrorist attacks, the Gulf War, political conventions — and interviewed newsmakers of every stripe, from U.S. presidents to film stars to sports figures. For the past eight years, he has been an anchor of The Early Show, and he hosts a daily radio news and analysis feature, "Just a Minute," on the CBS News Radio Network. Smith was raised in Lansing, Illinois, attended college in Pella, Iowa, and now lives in New York with his wife, sports reporter Andrea Joyce, and their two sons.

Old Crow Medicine Show

With a little luck and a whole lot of talent, Old Crow Medicine Show went from playing their slash-and-burn brand of old-time music on the streets of Boone, North Carolina, to bringing down the house at the Grand Ole Opry. Willie Watson (guitar), Ketch Secor (fiddle), Gill Landry (banjo, guitar), Kevin Hayes (guitjo) and Morgan Jahnig (bass) have wowed audiences coast to coast with their distinctive take on pre-World War II blues, rags, hollers, fiddle tunes and jug band numbers. They have been included in several documentaries, including PBS's American Roots Music series and In the Valley Where Time Stands Still, a film about the history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Their new CD, Tennessee Pusher, was released last month on the Nettwerk Records label.

Robin and Linda Williams

Robin and Linda Williams first appeared on A Prairie Home Companion in 1975, the same year they recorded their first album. In 2008, they released their 20th, Buena Vista (Red House Records). For more than three decades, these two have charmed listeners worldwide with their robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time, and acoustic country. Robin and Linda claim that they make their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but truth be told, they spend the lion’s share of their time on the road. And fans at every stop are glad they do. Their Fine Group: Jim Watson (bass, mandolin); Chris Brashear (fiddle).

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.

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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