January 9, 2010
War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco, CA

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Guest Information

Sara Watkins

Singer, songwriter, fiddle player Sara Watkins was only eight when she, her brother Sean, and Chris Thile started Nickel Creek. The Grammy Award–winning acoustic trio spent nearly two decades winning fans with their innovative, genre-bending style before calling an indefinite hiatus a couple of years ago. Now Sara has struck out on her own. And while she had been thinking for some time about doing a solo recording project, the notion has finally become reality: This spring, she released her first album, Sara Watkins (Nonesuch), produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

Raúl Melo

Metropolitan Opera tenor Raúl Melo has sung principal roles with major opera companies worldwide. In 2005-2006, he made his Met debut as the Duke in Rigoletto. The following season found him performing the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and in a live broadcast from Symphony Space — both with the New York City Opera. This season, his performances include Cavaradossi in Tosca with the New York City Opera and as the tenor soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently appearing at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, singing the part of the Navigator in the Anthony Davis opera Amistad. Michael Recchiuti is at the piano.

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. 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.

Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan.

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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