April 3, 2010

The Paramount Theatre

Seattle, WA

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Guest Information

Nellie McKay

She started out wanting to be a jazz musician. Now when singer, songwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, and activist Nellie McKay sits down at the piano or picks up the ukulele, you’re likely hear some blend of jazz, pop, hip-hop, cabaret or vaudeville. The London-born, New York-based performer has found quite a following with her quirky musical approach. She’s nothing if not outspoken, and the causes she holds dear — animal rights, for instance — are apt to turn up in her unpredictable song lyrics. Her fourth album, Normal As Blueberry Pie, a tribute to Doris Day, was released last month on the Verve label.

Brandi Carlile

Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile grew up listening to classic country music — her mom’s favorite — and made her stage debut at age eight, singing a version of Rosanne Cash’s “Tennessee Flat-Top Box.” In her teens, she sang backup for an Elvis impersonator, but when she got her first guitar — a broken and abandoned Harmony Sovereign — she was soon playing coffeehouses, parties, and restaurants in the Seattle area. She released her first album in 2005. By the time her next CD, The Story, came out in 2007, her fan base was mushrooming, and the disc rose to No. 41 on the Billboard albums chart. Her latest is 2009’s Give Up the Ghost (Sony). Brandi Carlile is joined by Tim Hanseroth (guitar), Phil Hanseroth (bass), and Josh Neumann (cello).

The Henriettas

Calling themselves the Henriettas, Berkeley-based Nell Robinson and Cary Sheldon have revived the singular brand of yodeling popularized in the 1930s by the DeZurik Sisters (originally from Royalton, Minnesota), who made a splash on The Grand Ole Opry, The National Barn Dance, Purina Mills Checkerboard Time, and other radio shows of the day. Nell's album, Nell Robinson in Loango (Red Level Records), features the Henriettas doing a couple of Carolyn and Mary Jane DeZurik's memorable songs.

Jeff Adams

He was raised in rural Illinois (on the banks of the Mississippi), but Jeff Adams always felt drawn to the eastern Pacific. He moved to Seattle in the early 1990s and studied biological oceanography, marine biology, and freshwater biology at the University of Washington. These days, he is a marine water quality specialist and aquatic invasive species coordinator with Washington Sea Grant, affiliated with the University of Washington’s College of the Ocean and Fishery Sciences.

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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