The Fox Theatre
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Roy Blount Jr.
The New York Times Book Review has called Roy Blount Jr. “one of America’s wittiest writers.” Readers of his articles in The Oxford American, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Vanity Fair, GQ, National Geographic, Rolling Stone and The New York Times could tell you that. So could fans of his 21 books, including the most recent, Alphabet Juice (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He has been honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library and a Literary Light by the Boston Public Library. On radio, he is a panelist on NPR’s news quiz show, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Blount makes his home in western Massachusetts and Manhattan.
Growing up in small-town Mississippi, singer-songwriter Caroline Herring studied piano and flute, and she sang in the church choir. After college, she moved west to Texas, where for many years she was associated with the Austin music scene, and where in 2001 she released her debut album, Twilight. But since 2003, she has made her home in Atlanta.For her latest CD, Golden Apples of the Sun (Signature Sounds), Herring won the prestigious Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for musical composition.
She’s called “The Georgia Songbird,” and Dublin, Georgia, native EG Kight has spent most of her life earning the title. By age three, she was singing in church; in her teens she was writing country songs and performing at festivals. But it was after she heard a Koko Taylor recording that her musical career took a dramatic turn toward the blues. Since then, she has been honored with a half-dozen nominations for Blues Music Awards by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation. And two of her songs wound up on Koko Taylor albums. EG Kight’s latest CD is It’s Hot in Here (M.C. Records).
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Steep Canyon Rangers, first got together in college, and over the past decade or so the Asheville, North Carolina-based quintet has built a solid reputation among bluegrass fans. The group has been regularly featured on the Grand Ole Opry and at music festivals such as MerleFest, Telluride, and RockyGrass, and many know them from their appearances as Steve Martin's backing band. Deep in the Shade (Rebel Records), their most recent CD, spent a month in the top 10 on Billboard'sBluegrass Albums chart. The Rangers are: Woody Platt (guitar), Graham Sharp (banjo), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Charles R. Humphrey III (bass) and Nicky Sanders (fiddle).
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. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers 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.
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).