May 29, 2010

Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Vienna, VA

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Guest Information

Tom Rush

James Taylor once told a reporter that Tom Rush “was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Lots of artists could say the same. Rush has had a profound impact on American music ever since his early days on the 1960s Boston/Cambridge coffeehouse scene, where he began performing while he was an English lit student at Harvard. He made his first record, Tom Rush at the Unicorn, in 1962. He has since released dozens of albums, but the most recent, 2009's What I Know (Appleseed), was his first studio recording in thirty-five years. Tom Rush makes his home in New Hampshire with his wife, author Renée Askins, and their 10-year-old daughter.

Inga Swearingen

Inga Swearingen always loved singing, whether it was with her elementary school choir in San Luis Obispo, California, or performing her own songs in high school. But after joining a jazz choir while pursuing her education at Cuesta College, she knew her calling: singing jazz. In 2003, after studying with Swiss artist Susanne Abbuehl, she won the Shure Jazz Voice competition at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival. She earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Florida State University, then returned to California, where she now performs, works on recording projects, and teaches at Cuesta College — her old alma mater. First Rain, her latest CD, is on the Rhythome label.

Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings

Gillian Welch grew up in Los Angeles, where her musical parents wrote for the Carol Burnett Show. In the early ’90s, she met Dave Rawlings at the Berklee College of music in Boston, while the two were students waiting to audition for the country-band class. As a duo, they have carved out a highly successful career. Then, several years ago, Dave came up with the notion of stepping out front and recording as Dave Rawlings Machine. Friend of a Friend (Acony Records), his first solo album, was released last November. “Songcraft as soul-baringly timeless as Twenties Delta blues,” was Rolling Stone magazine's four-star assessment. Gabe Witcher joins Dave and Gillian for tonight's performance.

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.

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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