Blossom Music Center
Cuyahoga Falls, OH«archive page
Jessica Lea Mayfield
Twenty-year-old singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield has packed a lot of music into a few years. At eight, she was touring with her parents’ band, One Way Rider; at 11, she was writing her own songs and performing solo; and at 15, she put out an EP, White Lies, recorded in her big brother’s bedroom. They printed just 100 copies, one of which fell into the hands of fellow Ohioan Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist for The Black Keys. Auerbach produced Mayfield’s debut full-length album, 2008’s With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (Thirty Tigers). Another album, also produced by Auerbach, is in the works.
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
At 17, Ricky Skaggs — already an accomplished singer and mandolin player — was invited to join the band of the legendary Ralph Stanley. That was in the early 1970s, and since the moment he first took the stage, Skaggs has built a reputation rarely equaled in the world of bluegrass music. In addition to his own projects, the 12-time Grammy winner has collaborated with a host of musicians, from Emmylou Harris to pianist/composer Bruce Hornsby. His latest CD is Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved (Skaggs Family Music). Kentucky Thunder is Mark Fain, bass; Cody Kilby, guitar; Paul Brewster, guitar; Andy Leftwich, fiddle, Eddie Faris, guitar; and Justin Moses, banjo.
Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area — including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra’s solo CD is called Patchwork Story.
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.
Richard Kriehn is principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony and serves as Program Coordinator for the Washington State University School of Music. But it’s not all classical all the time; he is equally at home playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. He was a member of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946.
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).