July 3, 2010

Ravinia Festival Pavilion

Highland Park, IL

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Guest Information

Howard Levy

Howard Levy is perhaps best known for developing a fully chromatic harmonica style on a standard 10-hole diatonic instrument. Anyone who has ever picked up a little Hohner Marine Band can appreciate the feat. His musical adventures include journeys into jazz, pop, rock, Latin, classical, folk, blues, country, and more. Levy leads two Chicago bands: Chévere, a Latin Jazz-fusion ensemble, and a four-piece group called Howard Levy’s Acoustic Express. His most recent album is Tonight and Tomorrow (Chicago Sessions).

John Prine

John Prine went from making up songs on his hometown mail route in Mayfield, Illinois, to winning praise from critics and fans worldwide. Former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser called him “a truly original writer …  a genuine poet of the American people.” Indeed, songs like “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There,” and “Donald and Lydia” are eloquent snapshots of everyday folks — images that stay with you decade after decade. The Grammy winner’s latest CD, In Person & On Stage, was released this spring on Oh Boy Records.

Andra Suchy

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.

Originally from Cloquet, Minnesota, pedal steel player Joe Savage made his way to Minneapolis in the 1980s. These days, he is a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, performing with a number of artists in addition to keeping up his work as a studio musician.

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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