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One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. In other roles, Tim played the part of Al, the stage manager, in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and a detective in the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.
On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as movie and stage roles.
Is that water dripping? Footsteps coming this way? Car tires spinning on an icy driveway? Nope — it's sound effects wizard Tom Keith. With vocal gymnastics and a variety of props, Tom has worked his magic on APHC since the mid-1970s. Starting out as a board operator at Minnesota Public Radio, Tom never expected that his career would take such a turn.
Describing their sound as "Beatles-meets-Bakersfield," The Derailers — a hard-driving, Austin, Texas-based band — have kept honky-tonk and rockabilly fans hanging on their every note since they first got together in the mid-'90s. Their latest album is titled Guaranteed to Satisfy (Palo Duro). The band: Brian Hofeldt, guitar; Scott Matthews, percussion; Basil McJagger, piano; Kevin Smith, bass.
Rob Fisher and the White Bear Yacht Club Orchestra
For four seasons, Rob Fisher led the Coffee Club Orchestra for Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company. An authority on American music and musical theater, tonight he is at the helm of the White Bear Yacht Club Orchestra: Dave Brown, trumpet; Steve Wright, trumpet; Dave Bargeron, trombone; Steve Kenyon, clarinet; Brian Grivna, alto sax; Dale Mendenhall, tenor sax; Jay Berliner, guitar; Arnie Kinsella, drums.
Vocalist Christine DiGiallonardo's credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in the Park Festival), My Fair Lady (Lincoln Center), and Monica! The Musical (New York Musical Theatre Festival).
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 Twin Cities groups, including the all-girl trio The Dollys. Andra's solo recording is called Patchwork Story.
Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, graduated from the University of Minnesota ('66), and lives in St. Paul. He is the author of numerous books, including his latest, Life Among the Lutherans (Augsburg Books) and Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance (Viking).
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.Staten Island's favorite son, Arnie Kinsella (percussion), has played and recorded with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Leon Redbone, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and more.
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).