December 18, 2010

Town Hall in New York City

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Guest Information

Nathan Gunn

Metropolitan Opera baritone Nathan Gunn has appeared in renowned opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Paris Opera, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He is also a distinguished concert performer. His most recent solo album, Just Before Sunrise, is on the Sony/BMG Masterworks label. Gunn is a professor of voice at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, his alma mater. At the piano: Julie Jordan Gunn.

Pink Martini

In 1994, classically trained pianist Thomas Lauderdale — who was working in politics and contemplating that one day he would run for mayor — founded the highly eclectic Pink Martini to play for political fundraisers. Now the Portland, Oregon-based "little orchestra" is in demand coast to coast and beyond. The band is: Thomas Lauderdale, piano; China Forbes, vocals; Nick Crosa, violin; John Hart, guitar; Gavin Bondy, trumpet; Robert Taylor, trombone; Phil Baker, bass; Martín Zarzar, drums; Derek Rieth, percussion; Timothy Nishimoto, percussion. Joy to the World, "a globally-inclusive holiday album for the 21st century," was released last month on Heinz Records.

Erica Rhodes

Erica Rhodes starred in the 2008 indie horror film Plague Town, which has shown in festivals and theaters nationwide and beyond, and she had roles in Go West, Javatown, and Blindsided. "Upstairs Girls," her popular Web series, is the story of a sweet L.A. girl named Sandy and her roommates.

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.

Tim Russell

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.

Sue Scott

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.

Fred Newman

Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. He is author of the book (and CD/CD-ROM) MouthSounds. Fred admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."

Garrison Keillor

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.

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) has far-flung musical leanings: He was a founding member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; he collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson; and he has recorded with dozens of artists, from Itzhak Perlman to Nellie McKay.

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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