February 19, 2011

University of Minnesota-Morris, Physical Education Center Gym, Morris MN

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Guest Information

Deena and Sedra Bistodeau

Since they were little girls, sisters Deena and Sedra Bistodeau have been wowing audiences and contest judges with their fiddle chops — both classical and bluegrass — and they've got trophies aplenty to show for it. Deena, a University of Minnesota student, and Sedra, still in high school, are both Minnesota State Fiddle Champions. The two often team up with their parents as the Bistodeau Family Band, whose recordings include 2006's Playing Second Fiddle.

Andy McCormick

When Andy McCormick was growing up in Rochester, New York, in a family that liked to sing folk songs, he probably didn't foresee fame as a saw player. In fact, he started as a bassist and accordionist, but his virtuosity on an instrument that might seem more at home in a hardware store has created quite a following. McCormick moved to the Twin Cities more than a decade ago. He plays in the band Dreamland Faces, and if you're lucky you can catch his saw accompaniment to silent films.

Catie Jo Pidel

Catie Jo Pidel began violin lessons at school when she was in the third grade. But her mom thought it might be a good idea to add bluegrass and old-time fiddling to her skills. Now those styles have become this high school junior's passion. A Minnesota State Fair Teen Fiddle Champion, she is a member of the Whistlepigs String Band and the progressive bluegrass group Ruby Magpie.

Jearlyn Steele

Jearlyn Steele grew up in Indiana and first sang with her siblings (as The Steele Children). After she left home and moved to Minnesota, one by one the rest of the Steele kids followed. They started singing together again as The Steeles, and now music is the family business. Jearlyn also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis and is heard in some 30 states nationwide. Jearlyn Steele Sings Songs from A Prairie Home Companion is her most recent CD.

University of Minnesota Morris Concert Choir

The University of Minnesota Morris Concert Choir was founded by its current director, Ken Hodgson, in 1978, and since that time the group has established a national — and international — reputation. Under Hodgson's direction, the choir has collaborated with the Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Eiji Oue, and has made numerous tours. They have traveled the East and West Coasts and throughout the Midwest. They've also done concert tours to Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. Next month they are off to the West Coast again, and in May, they return to Europe to give concerts in Norway, Sweden, Finland and possibly Estonia. Over the decades, this organization has come to exemplify professionalism, enthusiasm and an excellence in choral artistry that is a credit to Minnesota's choral music tradition.

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).

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.

Tom Keith

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.

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. 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.

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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