The Town Hall, New York, NY«archive page
Sarah Jarosz's debut album, Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill), was released in 2009 — at just about the same time she was graduating from high school. She went from cap and gown to a round of summer music festivals, then pulled up stakes in Wimberley, Texas, to enroll in the New England Conservatory of Music. The kid who started playing mandolin at 10, branched out to clawhammer banjo and guitar, and got hooked on bluegrass has a new CD due out next month.
James Taylor once told a reporter that Tom Rush "was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences." Lots of artists could say the same. Rush has had a profound impact on American music ever since his early days on the 1960s Boston/Cambridge coffeehouse scene, where he began performing while he was an English lit student at Harvard. He made his first record, Tom Rush at the Unicorn, in 1962. He has since released dozens of albums, but the most recent, 2009's What I Know (Appleseed), was his first studio recording in thirty-five years.
Pianist Shai Wosner has performed a wide-ranging repertoire with major orchestras worldwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, and the Vienna Philharmonic. Born and raised in Israel, he began his music education at an early age. In the late 1990s, he moved to New York and continued his studies at the Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. His debut solo album, Shai Wosner: Brahms and Schoenberg, was released last fall on the Onyx Classics label.
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 Life Among the Lutherans (Augsburg Books) and Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance (Viking), and the editor of several anthologies of poetry, including Good Poems: American Places (Viking).
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.
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."
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.
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).