January 7, 2012

2011 Compilation

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Guest Information

Charles Overton

Charles Overton, who hails from Richmond, Virginia, served as principal harpist for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has studied the harp for seven years, and he just completed his second year at Interlochen Arts Academy. A finalist for the 2010-2011 Interlochen Concerto Competition, he also placed fourth in the 2010 Young Artist Harp Competition. Charles hopes to major in harp performance at a music conservatory.

Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch grew up in Los Angeles, where her musical parents wrote for The Carol Burnett Show. In the early 1990s, she met Dave Rawlings at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, while the two were students waiting to audition for the country-band class. Over the past two decades, they have carved out a highly successful career, including Welch's latest album, The Harrow & The Harvest (Acony Records).

Emmylou Harris

When Emmylou Harris was a kid, she wrote a letter to Pete Seeger, concerned that if she was living a sheltered life at her parents' house and hadn't suffered enough, she couldn't be a folksinger. Pete wrote back, saying: "Don't worry. Life will catch up with you. You'll suffer. Don't go hop a freight." It worked out. With dozens of acclaimed recordings and countless awards, including 12 Grammys, Emmylou maintains a widespread and loyal following, whether she's singing folk, country, pop, or traditional tunes. Her brand-new CD — Hard Bargain — comes out next month on Nonesuch Records.

Tom Rush

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.

Nick Lowe

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer Nick Lowe has certainly left his stamp on popular music, starting with his stint with the pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz — a strong influence on 1970s punk music — and during his years with Rockpile. His songs include "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," which, in addition to being covered by dozens of other artists and appearing on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, is still an anti-war anthem after three decades. Labour of Lust, The Impossible Bird and The Convincer are among his acclaimed albums. His latest, The Old Magic, was released this month on Yep Roc Records.

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 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).

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. Nobody's Fault (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's 10 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.

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.

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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