Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound
Milwaukee's Paul Cebar cut his musical teeth in the local coffeehouse folk scene of the mid-1970s. While working with a soul- and New Orleans-minded crew called the R&B Cadets, he formed the band that came to be known as the Milwaukeeans. His current group, Tomorrow Sound, includes Reggie Bordeaux (drums), Bob Jennings (keyboards, saxophone), Mac Perkins (congas, percussion), and Mike Fredrickson (bass). Among Cebar's many recordings are 2007's Tomorrow Sound Now for Yes Music People and a his first-ever solo acoustic album, One Little Light On — both on the Groovesburg Joys label.
Count This Penny
Allen Rigell was sweet on Amanda Rigell back when the two were in their Tennessee high school marching band — long before they were husband and wife, long before they moved to Wisconsin, long before they formed a band called Count This Penny (the named inspired by an episode of Sesame Street). Now the distinctive harmonies and plaintive lyrics of this Madison-based Appalachian-pop duo forge a front-porch sound that invites you to pull up a chair. Gone (Duster Records) is their 2011 EP. A full-length album is in the works.
The Krause Family Band
If you grew up in the Krause family, you were pretty much destined to love music. They sang together and learned to play a variety of instruments. Now, the Krause Family Band is known around Madison for their close harmonies on bluegrass standards and their own songs. Rick Krause (guitar, harmonica) heads up the group that includes daughters Katie Flores (lead vocals) and Ruthie Krause (fiddle), plus Craig Radi (bass), Jim Spransy (percussion), and Brian Montrey (electric guitar). Their 2007 CD, On This Bright, Sunny Day, is on the Magic Mansion label.
Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton was wowing audiences with offbeat accordion music even before he won the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber in 1987. In the 25 years since he moved to Minnesota, he has become an acclaimed fixture on the Twin Cities music scene. He heads up a bunch of different groups, including Jumbo Ya Ya and the incomparable Café Accordion Orchestra, whose latest recording is Berets and Bongos.
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 Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance (Viking) and A Christmas Blizzard (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 and Sammy Davis Jr., with whom he toured for several years. He was first call for dozens of touring Broadway shows, including the first presentation of The Lion King. Gary teaches 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.
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."
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.
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).