BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
During a New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Bob Dylan was asked what he thought of BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. Dylan replied, "That's my kind of music!" Lots of folks could say the same. The band — Michael Doucet, David Doucet, Billy Ware, Tommy Alesi, Jimmy Breaux and Mitch Reed — has spent 30-plus years dedicated to preserving the Cajun style, and blending elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, and more into a tasty musical mix. Alligator Purse (Yep Roc Records) is the latest of their dozens of albums.
Shreveport's own James Burton is one of the most influential and in-demand guitarists to ever pick up the instrument. By the time he was 14, he was part of the Louisiana Hayride's backup band. He recorded the 1957 hit "Susie Q" with Dale Hawkins, and then went on to work with Ricky Nelson. In 1969, he joined Elvis Presley's band and remained until Presley's death in 1977. Over the decades, he has also lent his talents to John Denver, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, and many others. James Burton is in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. And in 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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 performs with several groups in the Twin Cities area. She also works as a backup singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's second solo CD, Little Heart, was released this spring on Red House Records.
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, and Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny (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).