Cindy Cashdollar will be joining The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band for this weekend's performance. Cindy was born in Woodstock, New York. She started in music at a young age, learning guitar at age 11 when she was captivated by the Delta blues, and mastering the dobro later on. She started touring with bluegrass masters John Herald, Levon Helm, and Rick Danko of The Band, and she later recorded and toured with Leon Redbone. She's won 5 Grammy Awards, and has recorded with artists like Manhattan Transfer, The Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Willie Nelson, and Reba McEntire, among others. She can also be heard on Bob Dylan's Grammy-winning Album of the Year Time Out of Mind. With 3 instructional videos for steel guitar and dobro issued on Homespun Tapes, Cindy is regarded as a talented educator (as well as performer), and she frequently conducts guitar and dobro workshops across the nation. Cindy worked with the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel for 8 years, cutting 6 albums and learning more about the steel guitar in the process. In early 2001, Cindy left Asleep at the Wheel and since then she has been a featured guest on Beausoleil's 25th anniversary tour, as well as becoming a member of a new group, Hen House.
Stephanie Davis: At her home in Montana these days there are calves in the bathtub and on the porch; new ones are arriving daily and they're born wet and vulnerable to the cold, which is what it's been around there this week. They bring'em in, dry'em off, see to it they have a good healthy breakfast and take'em back out to their mothers. There's a reason to set the calving for Februray and March: by next fall most will weigh in the neighborhood of 650 pounds. There are people on the ranch who haven't slept much these past few days and who would welcome a return of the mild weather, but Stephanie is personally pleased to see the winter start. She claims it's easier to write songs when it's cold and the coyotes are howling. That would be if she had any time to write songs.....
Mike Dowling was raised in central Wisconsin and began his professional musical career in high school. He had spent a lot of time playing along with his parents' records; he recruited a couple of friends into an electric guitar band, never expecting that it would lead someday to playing with the likes of Joe Venuti and Vassar Clements.
He worked at it, ultimately moving to Nashville and becoming a sideman, a session player, band leader, a solo act and a composer. He had a string of song-writing successes in his ten years in the Music City, tunes recorded by Emmylou Harris, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Tim O'Brien, Kathy Mattea, Claire Lynch and Del McCoury; he and his wife Jan wrote a #1 hit for Canadian country artist George Fox. And he's recorded three instructional videos on the Homespun label. His fourth CD album, String Crazy, was released in 2000.
The Dowlings moved to DuBois, Wyoming, in the fall of 1996, where he set up Wind River Guitar in their home, a school for master instruction in fingerstyle, flatpicking and slide guitar. He is still composing music and still touring; he'll be in England for most of the month of April.
He has received high praise from a lot of places: Vassar Clements said "Mike's one of the finest guitar players there is, anywhere," and Jethro Burns said: "I don't play guitar when Mike's in the band. You don't take the game warden fishing."
APHC veteran Peter Ostroushko will also be sitting in with The Guy's All-Star Shoe band. Peter grew up listening to his shoe-maker father play traditional Ukrainian songs and taught himself to play the piano, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, and other string instruments. He is well-known to APHC listeners both as a frequent guest performer and as the former musical director. He also performs orchestral works and has appeared with both The Saint Paul Chamber and Minnesota orchestras, among others. During the '70s, Ostroushko worked as a session musician in Nashville. His first recording session was an uncredited mandolin set on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. He has followed that with work on more than 100 albums with artists like Jethro Burns, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins and Johnny Gimble. His debut solo album, Sluz Duz Music (Rounder Records) was released in 1982. Subsequent albums include Blue Mesa and Pilgrims on the Heart Road (both on Red House), and Down the Streets of My Old Neighborhood (Rounder). The title track from Heart of the Heartland (Red House) was the theme for Meriwether Lewis in Ken Burns' film, Lewis and Clark, and has earned Ostroushko comparisons not only to the great composer Aaron Copland but also to photographer Ansel Adams. The album also earned a N.A.I.R.D. Indie Award, the highest honor from the independent music recording industry. His newest CD, Sacred Heart (Red House), was released in April of 2000.
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 and Vicksburg Blues (a collaboration with Butch Thompson) are the most recent of Pat's 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.
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.
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 A Prairie Home Companion since the mid-1970s.
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).