Shows
Coming to you this week from The Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, it's a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. With special guests, folksingerWillie Watson, soul siblings Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, singer Hilary Thavis, and pianist and clarinetistButch Thompson. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Willie Watson

    When Willie Watson was about 12, he happened upon a recording by Leadbelly. "As soon as I heard that record, I was hooked," he says. His interest in folk and blues and old-time music would eventually lead him to be a founding member of the string band Old Crow Medicine Show. Since leaving the group a couple of years ago, he has launched a solo career. His debut solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1, features 10 songs ranging from folk standards to obscure gems. It will be released in May on Acony Records.
  • Jearlyn Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn Steele sang with her siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jearlyn has recorded and performed with Prince, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and others. She also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis. Her most recent solo CD is Jearlyn Steele Sings Songs from A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Jevetta Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele sang with their siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jevetta's performance of "Calling You," from the film Baghdad Cafe, was nominated for an Academy Award. Her solo albums include 2006's My Heart.
  • Hilary Thavis

    Funny how things come together. Born in Rome, Italy, to parents from Minnesota, Hilary Thavis grew up loving music - especially folk music - from Woody Guthrie to Italian folk singers like Fabrizio De Andre and Francesco De Gregori. But it was the blues that ultimately captured her attention. Trouble & Truth is the 2011 recording from her band Gaia Groove. Now making her home in the Twin Cities, Hilary is working on a solo album of original songs.
  • Butch Thompson

    Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is known worldwide as a master of ragtime, stride, and classic jazz. Born and raised in Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota, Butch was already playing Christmas carols on his mother's upright piano by age three, and he led his first professional jazz group as a teenager. For 12 years, he was A Prairie Home Companion's house pianist, dating back to the show's second broadcast, in July 1974. Butch's many albums include Vicksburg Blues, with guitarist Pat Donohue (Red House Records).
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band - March 29, 2014

    Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is music director for A Prairie Home Companion. He has also accompanied Garrison Keillor on U.S. and European concert tours and has collaborated with numerous other performers, including Al Jarreau and singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth. Among his many CDs is So Near and Dear to Me (Prairie Home Productions). 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. When Richard Kriehn turned 10, his mom bought him a mandolin; at 19, he'd won the Buck White International Mandolin Contest. He went on to play with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and bluegrass group 1946. On the classical side, he has performed with numerous orchestras and was principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony. Guitarist Dean Magraw studied at the University of Minnesota and the Berklee School of Music in Boston. His first recording, 1994's Broken Silence, won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year. Dean has since turned out an array of dazzling albums. For his latest, he joined forces with Hungarian guitarist Sandor Szabo to produce Reservoir (Acoustic Music Records). 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.