This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, it's a live broadcast from The Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. With special guests, masters of Celtic music both ancient and modern, Battlefield Band, Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton, blues singer Hilary Thavis, and our good friend Butch Thompson. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, steel guitarist Joe Savage sits in with The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Battlefield Band

    "Forward with Scotland's Past" - that's the motto of The Battlefield Band, and they've spent more than four decades living up to it. Since a quartet of student friends started the group (naming it after the Glasgow suburb of Battlefield), the band has taken their innovative blend of traditional Scottish and modern music to venues the world over. Their latest CD is titled Room Enough for All (Temple Records). The current line-up features Mike Katz (pipes, whistles); Sean O'Donnell (guitar); Alasdair White (fiddle); and Michael Vass (fiddle).
  • Dan Newton

    After winning the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber in 1987, Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton moved to Minnesota and has been wowing Twin Cities music lovers ever since. Equally at home playing Celtic, Tex-Mex, Cajun, blues, jazz, Scandinavian, French musette, polka, and pop, Dan heads up a bunch of different groups, including Jumbo Ya Ya, the Rockin' Pinecones, and the incomparable Cafe Accordion Orchestra, whose latest recording is La Zingara.
  • 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 22, 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). 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. 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. Pedal steel ace Joe Savage may think of himself as a Perennial Sideman (title of one of his albums), and it is true that he has performed with a long list of artists in addition to being a go-to studio musician. But solo or sideman, Joe has been a welcome fixture on the Twin Cities music scene since moving from Cloquet, Minnesota, to Minneapolis in the 1980s.