Shows
Coming to you this week from The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, it's a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. With special guests, sparkling Irish vocalist Karan Casey, the French-styled sounds of Dan Newton's Cafe Accordion Orchestra, singer Aoife O'Donovan, and pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson with vocalist Hilary Thavis. 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.
  • Karan Casey

    The Los Angeles Times has called Karan Casey's voice "as pure and clear as the crystal from County Waterford, where she was born." She spent her childhood singing with her family, then studied voice and piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. After courses in jazz at Long Island University-Brooklyn, she joined the celebrated Irish-American band Solas and later embarked on a solo career. Her 2014 CD is titled Two More Hours.
  • Dan Newton

    Dan Newton's Cafe Accordion Orchestra plays an eclectic mix that ranges from tangos and cumbias to gypsy-influenced musettes and more. Raised in Nebraska, Dan ("Daddy Squeeze") moved to Minnesota in 1987, shortly after winning the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber. Cafe Accordion Orchestra is now celebrating its 20th year. The group's new recording is La Zingara. Joining Dan are Eric Mohring (mandolin, violin), Robert Bell (guitar), Erik Lillestol (bass), Joe Steinger (percussion), and Elizabeth Rowan (percussion).
  • Aoife O'Donovan

    Growing up in a musical family, Aoife O'Donovan took an interest in the American folk tradition. And after graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music, she formed the progressive bluegrass band Crooked Still and the trio Sometymes Why. She recently collaborated with Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz to create the "I'm With Her" tour, which took the trio to the U.K., Europe, and across the U.S. Aoife's latest recording, In the Magic Hour, was released earlier this year on Yep Roc Records.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band - March 15, 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.