This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, one last live broadcast from The Fitzgerald Theater before a short winter break (we'll be back in March). With special guests, roots rock radical Neko Case, comedian and author Paula Poundstone, gospel-bluegrassers Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and vocalist Hilary Thavis. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and Fred Newman, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Neko Case

    On her way to becoming a singer-songwriter, Neko Case worked in a supermarket meat department, unloaded trucks for UPS, and cooked in restaurants. Lucky for her myriad fans, this former art student settled on a life in music. Last fall, Case, who makes her home in rural Vermont, released her latest recording - and sixth studio album - on the Anti- label. It's titled The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. Joining Neko Case for this performance: Eric Bachmann, Kelly Hogan, Dan Hunt, Tom Ray, Jon Rauhouse.
  • Paula Poundstone

    Paula Poundstone was still in her teens when she began performing at open-mic nights around Boston. Now one of the great humorists of our time, she has amassed a slew of honors, including two CableACE Awards. Public radio listeners tune in to hear her onWait Wait ... Don't Tell Me. Her book There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say (Crown Publishing) is packed with quirky observations ("I need to know exactly what day I'm going to die so that I don't bother putting away leftovers the night before"), with lots more on her new comedy CD, I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Boston (Lipstick Nancy).
  • Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

    As a youngster in East Tennessee, Doyle Lawson couldn't wait for Saturday nights when he'd hear Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry. At age 11, he taught himself to play the mandolin, and in his teens, he got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. He started Quicksilver in 1979. Last year, Doyle Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. His dozens of albums include 2013's Roads Well Traveled (Mountain Home). The band: Jason Barie (fiddle), Dustin Pyrtle (guitar), Joe Dean (banjo), Josh Swift (dobro), and Eli Johnston (bass).
  • 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 - February 1, 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.