Shows
This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, it's a rebroadcast of our all-things-banjo show from back in February. With Joe Newberry on "Down the Road," Bill Evans playing "Ragtime Episode," Noam Pikelny's "Broken Drought," a three- (three!) banjo version of "Arkansas Traveler," and a bit of history on the instrument from Bill C. Malone. Plus, Suzy Bogguss sings "Yellow River Road," and in Lake Wobegon, the town prepares for the annual "Big Plunge" fundraising event.
  • Suzy Bogguss

    During her childhood in Aledo, Illinois, Suzy Bogguss loved music. She joined the church choir, played the piano and drums, and bought her first 12-string with the money she earned from babysitting. Since moving to Nashville in the mid-1980s, she has won acclaim in both country and contemporary music circles. Her latest CD, Lucky, is a collection of songs written by the great Merle Haggard. It was released earlier this year on the Loyal Dutchess label.
  • Bill Evans

    Bill Evans is a performer, teacher, writer, ethnomusicologist, and composer who brings deep knowledge, intense virtuosity, and contagious passion to all things banjo. Author of the how-to guideBanjo For Dummies, he also co-authored Parking Lot Picker's Songbook: Banjo Edition (Mel Bay Publications). For Banjo Newsletter magazine, he writes a monthly instructional column: "All Strings Considered." Bill's recordings include Let's Do Something and In Good Company, both on the Native and Fine label.
  • Joe Newberry

    Missouri native and North Carolina transplant Joe Newberry has made music most of his life. He grew up in a family full of singers and dancers, took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager, and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. He plays with Bruce Molsky and Rafe Stefanini as the Jumpsteady Boys, in a duo with mandolinist Mike Compton, and in a quartet with old-time music legends Bill Hicks, Mike Craver, and Jim Watson. Joe's solo recording, Two Hands, is on the 5-String Productions label.
  • Noam Pikelny

    Actor/musician Steve Martin has called banjo ace Noam Pikelny"a player of unlimited range and astonishing precision." And indeed he is - be it clawhammer, three-finger, or more progressive styles. With groups like Leftover Salmon, the John Cowan Band, and Punch Brothers, Noam has built a large following among music lovers everywhere. His second solo CD is 2011's Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail (Compass Records).
  • Bill C Malone

    Bill C. Malone grew up in rural East Texas during the Great Depression, with music as his "constant companion." He went on to the University of Texas, where his doctoral dissertation became 1968's Country Music, U.S.A., the first scholarly history of the topic. His books - including Southern Music/American Music; Southern Culture and the Roots of Country Music; and Don't Get Above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class - are must-reads for any fan of traditional music. As author Larry McMurtry once quipped, "If anyone knows more about the subject than [Malone] does, God help them." Bill C. Malone is Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where his radio show, Back to the Country, is heard weekly on WORT-FM.
  • Dean Magraw

    Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw studied at the University of Minnesota and the Berklee School of Music in Boston. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year. Dean has since turned out a bunch of dazzling albums, including his latest, How the Light Gets In (Red House), a collaboration with renowned tabla player Marcus Wise.