This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, we'll head south and attempt to help "Keep Austin Weird" with a live broadcast performance from the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas. With special guests, the Kings of Western Swing, Asleep at the Wheel, Tex-Mex all stars the Texas Tornados, and vocalist Kat Edmonson. Also with us, 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.
  • Asleep at the Wheel

    Back in 1973, Van Morrison told an interviewer, "There's some relatively unknown group around that I really dig." That group wasAsleep at the Wheel, and 40-plus years later, music lovers around the globe are still digging these Kings of Western Swing. The band - which got its start in Paw Paw, West Virginia, but eventually landed in Austin - has dozens of albums and shelves full of Grammys to its credit. It's a Good Day (Bismeaux) is their latest recording. The current lineup: Ray Benson (guitar, vocals),Elizabeth McQueen (guitar, vocals), Dave Miller (bass), Eddie Rivers (steel), Jason Roberts (fiddle, vocals), Dave Sanger(drums), Dan Walton (piano).
  • Texas Tornados

    The Texas Tornados first got together in 1989 and included Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers (founders of the Sir Douglas Quintet), Hispanic country star Freddy Fender, and accordion virtuosoFlaco Jimenez. Doug Sahm passed away in 1999, and Fender in 2006. Now Meyers and Jimenez have teamed up with Shawn Sahm (Doug's son) in the current version of this Tex-Mex super group. With their fusion of Mexican folk, R&B, blues, roots rock, country, and more, the band continues "crossing the barriers in musical culture." Their 2010 album is ?Esta Bueno! (Bismeaux).
  • Kat Edmonson

    Kat Edmonson wrote her first song when she was nine - inspiration struck on the bus during a grade school field trip. But by then, the Texas native had already been singing for more than half her life, and she had spent long hours soaking up classic movie musicals while her single mom was at work. Fast-forward two decades and this engaging singer-songwriter's jazz-inspired vocals have made her a favorite on the Austin music scene and beyond. Now based in New York, she released her third album this fall: The Big Picture (Sony Masterworks).
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band - April 20, 2013

    The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me. 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.