Shows
This week: we're live from the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, with special guests singer-pianist-activist Nellie McKay, our good friends Robin and Linda Williams, and Minnesota poet Kirsten Dierking. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman; Rich Dworsky and The Exchange Street Quartet (drummer Bernie Dresel, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, Gary Raynor on bass, and guitarist Chris Siebold); and the latest News from Lake Wobegon. Tune in on your local public radio station or watch the entire show live at prairiehome.org! If you're in the Twin Cities, join us after the show for our January Jump Start concert featuring Nellie McKay and Robin and Linda Williams.
  • Nellie McKay

    Singer, songwriter, actor, and activist Nellie McKay has amassed quite a following with her quirky musical approach. The London-born, New York-based performer's latest recording, My Weekly Reader (Savoy 429 Records), is a collection of favorite songs from the 1960s. For her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, she won a Theatre World Award. And the Humane Society honored her with a Doris Day Music Award, in recognition of her dedication to animal rights.
  • Robin and Linda Williams

    "Individually their voices can melt cheese, and in duet they can do all-purpose welding," Garrison Keillor has said of Robin and Linda Williams. Singing the music they love, be it bluegrass, folk, old-time, or acoustic country, these two have carved out a more than three-decade career that has taken them from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. They first appeared on A Prairie Home Companion in 1975, the same year they recorded their first album. Back 40 - marking 40 years on the road and 40 years of marriage - was released in 2013 on Red House Records.
  • Kirsten Dierking

    A couple of decades ago, Kirsten Dierking was working in real estate when she decided to pursue a career in poetry. She earned a master's degree with a focus on creative writing, and now she is the author of three books of poetry - Tether, Northern Oracle, and One Red Eye - and her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Recipient of the NEA's Excellence in the Academy Award for the Art of Teaching, Kirsten currently teaches humanities courses at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
  • Garrison Keillor

    Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. He is the host of The Writer's Almanac and the editor of the Good Poems series of anthologies from Viking.
  • Richard Dworsky and The Exchange Street Quartet - January 24, 2015

    Richard Dworsky Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is APHC's music director. He leads the band, composes themes, improvises script underscores, and collaborates with such diverse guests as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sheryl Crow. He has released many recordings of original material and has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS. Bernie Dresel Bernie Dresel has been in the percussion game since he got his first drum kit at the age of two. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he headed to Los Angeles. He's worked with countless artists, from Chaka Khan and Maynard Ferguson to David Byrne and Brian Wilson, and spent 15 years with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He currently plays with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and heads up his own 12-piece funk band, BERN. Richard Kriehn 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. Gary Raynor A Minnesota resident since 1977, bassist Gary Raynor has performed with the Count Basie band and Sammy Davis Jr., with whom he toured for several years. He has been 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. Chris Siebold Bluegrass to big band jazz, Chris Siebold knows his way around a guitar - or a bunch of other instruments, for that matter. Based in Chicago, he draws from a deep well of influences and styles, and has put his talents to work in ensembles such as Howard Levy's Acoustic Express and Kick the Cat. In 2010, he formed the band Psycles, whose album Live at Martyrs' was released the following year.
  • Tim Russell

    One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. Says fellow APHC actor Sue Scott, "He does a better Ira Glass than Ira Glass." A well-known Twin Cities radio personality and voice actor, Tim appeared in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man. Tim has also been reviewing films professionally for over 10 years.
  • Sue Scott

    On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as stage and movie roles, including the part of "Donna" in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Fred Newman

    Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. Turns out, no one is more surprised than Fred that he's made a career out of doing what he used to do behind the teacher's back -crossing his eyes, making sounds, and doing voices. He readily admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."