This week: a spooky, jam-packed rebroadcast from October 2005 at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nickel Creek play their hearts out on "Best of Luck," Prudence Johnson and Ruth MacKenzie sing "Wind and Rain," and the Midwinter Tuba Quintet stops by out of season to join GK for "Long Black Veil." Plus: Andy Stein plays "The Man Who Wasn't There," Tim Eriksen sings "O Death," and our friend Adam Granger turns in "I'm Hoping, Here's Hoping." In Lake Wobegon, the host recounts a few of the town's electrifying Halloween pranks.
  • Nickel Creek

    Seven years ago, genre-bending group Nickel Creek called an "indefinite hiatus," and bandmates Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins embarked on separate careers. The Southern California trio first formed in 1989, when two of the three were barely into grade school, and went on to release a half-dozen recordings and garner a boatload of honors, including a Grammy and couple of IBMA Awards. This year's reunion tour will no doubt add new fans to their legions of old ones. A Dotted Line, their brand-new album, is just out on Nonesuch Records.
  • Prudence Johnson

    Prudence Johnson's silky voice has taken her from the Midwest to the Middle East, honky-tonks to Carnegie Hall, theater stages to the silver screen - appearing in Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It and in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. But be it concert hall or tiny jazz club, Prudence is the perfect complement. As one music critic put it, "[There's] not a genre she hasn't interpreted with her ducky, sensual alto voice and terminally good taste."
  • Ruth MacKenzie

    Ruth MacKenzie is a singer and composer whose work includes musical adaptations of The Snow Queen and Hansel and Gretel for The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden, an award-winning production based on the great Finnish epic myth-poem, composed and performed by MacKenzie and produced by the Guthrie Theater. As a folk and blues singer, she has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Among her many awards is the 2004 McKnight Fellowship for Artists in Composition.
  • Midwinter Tuba Quintet

    The five musicians who occasionally come together on A Prairie Home Companion as the Midwinter Tuba Quintet have outstanding separate careers. David Werden (euphonium) was with the United States Coast Guard Band for more than 20 years. He is a computer consultant and an instructor of euphonium and tuba at the University of Minnesota. John Tranter (euphonium) serves as Instructor of Low Brass at the University of Minnesota. He plays solo euphonium with the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and is a frequent performer with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (on trombone). Lee Dummer (euphonium) performed with the Eastman Wind Ensemble before being selected as a member of the United States Army Band (Pershing's Own). He as appeared with various orchestras and ensembles, including the Minnesota Orchestra. Ralph Hepola (tuba) has played with The United States Army Band of Washington, D.C. and the Symphony Orchestra of Basel, Switzerland, among others. He is currently with Minnesota Opera and leads own group, Route 3. Tom McCaslin (tuba) has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony and the Regina Symphony Orchestra. He is an instructor of tuba at Bemidji State University and in February will begin as Principal Tubist in the Auckland (New Zealand) Philharmonia.
  • Andy Stein

    Violinist and saxophonist Andy Stein was a regular member of Guy's All-Star Shoe Band on A Prairie Home Companion from 1989 to 2001. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson. He has appeared on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman, and has performed with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and many others.
  • Tim Eriksen

    Tim Eriksen is nothing if not eclectic. After all, how many of us can lay claim to appearing on stage with Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson? As a kid Eriksen wanted to play punk rock. He wound up studying South Indian classical music and branched out from there. He's a singer; he plays guitar, fiddle, and banjo; and he's recently attracted a lot of attention for his longtime role as a leader in the centuries-old shape-note tradition. Yes, Tim Eriksen gets around. He was a founding member of the rock/punk/American traditional trio Cordelia's Dad and the stark shape-note vocal quartet Northampton Harmony, and he co-founded the Bosnian traditional/popular ensemble Zabe i Babe. He was a music consultant for the motion picture Cold Mountain (and made an appearance in the film). Eriksen has performed at folk and rock festivals in throughout North America and Europe. He currently makes his home in Minnesota, where he and his wife, University of Minnesota ethnomusicologist Mirjana Lausevic, are working on A World in Two Cities-a Web-based musical ethnography of the Twin Cities area.
  • Adam Granger

    Guitarist Adam Granger has written about flatpicking style, given lessons, and performed countless tunes since he taught himself to play more than five decades ago. In 1974, he moved from his native Oklahoma to Minnesota, where he became a charter member of A Prairie Home Companion's Powdermilk Biscuit Band. His book-CD set Granger's Fiddle Tunes for Guitar is the world's largest collection of fiddle tunes in guitar tablature.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tom Keith

    Is that water dripping? Footsteps coming this way? Car tires spinning on an icy driveway? Nope - it's sound effects wizard Tom Keith. With vocal gymnastics and a variety of props, Tom worked his magic on A Prairie Home Companion from the mid-1970s until his passing in 2011.