This week: we return to a December 2015 broadcast from The Town Hall in New York City. Keb' Mo' sings "Shopping on Christmas Eve" and "Life is Beautiful," The DiGiallonardo Sisters turn in their takes on "Valley Winter Song" and "Seven Bridges Road," and Heather Masse warms things up with "Mittens" and "How Deep is the Ocean?" Plus: Heather and the DiGiallonardos join Garrison, Richard Dworsky, and the band on Van Morrison's "Irish Heartbeat"; Guy Noir writes a few term papers for a Columbia student; and a word from Bertha's Kitty Boutique. In Lake Wobegon, Pastor Liz attempts to increase membership in the men's and women's bible study groups.
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Notes from Daniela DiGiallonardo on this weekend's rebroadcast:
We always love doing the Christmas shows at The Town Hall because the city is so festive and there's that wonderful holiday feeling in the air. This show featured some new lyrics for traditional Christmas carols and other songs, which Garrison writes for us often -- it's always fun watching the expressions in the faces of the audience members change as they realize this isn't the usual "White Christmas" they know. We also finally performed a fan request from an APHC Cruise passenger -- "Seven Bridges Road" by the Eagles, which prompted Garrison to ask us about our musical tastes -- we DO seem to sing a lot of music from before we were born! Working with Garrison, Heather, Keb'Mo, and the fabulous musicians of Prairie Home always makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside -- just in time for Christmas!
  • Keb' Mo'

    Keb' Mo' -- born Kevin Moore in South Central Los Angeles -- was raised on music of the Baptist Church and the contemporary R&B and blues of the 1960s. Since his early days touring with ex-Jefferson Starship vocalist and violinist Papa John Creach, this singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-actor has racked up a dozen solo albums, as well as winning three Grammy Awards in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album. His latest recording, BLUESAmericana, was released last year on the Kind of Blue Music label.
  • The DiGiallonardo Sisters

    The DiGiallonardo Sisters -- Daniela, Nadia, and Christine -- started singing together when they were kids Brooklyn. They still call Brooklyn home, and they still love stacking up those three-part harmonies. Now, Daniela teaches social studies at Brooklyn's Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted & Talented; Nadia is a pianist, composer, arranger, and singer; and Christine is a singer and actor. The trio's debut album, Shout Sister Shout, was recorded with Rob Fisher live at the Virginia Arts Festival.
  • Heather Masse

    Growing up in rural Maine, Heather Masse sang hymns and folk songs around home with her family. Now based in New York, this New England Conservatory of Music alum is a one-third of the Juno Award-winning Canadian trio The Wailin' Jennys. Lock My Heart is her recording with piano legend Dick Hyman. A new album, August Love Song -- on which she joins forces with trombone great Roswell Rudd -- was recently released on Red House Records.
  • 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.
  • Rich Dworsky and the band

    Keyboardist, composer, arranger, and longtime Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky has collaborated with such diverse musicians as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sheryl Crow. He has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS, and has released many recordings of original material, including his latest, All In Due Time.
    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.
    Bassist Larry Kohut has played on dozens of albums and many film scores, as well as performing with jazz artists such as Patricia Barber, Mel Torme, Vincent Colaiuta, and Tony Bennett. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches acoustic and electric bass.
    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.
    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.
  • Sue Scott

    Since 1992, Prairie Home fans have heard Sue Scott play everything from well-intentioned moms and ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners and leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. She recently climbed back on stage in a variety of theater roles. She is well known for her commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as 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."