Shows
This week's classic rebroadcast: a 15-year rewind to April 2002 and a show at The Town Hall in New York City. Kate Rusby sings "Botany Bay" and "I Courted a Sailor," Billy Collins reads "Love" and "Forgetfulness," and the Fiddlers 4 play "I Know" and "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free." Plus: The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band plays Rich Dworsky's "Southern Hospitality"; a New York, New York travelogue; and a message from the Catchup Advisory Board. In Lake Wobegon, high school students prepare for life after graduation.
  • Kate Rusby

    Kate Rusby is carrying a heavy weight of praise lately; the Daily Telegraph called her "the brightest light in English folk music," and the BBC said she was "One of the ten top folk voices of the century." She's bearing up well under all the fine words, maintaining a sense of humor and still singing "heart-stopping ballads about death, destruction, jealousy, unrequited love, drowning," which she calls "Castle knocking down songs." She has three albums out on Pure Records, her family's company; Sleepless, Hourglass and Little Lights. They are selling "astonishingly well," as they say, not only over there but over here as well. And she is getting airplay on mainstream radio; and even if she's just past the point of being a rising star, she is apparently still approachable enough for complete strangers to come up to her on the street and say things like: "I hate folk music, but I love YOU."
  • Billy Collins

    Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States. That's it. It's all one would have to say by way of introduction, no matter what the event. But we add a few bibliographical bits here, not so much to polish the apple as to provide the backdrop: His poems have been published in The Paris Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, The New Yorker, Harper's, and many others. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and a New York Library Literary Lion. Questions About Angels was a winner of the National Poetry Series publication prize; The Art of Drowning is his fifth book of poetry. He is professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York. He lives in Somers, New York. John Updike said: "Billy Collins writes lovely poems ... Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides."
  • Fiddlers 4

    Fiddlers 4 began as an informal jam session after a Fiddle Tunes Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, among Michael Doucet, Darol Anger, and Bruce Molsky. Things went well and they reunited later that summer for an intense two-day session in Colorado, along with cellist Rushad Eggleston. The album that resulted might have been called, in the current understated vernacular, Monster Fiddle Bash, but they are okay with the modest Fiddlers 4; on Compass Records. Michael Doucet brings the pepper intensity of his double-Grammy band Beausoleil; Darol Anger the dazzling weld of jazz and bluegrass from the Turtle Island String Quartet; Bruce Molsky, whom they like to call "the Rembrandt of Appalachian Fiddling," provides the old time high lonesome drive; and all of it held together by the talented and innovative Eggleston, a newly minted pro who, it is said, "has already done things on the cello nobody's ever done before." He is the first string student ever given a full scholarship at the Berklee School of Music.
  • 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.
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe 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.
    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. Blue Yonder 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, Sammy Davis Jr. -- with whom he toured for several years -- and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
    Arnie Kinsella hails from Staten Island, and holds a B.A. in percussion performance from Brooklyn College. In addition to his tenure on A Prairie Home Companion, he has performed with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and has recorded and performed with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, and Leon Redbone.
    Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) has far-flung musical leanings: He was a founding member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; he collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson; and he has recorded with dozens of artists, from Itzhak Perlman to Nellie McKay.
  • Tim Russell

    Mild-mannered Tim Russell one minute -- Obama, Trump, or myriad others the next. It's almost impossible to stump this man of many voices. Says fellow Prairie Home Companion 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."