Shows
This week: the first of three rebroadcasts in a brief November break, this one originally from last October at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform "Wasting Time" and "Out on the Weekend"; Anaïs Mitchell sings "Why We Build the Wall" and "El Helwa Di"; and John Hodgman joins us to talk beards, sing "Roadrunner," and test his Star Wars trivia mettle against Chris Thile. Plus: Chris's Song of the Week, "Dates"; Sarah Jarosz sings "Green Lights"; Brittany Haas leads the band on a medley of Swedish fiddle tunes; our very own Bertrand Falstaff Heine reviews the new lineup of snow tires; and much, much more.
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

    Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats have gone from local Denver bar band to soul and R&B sensation playing jam-packed venues across the U.S. and Europe. Raised in a religious family in rural Missouri, Rateliff joined his parents' church band when he was seven. By the time he was 18, he had moved to Colorado and started down a musical road that would eventually lead to appearances on the The Tonight Show, Conan, the Newport Folk Festival, and more. The band's self-titled debut recording came out last year on the Stax label. Luke Mossman (guitar), Joseph Pope III (bass); Mark Shusterman (keys); Patrick Meese (drums); Andreas Wild (saxophone); Eric Biondo (trumpet).
  • Anais Mitchell

    Anaïs Mitchell insists that "whether or not you can change the world with a song, you've still got to write the song." The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has been doing that since she was a teenager on her parents' Vermont farm. In 2003, a year after releasing her debut album, she won the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival. 2014's xoa (Wilderland Records) is her sixth studio album. Her folk opera, Hadestown, based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, recently completed a sold-out off-Broadway run.
  • John Hodgman

    John Hodgman's one-man comedy shows like Vacationland (his latest) have played to sold-out audiences across the country. Author of several best-selling books, he has also contributed to the Paris Review, The New Yorker, Mad Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, The Daily Show, and This American Life. He is the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman podcast, and you can catch his comedy special Ragnarok on Netflix. Remember the button-down but likeable "Personal Computer" in the Apple commercials? Yep, that was John.
  • Chris Thile

    Chris Thile made his first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in 1996. He was 15 and had already been playing mandolin for a decade. He'd also started Nickel Creek with Sara and Sean Watkins, and released his first solo recording, 1994's Leading Off. This Grammy winner and MacArthur Fellow is now in his second season hosting APHC, in addition to teaming up with numerous musicians in myriad styles and leading acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. Among his albums is 2017's Bach Trios (Nonesuch), with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer.
  • Sarah Jarosz

    Sarah Jarosz is a gifted multi-instrumentalist (mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, banjo), an expressive and distinctive vocalist, and an accomplished songwriter. The New England Conservatory of Music grad has carved out a solid niche where contemporary folk, Americana, and roots music intersect. She's been nominated for multiple Grammys; her latest recording, Undercurrent (Sugar Hill), won for Best Folk Album, and her single "House of Mercy" took the award for Best American Roots Performance.
  • Richard Dworsky

    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.
  • Chris Eldridge

    Maybe it's the gene pool: Chris Eldridge's father was a founding member of the Seldom Scene, a group that guitarist Chris would join after earning a degree in music performance from Oberlin. He went on to start a bluegrass band, the Infamous Stringdusters, and later to critical acclaim with Punch Brothers. His 2017 duo album with guitarist Julian Lage is called Mount Royal (Free Dirt Records).
  • Chris Eldridge

    At 14, fiddler Brittany Haas began touring with Darol Anger's Republic of Strings. Now Anger says: "Britt opens the window, gets out of the way, and the music floods through in a tide of joy." The California-born Princeton University grad has performed with a number of bands, including Crooked Still and Hawktail (with bassist Paul Kowert, guitarist Jordan Tice, and mandolinist Dominick Leslie). Among her recordings is 2014's You Got This (Haas Kowert Tice).
  • Brittany Haas

    At age three, Paul Kowert started on violin, but by fourth grade he'd taken up bass, and he later graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. Now this Wisconsin-raised, Nashville-based musician is a member of Punch Brothers and has toured with Mike Marshall's Big Trio and Dave Rawlings Machine. His American roots quartet Hawktail includes mandolinist Dominick Leslie, fiddler Brittany Haas, and guitarist Jordan Tice. Their new album comes out soon.
  • Paul Kowert

    "Adventurous, truly dynamic, and forward-thinking drumming," said Modern Drummer magazine of Ted Poor. An in-demand session player and sideman, this Eastman School of Music alum has toured worldwide with various bands, and he is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington, Seattle. For the past few years, Ted has been a member of Andrew Bird's band and appears on Bird's 2016 release, Are You Serious.
  • Serena Brook

    Actress Serena Brook has appeared off-Broadway, on the national tour circuit, and on regional theater stages. In the Twin Cities, her work includes productions at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 7th House Theater, the Guthrie Theater's Dowling Studio, and the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. The Eagan, Minnesota, native is also a voice-over artist who can be heard on national and regional radio commercials.
  • Tim Russell

    Mild-mannered Tim Russell one minute -- Obama, Trump, or myriad others the next. It's almost impossible to stump this "man of a thousand voices." A longtime radio personality (veteran of WDBQ in Dubuque, WCCO and KJJO in the Twin Cities, in addition to his decades-long Prairie Home stint), Tim appeared in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.
  • 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."