This week: we're in Minnesota for a live broadcast from the historic State Theatre on happenin' Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. We're joined by guests Sara Watkins, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, Bob Douglas, Hilary Thavis, and Philip Brunelle with a specially selected quartet of VocalEssence singers.
Land of the Skies
This week: we're live from the INB Performing Arts Center under Spokane, Washington's sapphire skies, a stone's throw from the Spokane River. Bluesman Elvin Bishop is hauling his Big Fun Trio up from the Bay Area (with Bob Welsh on guitar and Willy Jordan Jr. on percussion) and singer and composer Aoife O'Donovan adds her clear and certain voice to features and duets with the host. Plus: Kate Beahen joins Tim Russell and Fred Newman in our Royal Academy of Radio Actors, with Guy Noir and the Cowboys doing the Lilac City proud; and music director and pianist Rich Dworsky commands our house band (drummer Bernie Dresel, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and Chris Siebold on guitar) on everything from crooked folk songs to straight-ahead blues. All that, and the latest rumors and rumblings from Lake Wobegon. Two hours of fine radio await you on your public radio station - we'll meet you there.
Upward and Onward
This week: we're live from The Mother Church of Country Music - the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. High-octane picker and singer Brad Paisley bends, pulls off, and hammers on his Telecaster, and bluegrass bandleader Del McCoury sings in that high and lonesome voice you heart has been longing for. Aoife O'Donovan and Heather Masse blend on country classics with the host and showcase their own fine songwriting, and Music City's favorite fiddler Stuart Duncan adds his signature sound to the ensemble. Plus: our Royal Academy of Actors, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and Fred Newman help Guy Noir navigate Nashville; music director and pianist Rich Dworsky leads our four-piece orchestra of the air (Bernie Dresel on drums, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and Chris Siebold, guitar); and we'll get an update on the latest News from Lake Wobegon. Shine your boots, polish up your pearl snaps, and we'll meet you on the public radio end of the dial on Saturday evening.
Sweet Bluebonnet Spring
This week: the second of our two April broadcasts from Texas, live from the magnificently restored Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, which was submerged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. Singer and songwriter Stephanie Davis joins us, a fourth generation Montanan now making her home in a fixer-upper the Lone Star State; and literary mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera will sing her notable roles from The Barber of Seville and Mozart. Plus: The Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell and Fred Newman, find Dusty and Lefty engaged in the tourist trade; music director and pianist Rich Dworsky guides the band (drummer Bernie Dresel, Larry Kohut on the bass, Richard Kriehn on the mandolin and fiddle, and guitarist Chris Siebold) through stomping opera bits and Gulf Coast melodies; and an update from the host on the latest News from a rapidly greening Lake Wobegon.
Slow and Low
This week: we're deep in the heart of Texas for the first of two live broadcasts from the Lone Star State. We're rolling the big red Kenworth rig through the University of Texas campus to the Bass Concert Hall in Austin - the state capital. Rambling troubadour and author Joe Ely joins us with tales of the gritty plains of West Texas; the rolling party of Max Baca and Los Texmaniacs bring heat and two-step heartaches disguised by the jubilant conjunto sound; and Heather Masse pays tribute to The Texas Nightingale, Sippie Wallace, reminding women to be wise. Plus: Austin actor Margaret Ann Hoard joins Tim Russell and Fred Newman in our Royal Academy of Radio Actors as the Cowboys search for Austin, pianist Richard Dworsky leads the house band (Bernie Dresel on drums, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and Chris Siebold, guitar) through tornadoes and southern breezes, and the host has the latest News from the muddy roads of Lake Wobegon.
Clearing the Tracks
This week: it's The Town Hall for our third and final spring broadcast from New York City. Master mandolinist, and future host, Chris Thile adds touches and premieres an ode to Miss Manhattan; John Fullbright is up from Oklahoma with songs of dreams and longing; Aoife O'Donovan wraps her American tour on a high note (several actually); and Christine DiGiallonardo bridges Broadway and Bensonhurst. Plus: wise and mysterious horseplay from The Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman; pianist and music director Richard Dworsky with the vigilant house band (Bernie Dresel on drums, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and Chris Siebold on guitar); and the host has the latest News from Lake Wobegon. Tune in on your local public radio station or watch live (5pm to 7pm Central Time, Saturday) at prairiehome.org!
They Say It's Spring
This week: we're back in The City That Never Sleeps for the second of three broadcasts from The Town Hall in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Maestro Rob Fisher directs the Broadway Local Chorus, a 16-member choir featuring the best singers on The Great White Way; we welcome Carter Brey, the principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic, for classical features and insight into what cellists think about as they play; and singer Christine DiGiallonardo steps into the light with her Brooklyn je ne sais quoi. The Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and Fred Newman, give their impressions of the presidential hopefuls; pianist and music director Rich Dworsky leads our lissome house band (Bernie Dresel on drums, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and Chris Siebold, guitar) through a musical maze and a tribute to the late, great Merle Haggard; and the host reports the latest News from Lake Wobegon, as spring showers charm buds into bloom. Find us on a crystal set or car stereo, or watch the show live (Saturday evening, 5pm to 7pm Central Time) at prairiehome.org!
Borta Bra, Men Hemma Bäst
This week: we return to live broadcasts with the first show of a three-weekend stand at our East Coast home away from home, The Town Hall on West 43rd Street in New York City. Väsen are tuning up their many strings for a blast of mind-bending music from across the North Sea and the North Atlantic, Heather Masse is making her way down from upstate to join the host on a few duets, and our friend Rob Fisher returns with the Coffee Club Orchestra and a roster of tunes sure to bring down the house at the old Town Meeting hall. Plus: radio drama and election-year intrigue from the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Lila Newman, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman; our music director and pianist Richard Dworsky with Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle and Chris Siebold on guitar; and an update on the latest News from Lake Wobegon, where signs of spring are just beginning to appear. Tune in on your local public radio station or watch live (5pm to 7pm, Saturday) at prairiehome.org!
Wabasha Street Blues
This week: our final spring break rebroadcast, another selection from March 2014 at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Willie Watson performs "Mexican Cowboy," Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele sing "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," and Hilary Thavis and Butch Thompson play "Mamie's Blues." Plus: Garrison sings "Argonne" about the devastation of World War I, and in Lake Wobegon, the Lutheran Church holds its Lenten soup suppers.
Le Sacre du Printemps
This week: another spring rebroadcast, from back in March 2014 at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Celtic masters Battlefield Band perform "Eight Men of Moidart," Butch Thompson plays "Late Winter Night's Dream," Hilary Thavis joins Garrison on "Nobody Knows You," and Dan Newton stops by with his accordion to lead the band on "Rose DiMaggio" and "Lady of Spain." In Lake Wobegon, Carl Krebsbach considers robbing a bank and receives a mysterious phone call.