Exciting news! Lillie Mae Rische has officially joined the Third Man Records line-up & is working on new solo record, produced by Jack White! She will also be joining Jack for his special acoustic performance on A Prairie Home Companion this Saturday, along with Dominic Davis and Fats Kaplin. Tune in!
This week we kick off a new season and a new era as Chris Thile steps to the mic to host a live broadcast from our home base, the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, rock star, and man-about-Nashville Jack White joins us for a few acoustic tunes. We also welcome Brooklyn's Lake Street Dive back to the land of 10,000 lakes -- they're sure to light up Exchange Street with an infectious blend of pop, soul, and jazz -- and comedian Maeve Higgins from County Cork, by way of New York City. Plus: scripts, scenes, and sound effects from our Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Serena Brook, and Fred Newman; and music from The First-Call Radio Players (Richard Dworsky on piano, guitarist Chris Eldridge, Brittany Haas on fiddle, Sarah Jarosz singing and playing banjo and octave mandolin, bassist Paul Kowert, and Ted Poor on -- *gasp* -- drums). All that, and a never-before-heard song from Mr. Thile, brought to you by Powdermilk Biscuits, the Catchup Advisory Board, and Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie and Frozen Rhubarb Pie Filling. Tune in on your local public radio station or watch live (Saturday, 5pm - 7pm Central Time) at prairiehome.org.
A few years ago, the New York Times Magazine called Jack White "the coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time." Could be. From The White Stripes to The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, not to mention his solo work, he has left his singular mark on music of the past couple of decades. Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016, a double CD/LP compilation of his music, is just out on Third Man Records. Dominic Davis, bass; Lillie Mae Rische, fiddle and mandolin; and Fats Kaplin, lap steel, fiddle, mandolin.
LAKE STREET DIVE
Boston- and Brooklyn-based Lake Street Dive formed in 2004 when Rachael Price (vocals), Mike "McDuck" Olson (guitar, trumpet), Mike Calabrese (drums), and Bridget Kearney (bass) were students at the New England Conservatory of Music. The band's name may very well strike a chord with Twin Citians: It is a nod to Lake Street in Minneapolis, Olson's hometown. Their fifth studio album, 2016's Side Pony (Nonesuch), was praised by the Boston Globenas an "exuberant, harmony-rich blend of pop, soul, and jazz."n
"Maeve Higgins is rarer than a blessing of unicorns," wrote the Irish Times. (And that's rare indeed.) Since her first foray into stand-up comedy a decade ago in her native Ireland, she has written and performed shows across the globe. Now based in New York, she co-hosts Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk (National Geographic) and has appeared on Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer. Her books include We Have A Good Time, Don't We? and Off You Go: Away from Home and Loving It. Sort Of (both published by Hatchette Books).
Chris Thile, A Prairie Home Companion's new host, made his first appearance on the show 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 now collaborates with many musicians in myriad styles and leads acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. Thile's solo albums include Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 (Nonesuch).
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.
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 the bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters, and later to critical acclaim with Punch Brothers.
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 her trio, Haas Kowert Tice (with bassist Paul Kowert and guitarist Jordan Tice). Among her recordings is 2014's You Got This (Haas Kowert Tice).
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, including two for her album Build Me Up From Bones. Her latest recording is titled Undercurrent (Sugar Hill).
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. You Got This is his 2014 recording with American roots trio Haas Kowert Tice.
"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 in Seattle. Wounded Caroline is the 2013 album from Ted's group Mt. Varnum.
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.
After she picked up her diploma from the University of Minnesota Duluth, actress, voice-over artist, and Eagan, Minnesota, native Serena Brook was off to New York City, where she spent five years performing in Off-Broadway shows and with national and regional touring companies. Now living in the Twin Cities, she has worked with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and 7th House Theater.
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."