Photos from the Show

Video from the Show

This week's rebroadcast: our second May 2017 show from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Jim James performs "Here in Spirit" and "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)," Aimee Mann stops by with Jonathan Coulton for "Goose Snow Cone" and "Patient Zero," and Hari Kondabolu talks history and mom jokes. Plus: Chris Thile leads the band on "Feedback Loop," Jerry Douglas and Chris Eldridge combine their arrangements of "Things in Life" for a sizzling first-hour finale, and we showcase a little radio drama as A Mother Orders By Mail.

  • Chris Thile

    By the time Chris Thile turned 15, he 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 teams up with numerous musicians in myriad styles and leads acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. His albums include Thanks for Listening (Nonesuch) 10 studio recordings originally written as Prairie Home Companion Songs of the Week. He is now in his second season hosting the show.

  • Richard Dworsky

    Richard Dworsky, Live from Here's keyboardist, composer, arranger, and music director, has collaborated with diverse musicians -- from Yo-Yo Ma and James Taylor to Brad Paisley and Kristin Chenoweth. For 23 years, he served as pianist and music director for Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. Rich has also 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. Mount Royal, his 2017 duo album with guitarist Julian Lage, is nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Contemporary Instrumental Album).

  • Ted Poor

    "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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Alan Hampton

    Multi-instrumentalist Alan Hampton began his music career in Houston, Texas. He continued at New York City's New School and then at the Thelonious Monk Institute in L.A. He has performed internationally with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, and more. In addition to laying down tracks for numerous musicians, Alan's own recordings include Origami for the Fire (Ash Productions).

  • Jim James

    Well known as frontman for the acclaimed alternative-rock band My Morning Jacket, Jim James has also recorded two solo albums: 2013's Regions of Light and Sound of God and Eternally Even, released last year on ATO Records. Of this latest recording, Jim says: "These songs are about wanting to be a part of the discussion, part of saying, 'Can't we get to a peaceful place; why is that so hard for us?' There are these very basic things that so many people want, but they get sidetracked by greed."

  • Aimee Mann

    Early on, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann gained fame in the 1980s band 'Til Tuesday, and she's gone on to solo success. Said Paste Magazine: "Like the Velvet Underground's Nico, she's our mirror. Through her songs, she reflects life as it so often is -- a contorted, gasping mess -- but somehow she still finds beauty in its imperfection." She earned Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song for "Save Me," part of an acclaimed song score for Paul Thomas Anderson's 1999 film, Magnolia. 2017's Mental Illness (SuperEgo Records) is her first album in five years.

  • Hari Kondabolu

    Hari Kondabolu earned a B.A. in comparative politics from Bowdoin College and master's degree in human rights from the London School of Economics -- and then became (as the New York Times said) "one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today." You may have seen him on Letterman's show, or Conan's, or his own Comedy Central special. The second stand-up album from this Brooklyn-based funnyman is Hari Kondabolu's New Material Night Volume 1.

  • Jerry Douglas

    The New York Times called Jerry Douglas "Dobro's matchless contemporary master," and clearly the 14-time Grammy winner and three-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year is internationally recognized as the world's best on the instrument. This true pioneer in American music has recorded both as a solo artist and as a member of groundbreaking bands, including J.D. Crowe & the New South, the Country Gentlemen, Alison Krauss & Union Station -- and The Earls of Leicester, the group he formed in 2013.

  • Sara Watkins

    Singer-songwriter and fiddle player Sara Watkins -- along with her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile -- was a founding member of the Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek. In 2015, Sara and Sean released their "family-band-of-sorts project," Watkins Family Hour, and then embarked on a tour that included stops at Conan, NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, and the Newport Folk Festival. Sara's latest recording: Young in All the Wrong Ways (New West Records).