Rebroadcast: January 20 with John Prine, Sylvan Esso, Rory Scovel, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Photos from the Show
This week: we kick off our summer break with a rebroadcast from back in January when we visited the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans with John Prine, Sylvan Esso, Rory Scovel, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Plus: Gaby Moreno sings “Daydream By Design,” Tom Papa chats with some Crescent City locals, and our acting company checks in on the Stoic Fisherman’s Podcast.
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, 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.
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).
"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.
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.
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.
Sound Effects artist Fred Newman went from the storytelling of small-town Georgia to Harvard Business School and Newsweek magazine. He then veered left to become the author of MouthSounds, puppeteer for Jim Henson, and TV host of shows such as The New Mickey Mouse Club, creating voices and music for Nickelodeon’s cartoon series DOUG, a symphony celebrating the Golden Gate Bridge, and the sound of Old Faithful for Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Visitor Education Center — all with his mouth. He performs his own stories around the country.
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).
Guatemalan-born Gaby Moreno was singing even before she could talk. With a style that blends blues, jazz, soul, and R&B, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter received an Emmy nomination for co-writing the theme song for NBC's Parks and Recreation. And she took Best New Artist honors at the 2013 Latin Grammys. She writes in both Spanish and English. "Spanish is more poetic," she says, but "in English, you can describe things better." Her latest album, 2016's Ilusion (Universal Music), earned a Latin Grammy nomination.
Violinist Gabe Witcher was barely school age when Bill Monroe invited him on stage to play a duet at a festival workshop. Gabe has been wowing crowds ever since, whether with the Witcher Brothers, the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, or Punch Brothers. In addition, Gabe is a sought-after producer, arranger, and session player, working with artists from Paul Simon and Elton John to Rosanne Cash and Willie Nelson.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Fans flock to Preservation Hall, in the heart of the French Quarter, to hear concerts showcasing some of the Crescent City's finest performers. And the Preservation Hall Jazz Band -- 2006 recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts -- has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft since its founding in the early 1960s. The group's new album, So It Is, came out earlier this year. The band: Ben Jaffe (bass, tuba), Charlie Gabriel (saxophone, clarinet), Clint Maedgen (saxophone), Ronell Johnson (trombone), Walter Harris (drums), Kyle Roussel (keys), Branden Lewis (trumpet).
John Prine went from making up songs on his hometown mail route in Mayfield, Illinois, to winning praise from critics and fans worldwide. Former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser called him "a truly original writer ... a genuine poet of the American people." Indeed, songs like "Angel from Montgomery," "Sam Stone," "Hello in There," and "Donald and Lydia" are eloquent snapshots of everyday folks -- images that remain decade after decade. The two-time Grammy winner's latest CD is For Better, or Worse (Oh Boy). A new album is scheduled for release this spring.
Electro-pop collaboration Sylvan Esso grew out of a chance encounter between singer Amelia Meath, veteran of the a cappella group Mountain Man, and electronic music producer Nick Sanborn, whose solo project was called Made Of Oak. It was meant to be: a few years later, they released their self-titled first recording, which reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200. What Now, the sophomore album from this North Carolina-based duo, came out in 2017 on the Loma Vista label.
After growing up in a large South Carolina family and going on to earn a degree in communications, Rory Scovel turned to comedy. His television credits include the TBS series Ground Floor, the NBC series Undateable, ABC's Modern Family, F/X's The Comedians, and the series Those Who Can't for truTV. He recently wrapped on the film I Feel Pretty, opposite Amy Schumer, and he can be seen in the New Line feature The House. His new stand-up special -- Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the First Time -- is streaming on Netflix.