Reroadcast: January 27 with Shovels & Rope, Snarky Puppy, and Pete Holmes
Photos from the Show
This week: we look back to our January broadcast from the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas with Shovels and Rope, Snarky Puppy, and Pete Holmes. Plus: Chris Eldridge and the band play “Bone Collector”; Tom Papa makes an unfortunate snack error while visiting Raleigh, North Carolina; and we experience the horror of The Lobby with our acting company.
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).
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.
Shovels and Rope
Shovels & Rope is the husband-wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. After marrying each other in 2009, the South Carolina-based couple began to marry their music -- he came from indie rock, she from country. "Far more challenging," Hearst quips, but a successful venture, it turns out. They have garnered Americana Music Awards for Emerging Artist of the Year and for Song of the Year ("Birmingham"). Little Seeds (New West Records), their 2016 release, is a 12-song collection, ranging from stomping rockers to delicate acoustic numbers.
Not exactly a jazz band, not a fusion band, definitely not a jam band, Snarky Puppy suggests heeding the advice of Nate Chinen, former jazz and pop critic for the New York Times: "Take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they're not." Formed in 2003 by bassist and primary composer Michael League, this Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based collective (with as many as 25 members in regular rotation), took home a 2017 Grammy Award for Culcha Vulcha, their 11th album.
Comedian, actor, writer, producer -- Pete Holmes always seems to have a lot on his plate. He created the late-night Pete Holmes Show as well as Crashing, which just started its second season on HBO. There's his podcast, You Made It Weird, and Nice Try, the Devil, his Comedy Central special. He wrote for the TV shows Outsourced and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and he was the voice of the E*TRADE baby. He's been on Conan and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. You might even have spied one of his cartoons in The New Yorker.
Bill Campbell is a Brooklyn-based drummer, songwriter, and producer, who has worked with artists like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Meshell Ndegeocello, Andrew Bird, Lauren Hill, and Norah Jones. He is one-third of the group Trio Feral. And more than a decade ago, he — along with Alan Hampton on bass — launched Breastfist. That band’s second album, Amuse Deuce, was released in October 2017 on the GroundUP label.