This week: a look back to our October 22 broadcast from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats perform "Wasting Time" and "Out on the Weekend," Anais Mitchell sings "Why We Build the Wall" and "Clyde Waters," and John Hodgman shared a few thoughts on beards and septic systems. Plus: Chris Thile's Song of the Week, "Dates"; our Royal Academy of Radio Actors with a few new Grandparent names and Bertrand Falstaff Heine's review of this season's snow tires; and a rollicking medley of Swedish fiddle tunes.
Download the October 22 Song of the Week, "Dates"
Download the chart for "Dates"
Download the "Grandparent Names" script
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

    Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats have gone from local Denver bar band to soul and R&B sensation playing jam-packed venues across the U.S. and Europe. Raised in a religious family in rural Missouri, Rateliff joined his parents' church band when he was seven. By the time he was 18, he had moved to Colorado and started down a musical road that would eventually lead to appearances on the The Tonight Show, Conan, the Newport Folk Festival, and more. The band's self-titled debut recording came out last year on the Stax label. Luke Mossman (guitar), Joseph Pope III (bass); Mark Shusterman (keys); Patrick Meese (drums); Andreas Wild (saxophone); Eric Biondo (trumpet).
  • Anais Mitchell

    Anais Mitchell insists that "whether or not you can change the world with a song, you've still got to write the song." The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has been doing that since she was a teenager on her parents' Vermont farm. In 2003, a year after releasing her debut album, she won the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival. 2014's xoa (Wilderland Records) is her sixth studio album. Her folk opera, Hadestown, based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, recently completed a sold-out off-Broadway run.
  • John Hodgman

    John Hodgman's one-man comedy shows like Vacationland (his latest) have played to sold-out audiences across the country. Author of several best-selling books, he has also contributed to the Paris Review, The New Yorker, Mad Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, The Daily Show, and This American Life. He is the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman podcast, and you can catch his comedy special Ragnarok on Netflix. Remember the button-down but likeable "Personal Computer" in the Apple commercials? Yep, that was John.
  • Chris Thile

    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).
  • Richard Dworsky

    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.
  • 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 the bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters, and later to critical acclaim with Punch Brothers.
  • Brittany Haas

    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

    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).
  • Paul Kowert

    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.
  • 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 in Seattle. Wounded Caroline is the 2013 album from Ted's group Mt. Varnum.
  • Tim Russell

    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.
  • Serena Brook

    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.
  • 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."