This week: we're rolling our gear north on Wabasha Street, through downtown Saint Paul, and back to our home base at the Fitzgerald Theater for our second live broadcast of the season. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band joins us for classic sounds from the other end of the Mississippi River, we'll have guitar rock from Margaret Glaspy, and author George Saunders will share selections from his novel Lincoln in the Bardo with a little help from our performers. Plus: Chris Thile is working away on a brand-new Song of the Week, the band members (singer Rachael Price, pianist and music director Rich Dworsky, drummer Matt Chamberlain, Brittany Haas on fiddle, bassist Paul Kowert, and Sean Watkins on guitar) are warming up their various musical implements, our Royal Academy of Radio Actors (Serena Brook, Tim Russell, and Fred Newman) is running lines backstage, and -- we hope -- you're thinking up suggestions for our Instant Song Request segment. And if that weren't enough, we'll have another round of musician birthdays. Can it top last week's epic edition? Tune in Saturday on your local public radio station or watch live -- 5pm to 7pm Central Time -- at to find out!
Download the Song of the Week, "Calvin and the Ghosties"
Download the chart for "Calvin and the Ghosties"
  • 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).
  • Margaret Glaspy

    Last year, Rolling Stone included Margaret Glaspy on its April list of 10 New Artists You Need to Know. And more and more fans are taking the advice, getting to know this New York-based, guitar-playing singer-songwriter. She spent years playing backup for other artists and working in bands, and released a couple of EPs before her debut full-length recording, Emotions and Math (ATO Records). Daniel Rhine (bass) and Timothy Kuhl (drums).
  • George Saunders

    Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, George Saunders is the author of four collections of short stories, a novella, a book of essays, and more. His most recent collection is 2014's Tenth of December, winner of the Story Prize and the Folio Prize. His first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House), came out earlier this year. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
  • Chris Thile

    Chris Thile made his first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion 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 and MacArthur Fellow is now in his second season hosting APHC, in addition to teaming up with numerous musicians in myriad styles and leading acoustic quintet Punch Brothers. His albums include 2017's Bach Trios (Nonesuch), with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer.
  • 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.
  • Matt Chamberlain

    Since his first gigs on Dallas's Deep Ellum music scene, drummer Matt Chamberlain has toured or recorded with Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, Elton John, David Bowie, Soundgarden, and a multitude of other top acts. He also did a year's stint with the Saturday Night Live house band. His own projects include the eclectic Seattle-based group Critters Buggin.
  • 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 Hawktail (with bassist Paul Kowert, guitarist Jordan Tice, and mandolinist Dominick Leslie). Among her recordings is 2014's You Got This (Haas Kowert Tice).
  • 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. His American roots quartet Hawktail includes mandolinist Dominick Leslie, fiddler Brittany Haas, and guitarist Jordan Tice. Their new album comes out soon.
  • Rachael Price

    Even as a five-year-old, Rachael Price was drawn to jazz, listening to her dad's record collection and singing along to recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and others. Now this graduate in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music is frontwoman of pop-R&B-jazz-soul-disco band Lake Street Dive. Side Pony (Nonesuch) is the Brooklyn-based quartet's latest recording.
  • Sean Watkins

    Guitarist Sean Watkins is known for his work as one-third of the Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek and, more recently, for helming, with sister Sara, the itinerant, genre-hopping Watkins Family Hour ensemble. These days, he's also making his mark as a solo artist whose latest album, What To Fear, is a follow-up to 2014's acclaimed All I Do Is Lie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."