Banjo… banjo… banjo on Prairie Home Companion

Noam Pikelny, Joe Newberry and Bill EvansA Prairie Home Companion will on this week’s radio show be presenting three individually distinctive banjo players; Bill Evans, educator, composer and author; the progressive Noam Pikelny; and innovative old-time picker Joe Newberry. 

Also on the show are traditional county music singer Suzy Bogguss and country music historian Bill C Malone, author of the first definitive academic history of country music, Country Music, U.S.A., published in 1968, Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’: Country Music and the Southern Working Class (2002) Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens (co-authored with Hazel Dickens) (2008) and Music from the True Vine: Mike Seeger’s Life and Musical Journey (2011).

For Evans, it’s his first time on A Prairie Home Companion ……

“As you can imagine, I’m incredibly excited about this appearance. I hope you’ll be able to join me for the broadcast on Saturday.”

In contrast, Joe Newberry, who plays guitar and banjo with Big Medicine, has features on the show before …. 

“This will be my third appearance on the show, but the first time without a band… just me. I’m honored to be in such distinguished company as Noam and Bill, and delighted to be asked to be on the show.

I have prepared a couple of things to suggest for the mix, but I think all of us will wait to see what Garrison puts together with his three banjoists. I am also looking forward to seeing the great Bill Malone… love his writing. And Suzy Bogguss is one of my favorite singers.”

Noam also suggested that he wasn’t yet sure what the program would entail, but hoped that he, Bill and Joe would have an opportunity to play one together.

The show, which is broadcast live from the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, this Saturday, February 23, will also feature the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band and the latest news from Lake Wobegon.
It can be heard on many public radio stations across the country.  Visit the Prairie Home Companion website and follow the “Listening Information” link on that page to find your local station and broadcast days and times. Video from the show will also be available on thePrairie Home Companion homepage in the week following the performance.

The live Web Stream is every Saturday, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Central Time).

A Prairie Home Companion is also broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.