Thursday, May 21, 2015

MAY 25, 2015
LCpl Timothy R. Creager
Graduate of Craigmont High School
Killed by enemy fire July 1, 2004
El Anbar Province, Iraq

In gratitude to all men and women who now serve, have served, or have paid the ultimate price in service to America.
Pick a tune for these fine service men and women: Dear Sister; Kennesaw Line; Two Little Boys; Missionary Ridge; or Me and John and Paul. Or how about America the Beautiful, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Battle Hymn of the Republic, or Amazing Grace? Or select a favorite of your own.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Prairie Home Companion
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
May 9, 2015
Garrison Keillor: "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...."
     This writer never gets tired of listening to or seeing in-person master storyteller Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion"! If you have ever listened once, you're hooked! It is public radio at its very best.
       So, when it was announced that Prairie Home was headed to Nashville and the Ryman Auditorium, I was a goner right there! Gone! I got online for tickets and for advanced reserved parking literally in the shadow of that grand old auditorium revered by country and bluegrass music fans around the world. The real, true home of the Grand Ole Opry (in my opinion), this beautiful notion of Col. Tom Ryman's to build a tabernacle for religious services has turned out to be so much more.
      Once I took a look at the guests for the week, I was gone even further...into the stratosphere! It was Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Paul Brewster, Russ Carson, Mark Fain, Eddie Faris, Cody Kilby, Andy Leftwich, Bob Mummert, and Tommy White) with Sharon White Skaggs, Stuart Duncan, Keb' Mo', and the fine singer Christina DiGiallonardo. Along with that stellar crew, came the PHC (Broadway Breakfast) Band with Rich Dworsky, Chris Brown, Chris Siebold, Richard Kriehn, and Todd Parks, plus the regular voice-over and sound effects folks: Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman. Looking at all those people on the stage, I could have fallen into a dead faint. I didn't though, because I was in the balcony.
      The radio program, with its five segments, is timed to the second. There is NO 'dead air' in Keillor's tightly packaged and presented two-hour radio festival of music and stories. I can only hope that you heard the program or listened to the re-broadcast. We will try to hit the highlights and show you some too-dark and too-blurry photos taken from high in the balcony at the Ryman.
  •      Introduction: "Tishomingo Blues"
  •      Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Sharon White Skaggs perform "No Doubt About It" and a soulful tune about what might be left behind in "When I'm Good and Gone"
  •      Garrison Keillor and Christine DiGiallanardo perform "The Times They Are A-Changin'" / "It Ain't Me Babe" / "Tennessee Waltz" (popular songs  revisited PHC style and carrying a Nashville flavor)
  •      Stuart Duncan and the PHC (Broadway Breakfast) band with a 'bluegrassed-up' version of Waylon Jennings' "I've Always Been Crazy"
  •      Powdermilk Biscuits Theme Song w/ Rich Dworsky and the PHC (Broadway Breakfast) Band (Heavens! They're tasty!)
  •      Guy Noir, Private Eye w/Garrison Keillor as Guy Noir and Ricky Skaggs as parking lot attendant
  •      Keb' Mo' (real name Kevin Moore) on guitar and vocals with "My Baby Wants to Go to France", followed by "The Worst Is Yet to Come" with Keb' Mo' and Christine DiGiallanardo
  •      Garrison Keillor spends a moment announcing the passing earlier on this day of Johnny Gimble, renowned Texas fiddler. Stuart Duncan and Richard Kriehn stand with twin fiddles and saw off two great tunes dedicated to Johnny Gimble:  "Cheyenne" and "Cherokee Shuffle"
  •      Halftime stretch for the audience
  •      Garrison Keillor and Christine DiGiallanardo revisit Neil Sedaka's "Breakin' Up Is Hard to Do" (21st Century style)
  •      Sue Scott and Garrison Keillor's imaginary Mother's Day phone call (No pressure at all, of course, to 'call your mother' on Mother's Day!) 
  •      Keb' Mo' on resonator guitar with "Henry" ("When Henry Plays That Steel Guitar")
  •      Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Sharon White Skaggs perform "Home Is Wherever You Are"
  •      Garrison Keillor's weekly report with "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...."
  •      Keb' Mo' and Ricky Skaggs perform together in amazing fashion with "Infinite Eyes" (audience standing ovation)
  •      Garrison Keillor reflects on Nashville, the Opry and the Ryman Auditorium
  •      Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder close out the show with a burning version of "Bluegrass Breakdown"
Music and show details available at the Prairie Home Companion Website:
Much of the artists' music from the show and their other performances can be found on their albums, YouTube, and other locations.
Pick away!
"Places everybody! We're going 'live in 5 seconds."

You really do need to tour the Ryman on 5th Avenue
off Lower Broad in Downtown Nashville

Garrison Keillor and the cast for the evening

Fred Newman, Tim Russell, Sue Scott with Garrison
PHC (Broadway Breakfast) Band at rear

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Sharon White Skaggs
plus the PHC (Broadway Breakfast) Band

Newman, Russell, Scott, DiGiallanardo, Keillor as Guy Noir
and Ricky Skaggs as parking lot attendant

Stuart Duncan and Richard Kriehn in tribute to the
late Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble (d. 5/9/2015)

Keb' Mo' on guitar and vocals with the PHC (Broadway
Breakfast) Band

Keb' Mo' with the PHC (Broadway Breakfast) Band

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Sharon White Skaggs

Keb' Mo' on resonator guitar and vocals with Ricky Skaggs
on mandolin and vocals with "Infinite Eyes" --
A stellar Ryman moment with a standing ovation!