A Prairie Home Companion got a whole lot more interesting to me -- Hilary Hahn will be performing in this week's show, along with mandolinist Chris Thile, who is starting his second season as host of the program. Two of my favorite artists!Suddenly the radio show
It's being broadcast live at 2:45 p.m Saturday from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium - that's near where I live! Not only that, if you are anywhere near Los Angeles, I have two sets of tickets to give away, but more on that in a bit.
For many years I've passively listened to this NPR show, with its host Garrison Keillor, a brilliant, deep-voiced storyteller grounded in the classic radio tradition, with his Midwestern folk wisdom and tales, silly acts and fake commercials, as well as a lot of high-quality musical acts. It always felt like jumping back to the time of my grandparents. Keillor could spin a yarn, and I don't think even he knew where it was going some of the time, but it was captivating.
When mandolinist Chris Thile took over as host of the show in 2016, I really did wonder what would happen. He's so different from Garrison Keillor! He's young, grounded in this century more than the last. Thile grew up in California, not Minnesota; and he lives in New York. He's a tenor, not a bass.
"Join me for my second season of being 'not Garrison Keillor!'" Thile said recently in an NPR pitch for the show.
Thile was Keillor's handpicked successor, having known Thile since his first appearance the show back in 1996, when he was just 15. But I don't think Keillor was looking for someone to "fill his shoes"; I think he was simply looking for the best live performer he could find, someone who loved and respected the show and its traditions but who ultimately would help it evolve.
And it is beginning to take its own direction. Thile has started to create a few segments of his own: for example, writing a new song each week; or the spontaneous creation of an ad-libbed pop tune medley filled with texted requests. The more it becomes Thile's show, the more I like it.
To enter to win tickets from Violinist.com: Just reply to this post! Tell us something you like about either Hilary Hahn or Chris Thile, or your thoughts on PHC, or just "I'd love to go!" You must be registered and logged in for your reply to count, and we will consider only one entry per person, so don't bother spamming the replies. Each winner will get two tickets to the show - it's up to you to get to the theater and claim the tickets at will call. We will announce the winners on Friday. To simply buy tickets, click here for the Prairie Home Companion tickets page.
UPDATE: The contest is now closed and winners have been notified. Tune in to your local radio station to hear the broadcast this weekend! If you are near Pasadena, Calif., and would like tickets to the live show, click here for the Prairie Home Companion tickets page.
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