Hot Rize has been astounding the bluegrass world with their fresh, contemporary approach to traditional music ever since their formation in 1978. The band’s unique and progressive style of bluegrass, powerful original songs, tight-as-a-drum ensemble playing, and dynamic stage show quickly made them stars on the major festival circuit and far beyond. In 1990, Hot Rize won the International Bluegrass Association’s first Entertainer of the Year Award. Since 1990, this all-star band has kept their legend alive by performing at only the most prestigious festivals (like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Telluride, Bonnaroo, and Grey Fox) and a few select venues. In 2014, they released their much-anticipated studio album When I’m Free, their first in 24 years. Hot Rize features Bryan Sutton, Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick and Nick Forster plus expect an appearance from Red Knuckles and The Trailblazers.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells a story about cats and dogs and blood and trouble.

Direct download: TSR16-12_Hot_Rize.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

After more than 20 albums (including Live from the Big Top) and more than three decades of performing, this co-founder of the influential indie roots label Red House Records and former musical director for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program, Iowa singer-songwriter,Greg Brown, has amassed a rock-solid legion of fans. Perhaps it is the familiar thunder in his voice or the relatability of his poetically-wrought lyrics; we always look forward to Greg Brown’s return to the Big Top.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells a story about why Grandma’s 7-iron is busted.

Direct download: TSR16-12_Greg_Brown.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

Corey Carlson is our hometown boy, but he’s known and celebrated far and wide. He grew up right here on this very ski hill that is the home of the Big Top, and was weaned on all of the legendary performers that have graced this stage including the Blue Canvas Orchestra where you can often find him sitting in. Carlson is a prolific songwriter and exceptional musician whose charismatic stage presence, amazingly versatile voice and rock solid instrumentation make him a perennial favorite.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike reunites with his brother via satellite.

Direct download: TSR16-11_Corey_Carlson.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

Academy Award and GRAMMY winning artist, Melissa Etheridge, will take the stage to perform songs from her new album, This is M.E., as well as some of her greatest hits like “Come to My Window”, “I’m The Only One” and “I Want To Come Over”.  Known for her iconic voice, profound lyrics and riveting stage presence; Melissa will share personal stories about her remarkable journey through life and the inspiration behind some of her most beloved songs.

Direct download: TSR16-10_Melissa_Ethridge.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

The Wailin’ Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse – three distinct voices that together make an achingly perfect vocal sound. Starting as a happy accident of solo singer/songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Wailin’ Jennys have grown over the years into one of today’s most beloved international folk/pop/world acts. Bolstered by their frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, The Jennys exploded onto the roots music scene, performing at packed venues across Canada, the U.S. and throughout the world. They have garnered several awards for their recordings over the years. These days their touring is limited, so we are especially lucky to get them back for their third appearance on the Big Top stage.

Direct download: TSR16-10_WAILIN_JENNYS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 2:46pm EDT

The Blue Canvas Orchestra and special guests open up the show in the first half followed by Jamaican and Australian musical group Nattali Rize & Notis

Live from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin.  Find out more at

Direct download: TSR16-08_BCO_with_Nattali_Rize__Notis.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:37am EDT

From their earliest shows as a garage band playing the punk clubs on Miami Beach, The Mavericks have had a skill for getting people to groove. Drawing on a mix of classic country, cow-punk and standards, frontman Raul Malo and company left South Florida, bringing their rhythmic fervor and Latin machismo, along with Malo’s lush baritone, to the world. In 2013, after numerous years as a band, multiple Gold and Platinum albums, world tours, breakups and reformations, The Mavericks recorded their critically-acclaimed album In Time and re-introduced music lovers to the band’s genre-defying melting pot of pop music. Their latest album, Mono, garnered two Grammy nominations in the Americana categories.

Direct download: TSR16-08_THE_MAVERICKS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

If you’re looking for something that has you moving in your seat as soon as the music starts, then look no further! Louisiana native, Jeffery Broussard creates incredible music and outstanding performances with accordion mastery and soulful vocals. The band delivers great, pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics and Cajun-style covers as well as their own brand of contemporary Zydeco.

Direct download: TSR16-07_CREOLE_COWBOYS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

Musician, filmmaker, humanitarian, Michael Franti, is recognized as a pioneering force using music as a vehicle for positive change. His unforgettable, high energy shows with his band, Spearhead, draw on the music of hip hop, reggae, funk and rap. With the multi-platinum success of his song “Say Hey (I Love You)” and the chart breaking 2010 release of The Sound Of Sunshine, Franti and his band guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as energetic. “Music is sunshine,” says Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” We welcome Michael back for his 2nd performance at Big Top after his amazing blow-out performance in 2015. ∆Dance Alert

Direct download: TSR16-05_MICHAEL_FRANTI_and_SPEARHEAD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

Join Paul LaRoche, the  founder of the award-winning Native American group Brulé, and performers from Red Cliff’s school of dance, Native Expressions Drum & Dance, in an afternoon cultural performance. LaRoche speaks of the reconciliation between cultures as he shares Brule’s unique brand of revved up music and dance. Native Expressions performs with a mission of positive self-esteem for all people and brings the message of unity and the knowledge that we are all one tribe. Stick around after the performance to try out a dance step or two, led by the dancers of Native Expressions.

Direct download: TSR16-04_Brule.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

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