About This Episode

In 2016 Big Top Chautauqua celebrated its 30th season in operation. It was a special evening when members of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra joined Big Top's house band The Blue Canvas Orchestra and played an interesting and entertaining evening of music led by Ed Willet.

The collaborative group played a range from classic Big Top songs, original and traditional works, and light classical selections. The whole show was illuminated by images on the big screen by Betty Ferris.

It was a special celebratory night to be at the tent. Listen in for this episode and feel the classic Big Top magic beaming through the airwaves.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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About This Episode

At fifteen, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos’ world turned upside down. Raised in a strict, fundamentalist home, Vos lost everything when she and her family were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father had long served as pastor. “My older brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and my twin had mental illnesses and cognitive disabilities,” explains Vos. “When the church kicked us out, they basically told my dad, ‘If you can’t lead your family, how can you lead your church?’”

“At the time we were expelled, we lived in the church’s parish house,” explains Vos. “Suddenly, my father was unemployed and my family was homeless. My parents couldn’t afford insurance for the medical care my siblings needed. We were kicked out and completely abandoned.”

However, Vos’ love of music carried on after she left the church.

“Almost half of those services [were] just singing hymns,” she reflected in a recent interview. “I also went to a parochial school, so I had to memorize hymns and Bible verses all day, too. When I really look back, before I had the chance to explore music on my own, that was really central. Even the way I write songs [today] is reminiscent of hymns. That’s maybe why I was so drawn to folk music to begin with: it’s geared towards communities singing it together.”

By the time Vos turned 18, her family had begun to get back on their feet. She headed to Milwaukee for college, and there, came to terms with revelations about her sexuality that her religious upbringing had forced her to repress. The mix of freedom and relief and shame and guilt was overwhelming, and a depressive breakdown ensued.

“I couldn’t take care of myself,” she remembers. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I stopped going to classes, and then I dropped out altogether and moved back home to Oshkosh. That’s where I met Dan.”

When bassist Daniel Wolff and Vos first started playing music together, it felt as if the clouds had finally parted. Vos introduced songs she’d been writing since high school open mics, Wolff learned a new instrument for the band (the double bass), and within months, they had earned a devoted local following. Regular gigs led to steady residencies led to regional touring and their first recordings. Two of the band’s original members ultimately left the group due to opioid addictions (“I still see the pawn shop sticker every time I look at my guitar tuner,” remembers Vos), but the Dead Horses moniker the pair created as a tribute to a friend who’d over-dosed from heroin stuck even after their departure.

American Songwriter called Vos “a compelling vocalist…who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real,” while No Depression hailed her songwriting as “beautiful and fresh.” With a fleshed out touring lineup, the group logged countless miles, sharing bills along the way with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, Rhiannon Giddens and Elephant Revival in addition to making festival appearances from Bristol Rhythm and Roots to WinterWonderGrass.

We were lucky enough to welcome them live on stage at Big Top Chautauqua. In this episode of Tent Show Radio you'll hear the show given by Dead Horses when they came to the Big Blue Tent in 2017.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-13_Dead_Horses_-_Corey_Carlson_--_Low_Res.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:15am CDT

About This Episode

Andrew Bird has been called a Musical innovator who winds together his trademark violin technique with xylophone, vocals and sophisticated electronic looping. Add in his uncanny ability to whistle anything, and he becomes a riveting one-man orchestra. He was initially known through his work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers before forming Bowl of Fire, and is now best known as a solo musician. He wrote “The Whistling Caruso” for The Muppets and performed the whistling heard in both the film and the soundtrack. Bird composed the score for the FX original series Baskets.

This weeks episode also features a set by Minneapolis favorites, Roma Di Luna. Roma di Luna conjure elements of traditional Americana filtered through a modern lens, ethereal uncertainty, and an underlying passion throughout. Reuniting in 2017 after a 6 year hiatus, they paid a visit to the Big Top for a performance to remember.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-09_Andrew_Bird_-_Roma_di_Luna_2LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

About This Episode

A jam band with a unique style and presence, the Big Wu combines strong, free flowing improvisation and vocal harmonies, with finely crafted songs for all tastes. The story goes that “the Wu,” bound for rock stardom, sold their souls for a case of Old Style beer one thirsty night long ago. The legend and the band live on. Still rocking their powerful, moving, and energizing music for the fans, we were pleased to welcome them back in our 2017 show season for their 2nd appearance at the Big Blue Tent.

Black River Review plays freshwater bluegrass from the twin sports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. BRR has crafted their own sound made up of mostly original music which can be heard on their debut album “Garbage Pickin’ (2013). Their sophomore album “Spring Thaw” was released in 2014, and their latest release was revealed in 2017, right at our very own Big Top performance!

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-08_Big_Wu_-_Black_River_Revue_-_LoRes.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:31pm CDT

About This Episode

For thirty-five years Riders in the Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. While remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life ‘The Cowboy Way!’

In addition to being inducted into the Grand Ol’ Opry, and too many halls of fame to mention, they are also the winners of two Grammy awards for music from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. It comes as no surprise then that Billboard’s, Jim Bessman, counts them as one of the “most significant acts in the history of American music.” The Quebe Sisters (pronounced Kway-bee) are the newest darlings of Western music, performing a refreshing blend of vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.

The Blue Canvas Orchestra perform great country and western music takes us from the mid-60s through the early 80s with music from Opry icons like Willie & Waylon, Dolly & Loretta, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride and Lynn Anderson. This show again features the Blue Canvas Orchestra with Corey Carlson and special guests Andy Dee, Randy Sabien, Joe Savage, Danielle Diamond and Emily Belanger.

This show will bring you to your feet as you clap and sing along to popular tunes! So get ready for a foot stompin’, hand clappin’, good time Old Opry style!!

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-07_-_Riders_in_the_Sky_-_Opry_2_-_LoRes.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:46am CDT

About This Episode

There are two ways of handling a dangerous, raging river: you can surrender and let it carry you away, or you can swim against the flow. For The Secret Sisters, there was a point after the release of their last record when they could have chosen to do neither – instead, sinking to the bottom as the weight of the world washed away their dreams. They went from touring with Bob Dylan to losing their label, purging their team, filing bankruptcy and almost permanently trading harmonies for housecleaning. But there’s a mythical pull to music that kept sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers moving forward, and they came out with a biting and beautiful third LP, produced by Brandi Carlile, You Don’t Own Me Anymore.

Their first as New West signees, it’s a document of hardship and redemption, of pushing forward when it would be so much easier to drown in grief. And it’s a story about how passion and pure artistry can be the strongest sort of salvation – how art is left, like perfect grains of sand, when everything else has washed away.

Big Top was happy to welcome The Secret Sisters to the tent in 2017, a magical performance featured in this episode.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-06_Secret_Sisters_-_Becky_Warren_SECOND_AIRING.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:45am CDT

About This Episode

Our featured performer on today’s show is self-proclaimed “wild child” singer songwriter Brett Dennen. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about the consequences of self-inflicted sugar bombs. We’ll also sneak in musicby Quito Rymer and our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Category: -- posted at: 10:38am CDT

About This Episode

Big Top gave a warm welcome to Indie songwriter Josh Ritter to the tent. The New York Times says: “The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon on the Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.” And, “A guileless, boy-next-door voice belies the depth and ambition of Josh Ritter’s songs, whether he is confessing a simple crush or following his thoughts on a long, Whitmanesque incantation.”

This episode also features a tent appearance by Michael Perry and the Long Beds. Though their music has been variously described as ‘country folk,’ ‘roughneck folk,’ ‘folk-twang,’ and Americana, they prefer the description given by an audience member after a benefit concert in Perry’s old high school gym: “You sound just like Gordon Lightfoot… only zippier!” Nice – but there are limits. “Zippy or not,” says Perry, “when ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ comes on the radio, we sit down, shut up, and listen.”

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-2_-_Josh_Ritter_-_Long_Beds.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:59pm CDT

About This Episode

Formed in 1970 in Paw Paw, West Virginia and now based in Austin, Texas, Asleep at the Wheel has been the most instrumental force in keeping Western swing music alive. In their career, they have released more than twenty studio albums, have charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard country charts, and earned nine Grammy Awards.

The band continues to introduce Western swing to new generations on tour and takes audiences on the ride of a lifetime with their freewheeling, classic sound. Described by Reuter’s as “one of the best live acts in the business,” Asleep at the Wheel made their third appearance on the Big Top stage in 2017, this time joined by Texas musical icon Dale Watson. Watson is a country singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin. He champions “Ameripolitan” as a new genre of original music and has positioned himself as a tattooed, stubbornly independent and slightly irreverent outsider who is interested in authentic country music.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-1_-_AATW_-_Dale_Watson-FIXED.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:26am CDT

About This Episode

Minneapolis favorites Roma di Luna conjure elements of traditional Americana filtered through a modern lens, ethereal uncertainty, and an underlying passion throughout. Reuniting in 2017 after a 6 year hiatus, they paid a visit to the Big Top for a performance to remember.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-26_Roma_Di_Luna_-_Becky_Warren_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:40am CDT

About This Episode

Terrance Simien is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish.

While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was in his early 20's and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists continuing the traditions.

Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos. He has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, The Big Easy, Exit To Eden and A Murder Of Crows.

Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the "Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco" performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.

In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.[10][11] His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008. He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

 

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Direct download: 18-25_Terrence_Simien_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:35pm CDT

About This Episode

What do you get when you grow up in a house right next to the ticket gate of Big Top Chautauqua? Corey Carlson, of course. Weaned on all the legendary performers gracing the Big Top stage from childhood on up, and now a regular play with our own Blue Canvas Orchestra, Carlson is a prolific songwriter and exceptional musician whose charismatic stage presence, amazingly versatile voice, and rock solid instrumentation make him a perennial favorite. Corey performs his unique brand of rock, blues & soul.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-24_Corey_Carlson_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:06pm CDT

About This Episode

Jan Lee and Severin Behnen led the Blue Canvas Orchestra in a new show in 2017 about the queen of all the Great Lakes - Lake Superior. Celebrate the power, majesty, history, and natural wonder of Gitche Gumee through original songs and stories.

Jan Lee is the founder of StageNorth in Washburn and a regular performer on the Big Top Stage. Severin Behnen is Big Top’s Musical Director during the summer and a teacher and professional musician in Los Angeles in the offseason. They were joined by BCO members and special guests including Molly Stoddard, Frank Montano, Tom Draughon, Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunderson, Phil Anich, Liesel Wilson, and Bruce Qualey, along with visual director Betty Ferris, for this special original production.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-23_-_Superior_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:07pm CDT

About This Episode

Celebrate the wild side of our nation’s waters and landscapes with our Blue Canvas Orchestra and Singers, in a performance of Wild Woods and Waters recorded live in 2017. From the rivers to the Great Lakes, and from the wetlands to the forests, this show features the stories, songs, and images of our own flora, fauna, and greatest natural resources. It is a celebration of these gifts and a renewed call to keep them safe for future generations.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-22_-_Wild_Woods_and_Waters_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm CDT

About This Episode

Blackberry Smoke has evolved from rough-edged club act to arena-ready rock 'n' roll juggernauts, while steadily extending and expanding the Southern rock tradition. Since the group’s formation in 2000, the band has never shied away from hard work, playing more than 250 shows a year and building an ever-expanding audience on the strength of its live shows. In addition to winning fans and friends throughout the United States, they've toured Europe multiple times and performed for the first time ever in Australia in 2016 to sold-out crowds.

Along the way, Blackberry Smoke has found time to record a handful of independent releases, including the albums Bad Luck Ain't No Crime, Little Piece of Dixie and The Whippoorwill, plus a pair of EPs, the concert DVD “Live at the Georgia Theatre,” the live CD/DVD set Leave A Scar and their latest project Holding All the Roses, the first album the band feels properly captured their musical essence. Additionally, the band has had songs featured in movie and video game soundtracks, including EA Sports’ Madden NFL 16, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Conan and toured with and befriended idols such as The Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Jones.

For more info on Blackberry Smoke, visit blackberrysmoke.com, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @blackberrysmoke.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-21_-_Blackberry_Smoke_-_BCO_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:13pm CDT

About This Episode

In 2014 two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers came together at the Big Top in an evening of traditional fusion, combining the best of French, Celtic and Cajun styles. While electrifying Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster has collaborated and performed with Alison Krauss, the Chieftans, Paul Simon, Pavarotti and Yo-Yo Ma, Donnell gained a reputation as the spirited and athletic leader of Leahy, the Ontario-based, eight-piece family band bearing his surname. When these two electrifying virtuosos married in 2002, it was a meshing of two of the greatest fiddle players in the world. Says Natalie, “This is very much a family affair.”

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-20_Natalie_MacMaster_-_Teague_Alexy_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:21am CDT

About This Episode

Arlo Guthrie is known across generations as a songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor, and activist. The son of America’s beloved singer/writer/ philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie, Arlo is an iconic folk music figure in his own right with a distinguished career spanning over fifty years. He is known for the songs “The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” and “The City of New Orleans.”

This episode also features Larry Long from his 2015 appearance at the tent, and the song "Dark Holler" from Big Top's own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-19_Arlo_Guthrie_-_Larry_Long_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:33pm CDT

About This Episode

Texas musical icon Dale Watson joined a date with Asleep at the Wheel at the Big Blue Tent in June of 2017. Watson is a country singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin. He champions "Ameripolitan" as a new genre of original music and has positioned himself as a tattooed, stubbornly independent and slightly irreverent outsider who is interested in authentic country music.

This episode also features the Molly Danger Band, picked right from Big Top's own back yard garden of fantastic musicians.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-18_Dale_Watson_-_Molly_Danger_Band_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm CDT

First radio air date: April 27, 2018

About This Episode

When Big Top's house band The Blue Canvas Orchestra pays homage to the Grand Ole Opry what you get is one bang-up show: Big Top Opry. In 2014 the dynamic team of Severin Behnen and Corey Carlson put together our first Opry show which celebrated the best of the Grand Ole Opry from the 30s, 40s and 50s. The live show was so popular that they continued in 2017 with Big Top Opry 2: The Outlaw Years. That next installment of great country and western music took us from the mid-60s through the early 80s with music from Opry icons like Willie & Waylon, Dolly & Loretta, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride and Tammy Wynette.

Hear the the Outlaw Years show in this episode of Tent Show Radio. This show features the Blue Canvas Orchestra with Corey Carlson and special guests Andy Dee, Randy Sabien, Joe Savage, Danielle Diamond, Emily Belanger and Lizzie Herriott.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-17_Opry_2_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

About This Episode

Ziggy Marley has performed at Big Top Chautauqua twice now. The first was his wildly popular show in 2014, and the second was his fantastic 2017 performance which you'll hear on this episode of Tent Show Radio.

Ziggy Marley, an eight-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner, humanitarian, singer, songwriter, and producer, continually progresses at every turn. Ziggy’s musical history dates back to ten-years-old when he sat in on recording sessions with his father, Bob Marley. His eight-album catalog with the Melody Makers encompasses three GRAMMY Awards, countless sold out shows, and anthems including “Look Who’s Dancing,” “Tomorrow People,” and “Conscious Party.” Since making his solo debut in 2003, he received the Grammy for “Best Reggae Album” in 2006, 2012, and 2015 in addition to the Award for “Best Children’s Album” in 2011.

As he embarks on a world tour in support of Ziggy Marley, he brings his message directly to the people.

“Everything happens when it’s meant to happen,” he says. “That’s how my career has been since the beginning.”

You'll also be treated on this episode to some selections from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's 2013 appearance at Big Top. Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded by Joseph Shabalala in South Africa in the early 1960s. The group sings a traditional style called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), developed in the mines of South Africa. Called South Africa’s Cultural Ambassadors to the World by Nelson Mandela, they became known to mainstream audiences through their collaboration with Paul Simon on the Graceland album.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is poised to become a second-timer at Big Top as well, scheduled to perform in the Big Blue Tent on August 2, 2018. We look forward to the performance as it is sure to be an especially magic-filled evening.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-16_Ziggy_Marley_-_Ladysmith_Black_Mambazo_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:34pm CDT

About This Episode

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers brought quite a show to the Big Blue Tent in 2017. The band's perfect mix of top-notch songwriting and adventurous, virtuosic, and just plain fun improvisation kept the whole tent spellbound from note one.

Bruce Hornsby has built one of the most diverse, collaborative and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Drawing from a vast wellspring of American musical traditions, the singer/pianist/composer/bandleader has created a large and accomplished body of work and employed a vast array of stylistic approaches. Throughout this period, Hornsby has maintained the integrity, virtuosity and artistic curiosity that have been hallmarks of his work from the start.

Hornsby and his band The Range's first album The Way It Is (1986) was steadily and slowly building in popularity in the U.S. when in August the title track exploded on BBC Radio One in England, then Europe, the rest of the world and finally in the United States. The record went on to sell three million records, the band played Saturday Night Live and opened for Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Huey Lewis, the Grateful Dead and the Eurythmics before becoming headliners on their own tour supported by Crowded House.

Soon Hornsby was being approached regularly to collaborate with a broad range of musicians and writers, a demand that continues to this day. Over the years Hornsby has successfully ventured into bluegrass, jazz, classical, and even electronica. His three Grammy wins (along with his ten Grammy losses!) typify the diversity of his career: Best New Artist (1986) as leader of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Best Bluegrass Recording (1989) for a version of his old Range hit "The Valley Road" that appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two, and a shared award with Branford Marsalis in 1993 for Best Pop Instrumental for "Barcelona Mona", a song written and performed for the 1992 Olympic Games. The sales stats and breadth of his collaborations (including being sampled many times by rap/hip-hop artists) speak volumes about Hornsby's unique fusion of mainstream appeal and wild musical diversity. His albums have sold over eleven million copies worldwide.

Indeed, Bruce Hornsby's restless musical spirit continues to spontaneously push him forward into exciting new musical pursuits. Three decades after Bruce Hornsby established his global name as the creator of pop hits that defined "the sound of grace on the radio," as a Rolling Stone reviewer once wrote, such projects continue and are consistent with his lifelong pursuit of musical transcendence. "It's always been about staying inspired, broadening my reach and range of abilities and influences, and exploring new areas", Hornsby says. "I'm very fortunate to be able to do that, to be a lifelong student, and to continue to pursue a wide-ranging musical life."

This episode of Tent Show Radio also features songs from a past performance from The Mavericks, and also from the Blue Canvas Orchestra's Big Top Does the Beatles show. And if you like the magic flowing out of your radio on these performances, swing on over to BigTop.org and buy some tickets, because both The Mavericks and Big Top Does the Beatles are returning to the tent in 2018.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-15_-_Bruce_Hornsby_-_Mavericks_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:02pm CDT

First radio air date: April 7, 2018

About This Episode

In 2016 Big Top Chautauqua celebrated its 30th season in operation. It was a special evening when members of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra joined Big Top's house band The Blue Canvas Orchestra and played an interesting and entertaining evening of music led by Ed Willet.

The collaborative group played a range from classic Big Top songs, original and traditional works, and light classical selections. The whole show was illuminated by images on the big screen by Betty Ferris.

It was a special celebratory night to be at the tent. Listen in for this episode and feel the classic Big Top magic beaming through the airwaves.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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First radio air date: March 31, 2018

About This Episode

At fifteen, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos’ world turned upside down. Raised in a strict, fundamentalist home, Vos lost everything when she and her family were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father had long served as pastor. “My older brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and my twin had mental illnesses and cognitive disabilities,” explains Vos. “When the church kicked us out, they basically told my dad, ‘If you can’t lead your family, how can you lead your church?’”

“At the time we were expelled, we lived in the church’s parish house,” explains Vos. “Suddenly, my father was unemployed and my family was homeless. My parents couldn’t afford insurance for the medical care my siblings needed. We were kicked out and completely abandoned.”

However, Vos’ love of music carried on after she left the church.

“Almost half of those services [were] just singing hymns,” she reflected in a recent interview. “I also went to a parochial school, so I had to memorize hymns and Bible verses all day, too. When I really look back, before I had the chance to explore music on my own, that was really central. Even the way I write songs [today] is reminiscent of hymns. That’s maybe why I was so drawn to folk music to begin with: it’s geared towards communities singing it together.”

By the time Vos turned 18, her family had begun to get back on their feet. She headed to Milwaukee for college, and there, came to terms with revelations about her sexuality that her religious upbringing had forced her to repress. The mix of freedom and relief and shame and guilt was overwhelming, and a depressive breakdown ensued.

“I couldn’t take care of myself,” she remembers. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I stopped going to classes, and then I dropped out altogether and moved back home to Oshkosh. That’s where I met Dan.”

When bassist Daniel Wolff and Vos first started playing music together, it felt as if the clouds had finally parted. Vos introduced songs she’d been writing since high school open mics, Wolff learned a new instrument for the band (the double bass), and within months, they had earned a devoted local following. Regular gigs led to steady residencies led to regional touring and their first recordings. Two of the band’s original members ultimately left the group due to opioid addictions (“I still see the pawn shop sticker every time I look at my guitar tuner,” remembers Vos), but the Dead Horses moniker the pair created as a tribute to a friend who’d over-dosed from heroin stuck even after their departure.

American Songwriter called Vos “a compelling vocalist…who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real,” while No Depression hailed her songwriting as “beautiful and fresh.” With a fleshed out touring lineup, the group logged countless miles, sharing bills along the way with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, Rhiannon Giddens and Elephant Revival in addition to making festival appearances from Bristol Rhythm and Roots to WinterWonderGrass.

We were lucky enough to welcome them live on stage at Big Top Chautauqua. In this episode of Tent Show Radio you'll hear the show given by Dead Horses when they came to the Big Blue Tent in 2017.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-13_Dead_Horses_-_Corey_Carlson_-_Low_Res.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm CDT

First radio air date: June 25, 2016

About This Episode

This week Tent Show Radio flashes back to the biggest new hit of 2016 - a musical gem called Belfast to Bluegrass from the team of Severin Behnen, Stevie Matier and Bruce Burnside. Belfast to Bluegrass is a musical adventure of jigs and ballads as they travel to the Appalachian Mountains by way of a quarter of a million Scots Irish.

Before the United States were formed, the inhabitants were absorbing, merging and transforming the ethnic sounds of its people. Hear the changes in the traditional Celtic tunes as bluegrass and other genres are being born into the world of our traditional American musical culture. Performed by the Blue Canvas Orchestra, featuring special guests Stevie Matier, Molly Stoddard, Tom Draughon, Nori Perrine and Liesel Wilson.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-12_Belfast_to_Bluegrass_-_LoRes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm CDT

First radio air date: March 17, 2018

About This Episode

Considered a master among Texas music aficionados, blues experts, and critics alike, McClinton is highly respected, not only for the incredible longevity of his career but for his ability to meld genres into his own style. The celebrated three-time Grammy award winners, Delbert McClinton and his band Self-Made Men, will release their newest recording Prick Of The Litter in January. The CD contains 12 new songs that feature the soulful blend of blues, jazz, country and rock that has become synonymous with McClinton’s distinctive style.

His songs and soul-stirring performances have connected with audiences across the country as well as his peers. Throughout the decades, McClinton has penned songs that have been cut by successful country and blues artists, collaborated with artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Tanya Tucker and continued to create relevant and distinctive music.

This episode also features Big Top appearances by Big Wave Dave and the Ripples from Duluth, Minnesota, and of course our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Direct download: 18-11_Delbert_McClinton_-_Big_Wave_Dave_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm CDT

First radio air date: March 10, 2018

About This Episode

The performance in this episode marks Gaelic Storm's 11th return to Big Top. Regularly playing more than 120 shows a year, Gaelic Storm has built one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music from bluegrass fans and country cowboys to Deadheads, rock & rollers and Celtic fanatics.

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band is looking sharper than ever. Their TWELFTH studio album "Matching Sweaters" delivers the foot-stomping, eclectic mix of tunes that has established the band as one of world music’s premier live acts. Says the Pittsburgh Tribune, “Gaelic Storm is rock-flavored… music as Irish as Guinness and Harp.”

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

Other Ways to Stream

Direct download: 18-10_Gaelic_Storm_-_BCO_Shanties_and_Shipwrecks_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 3:34pm CDT

 

perry_backstage

Join host Michael Perry as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.

 Andrew Bird has been called a Musical innovator who winds together his trademark violin technique with xylophone, vocals and sophisticated electronic looping. Add in his uncanny ability to whistle anything, and he becomes a riveting one-man orchestra. He was initially known through his work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers before forming Bowl of Fire, and is now best known as a solo musician. He wrote "The Whistling Caruso" for The Muppets and performed the whistling heard in both the film and the soundtrack. Bird composed the score for the FX original series Baskets.   This weeks episode also features a set by Minneapolis favorites, Roma Di Luna. Roma di Luna conjure elements of traditional Americana filtered through a modern lens, ethereal uncertainty, and an underlying passion throughout. Reuniting in 2017 after a 6 year hiatus, they paid a visit to the Big Top for a performance to remember.  

 

Direct download: 18-09_Andrew_Bird_-_Roma_di_Luna_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:00pm CDT

Big Wu

A jam band with a unique style and presence, the Big Wu combines strong, free flowing improvisation and vocal harmonies, with finely crafted songs for all tastes. The story goes that "the Wu," bound for rock stardom, sold their souls for a case of Old Style beer one thirsty night long ago. The legend and the band live on. Still rocking their powerful, moving, and energizing music for the fans, we were pleased to welcome them back in our 2017 show season for their 2nd appearance at the Big Blue Tent.

Black River Revue

Black River Review plays freshwater bluegrass from the twin sports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. BRR has crafted their own sound made up of mostly original music which can be heard on their debut album "Garbage Pickin' (2013). Their sophomore album "Spring Thaw" was released in 2014, and their latest release was revealed in 2017, right at our very own Big Top performance!

Direct download: 18-0820Big20Wu20-20Black20River20Revue20-20LoRes.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

For thirty-five years Riders in the Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. While remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life ‘The Cowboy Way!’ In addition to being inducted into the Grand Ol’ Opry, and too many halls of fame to mention, they are also the winners of two Grammy awards for music from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. It comes as no surprise then that Billboard’s, Jim Bessman, counts them as one of the “most significant acts in the history of American music.” The Quebe Sisters (pronounced Kway-bee) are the newest darlings of Western music, performing a refreshing blend of vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.

The Blue Canvas Orchestra perform great country and western music takes us from the mid-60s through the early 80s with music from Opry icons like Willie & Waylon, Dolly & Loretta, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride and Lynn Anderson. This show again features theBlue Canvas Orchestra with Corey Carlson and special guests Andy Dee, Randy Sabien, Joe Savage, Danielle Diamond and Emily Belanger.

This show will bring you to your feet as you clap and sing along to popular tunes!  So get ready for a foot stompin’, hand clappin’, good time Old Opry style!!

Direct download: 18-0720-20Riders20in20the20Sky20-20Opry20220-20LoRes.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:56am CDT

There are two ways of handling a dangerous, raging river: you can surrender and let it carry you away, or you can swim against the flow. For The Secret Sisters, there was a point after the release of their last record when they could have chosen to do neither – instead, sinking to the bottom as the weight of the world washed away their dreams. They went from touring with Bob Dylan to losing their label, purging their team, filing bankruptcy and almost permanently trading harmonies for housecleaning. But there's a mythical pull to music that kept sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers moving forward, and they came out with a biting and beautiful third LP, produced by Brandi Carlile, You Don't Own Me Anymore.

Their first as New West signees, it's a document of hardship and redemption, of pushing forward when it would be so much easier to drown in grief. And it's a story about how passion and pure artistry can be the strongest sort of salvation – how art is left, like perfect grains of sand, when everything else has washed away.

Big Top was happy to welcome The Secret Sisters to the tent in 2017, a magical performance featured in this episode.

Direct download: 18-06_Secret_Sisters_-_Becky_Warren_FIRST_AIRING.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 12:15am CDT

Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slam grass pioneers took their form of aggressive bluegrass to rock and roll bars at a time when it wasn’t so common, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jamgrass genre. Today, Leftover Salmon is Vince Herman (vocals, acoustic guitar, washboard); Drew Emmitt (vocals, acoustic and electric mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle); Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo); Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass); Alwyn Robinson (drums); Erik Deutsch (keyboard).

Also featured on this episode, Keb' Mo'. Keb' played at the tent in 2004, and dusting off the 14-year old recording is an excellent way to celebrate his return to the Big top in 2018. He's a blues icon that owes his longevity as a singer and writer to a combination of masterful, anecdotal writing skills, distinctive guitar versatility, and resonant, blues-soaked vocals. Every song tells a story, and every story reminds us why Keb' Mo' is one of the most versatile and engaging performers on today's roots rock and blues scene.

Direct download: 18-05_Leftover_Salmon_-_Keb_Mo.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:00pm CDT

About This Episode

This episode features Tab Benoit, a Cajun man who’s definitely got the blues. A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends.

The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band – a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun-spiced vocal attack. He took his show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since.

More than just an acclaimed bluesman, he is an indefatigable conservation advocate. Benoit is a driving force behind Voice of the Wetlands, an organization working to save Louisiana’s wetlands.

Also on this episode, Hope Country – a band started by Brent Johnson in 2011 to create an environment and place of hope. Born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin, Brent had a desire to see the world and travel at an early age. He began playing in bands at 17 and has since toured in over 40 states as well as all over Canada. With an emphasis on strong songwriting and storytelling lyrics, Hope Country has developed into a prime example of modern-day Americana.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

Other Ways to Stream

 

Direct download: 18-4_-_Tab_Benoit_-_Hope_Country.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:59pm CDT

About This Episode

Our featured performer on today’s show is self-proclaimed “wild child” singer songwriter Brett Dennen. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about the consequences of self-inflicted sugar bombs. We’ll also sneak in musicby Quito Rymer and our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

Other Ways to Stream

 

Direct download: 18-3_-_Brett_Dennen_-_Quito_Rymer.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:52pm CDT

Join host Michael Perry as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.

 
 Big Top gave a warm welcome to Indie songwriter Josh Ritter to the tent. The New York Times says: “The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon on the Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.” And, “A guileless, boy-next-door voice belies the depth and ambition of Josh Ritter’s songs, whether he is confessing a simple crush or following his thoughts on a long, Whitmanesque incantation.”

While the music made by Perry and the Long Beds has been variously described as ‘country folk,’ ‘roughneck folk,’ ‘folk-twang,’ and Americana, they prefer the description given by an audience member after a benefit concert in Perry’s old high school gym: “You sound just like Gordon Lightfoot… only zippier!” Nice – but there are limits. “Zippy or not,” says Perry, “when ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ comes on the radio, we sit down, shut up, and listen.”

Direct download: 18-220-20Josh20Ritter20-20Long20Beds.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:51pm CDT

Our featured performer on today’s show is Ray Benson, founder of legendary Texas country and western swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about surviving the New Year and Colonoscopies. We’ll also sneak in a pair of tunes from Ray Benson’s Lone Star pal Dale Watson, and—for local flavor—one from our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Direct download: 18-120-20AATW20-20Dale20Watson-FIXED.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

Join the Blue Canvas Orchestra as they play your favorite holiday classics. 

Originally performed in 2013, this Tent Show Radio program features Big Top Chautauqua's Blue Canvas Orchestra performing original songs and arrangements of broad range of holiday music from classics like Tchaikovsky's Russian and Arabian Dance songs to Jackson Browne's Rebel Jesus to Mr. Grinch.

Direct download: TSR17-2520Blue20Canvas20Christmas.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:15am CDT

Join Big Top for the traditional closing night of the season, where we celebrate with music and laughter the end of another year. Our beloved house band, The Blue Canvas Orchestra, opens the night with rollicking renditions of some of our favorite songs, illuminated by big screen images. Author, humorist and host of Tent Show Radio, Michael Perry delivers his hilarious, winding tales of rural Wisconsin life.

Direct download: TSR17-26_Old_Last_Night.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:39am CDT

The Villalobos Brothers all the way from Mexcio to the shores of the great Lake Superior and Big Top Chautauqua stage.

Direct download: TSR17-25_Vilanoba_Brothers.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:27am CDT

Direct download: TSR17-23_NITTY_GRITTY_DIRT_BAND.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am CDT

During the late 70s, Ziggy could also be seen alongside his brother Stephen at some of their father’s larger concerts around Jamaica and abroad. In 1978, the duo appeared on stage at the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, and the following year at Reggae Sunsplash II in Montego Bay.

Also in 1979, Ziggy and his siblings Sharon, Cedella and Stephen formed the Melody Makers – named after the British weekly pop/rock music newspaper, Melody Maker – and made their recording debut with "Children Playing in the Streets". The track was written for them by their father, who had composed the song four years earlier for them and wanted to share this gift with children around the world. All royalties from the single were pledged to the United Nations, to aid its efforts during the International Year of the Child.

Later that year, the Melody Makers made their on-stage debut as a group on 23 September 1979, performing on the same bill as their father for the first and only time at the ‘Roots Rock Reggae’ two-day concert series in Kingston's National Arena. Ziggy was 11 years old at the time. Notable other early moments in Ziggy’s musical history include a performance with Stephen at their father’s funeral in 1981, and later that year the Melody Makers released their second single, "What A Plot", under the family’s Tuff Gong record label.

After Bob Marley’s passing, Ziggy began performing in his place alongside the Wailers at various shows around Jamaica, and in 1984 the group went on tour in support of the year’s Bob Marley ’Legend’ compilation album release.

Direct download: TSR17-22_AURALI_ZIGGY_MARLEY_MEG_HUTCHINSON.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:48am CDT

If you’re within range of (or can stream) one of these stations tonight (Saturday, June 3rd) we hope you’ll join Mike and the Blue Canvas Orchestra as he hosts an edition of Tent Show Radio from Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, sings a couple of songs and debuts yet another Clodhopper Definition of the Big Dang Word of the Week. Information on streaming the show here.

This episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burning – tells a tale of broke down trucks and bad food choices.

Direct download: TSR-17-21_LIVE_FROM_OSHKOSH.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:34am CDT

If you’re within range of (or can stream) one of these stations tonight (Saturday, May 27th) we hope you’ll join Mike as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Big Top Chautauqua and debuts yet another Clodhopper Definition of the Big Dang Word of the Week. Information on streaming the show here.

This episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burning – Mike tells the story of his fall from…well, not from GRACE, because if he had GRACE he wouldn’a fell like that!  Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the word “insipid.”

Direct download: TSR17-10_COLVIN_AND_EARLE_episode.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:30am CDT

If you’re within range of (or can stream) one of these stations tonight (Saturday, May 13th) we hope you’ll join Mike as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Big Top Chautauqua and debuts yet another Clodhopper Definition of the Big Dang Word of the Week. Information on streaming the show here.  This week’s show welcomes Ruthie Foster with a throwback performance by Brandi Carlile.

This episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burning – Mike goes to the book festival and studies cacti.  Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the word avuncular.

Direct download: TSR17-19_RUTHIE_FOSTER.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:25am CDT

If you’re within range of (or can stream) one of these stations tonight (Saturday, May 6th) we hope you’ll join Mike as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Big Top Chautauqua and debuts yet another Clodhopper Definition of the Big Dang Word of the Week. Information on streaming the show here.

This episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burning – Mike admits he cheated on winter this winter. Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the word pilloried.

Direct download: TSR17-18_THE_MAVERICKS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:20am CDT

Links
The High Kings
www.thehighkings.com

Michael Perry
www.sneezingcow.com

 

 

The High Kings is an Irish folk group formed in Dublin in 2008. The band consists of Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. By June 2016, the group had released four studio albums, two live albums, and two live DVDs. Their first three studio albums appeared at number three or higher on the Billboard world music chart, the first two went platinum in Ireland,and all of their albums charted in Ireland.

After the release of their first album, the new group moved from a highly staged format to a more natural performance style. Their third album “Friends for Life” contains both traditional Irish songs, as well as some original songs. Since the inception of the band, The High Kings has toured Ireland, the United States, and Europe on multiple occasions. Together they play thirteen instruments during their performances. The group’s motto is “Folk ‘n Roll,” and their singing is especially noted for its close harmonies. Although they sing mostly traditional Irish songs, they are known to sing great arrangements of songs of other genres as well.

Direct download: TSR17-1620THE20HIGH20KING_MOORS_AND_MCCUMBER.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm CDT

The Blue Canvas Orchestra perform great country and western music takes us from the mid-60s through the early 80s with music from Opry icons like Willie & Waylon, Dolly & Loretta, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride and Lynn Anderson. This show again features the Blue Canvas Orchestra with Corey Carlson and special guests Andy Dee, Randy Sabien, Joe Savage, Danielle Diamond and Emily Belanger.

This show will bring you to your feet as you clap and sing along to popular tunes!  So get ready for a foot stompin’, hand clappin’, good time Old Opry style!!

 

 

 

 

Direct download: TSR17-1620BIG20TOP20OPRY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm CDT

John David Anderson (born December 13, 1954, in Apopka, Florida) is an American country musician with a successful career that has lasted more than 30 years. Starting in 1977 with the release of his first single, "I've Got a Feelin' (Somebody's Been Stealin')", Anderson has charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including five Number Ones: "Wild and Blue", "Swingin'", "Black Sheep", "Straight Tequila Night", and "Money in the Bank". He has also recorded 22 studio albums on several labels. His newest album, Goldmine, was released on May 26, 2015, on the Bayou Boys Music label.

Direct download: TSR17-15_John_Anderson.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 5:01pm CDT

The Oak Ridge Boys are an American country and gospel vocal quartet. The group was founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular in southern gospel during the 1950s. Their name was officially changed to the Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s, and they remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on country music.

Direct download: TSR17-14_OAK_RIDGE_BOYS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:55pm CDT

Christopher Joseph "Chris" Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American rock musician and occasional actor. He is best known for his hit "Wicked Game," as well as the popular hit songs "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing" and "Somebody's Crying." He is renowned for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and crooner sound, as well as his soaring falsetto and reverb-laden music. He is closely associated with film director David Lynch, who has used his music in numerous films and gave him a large role in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. His songs generally focus on the themes of love, loss and heartbreak. With a career spanning four decades, he has amassed a total of twelve studio albums, and has accumulated numerous award nominations and tours. He has been called the Roy Orbison of the 1990s, and is often also compared to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Duane Eddy.

Direct download: TSR17-13_Chris_Isaak.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:52pm CDT

Socks in the Frying Pan are a multi-award winning trio from County Clare on the West coast of Ireland, the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Their dynamic vocal harmonies, virtuosic musical ability and their onstage wit has captured and captivated audiences the world around. One of the most sought after groups in Irish music today, the worldwide ‘Sock Invasion’ continues!
 

Socks in the Frying Pan comprises of Aodán Coyne on guitar and vocals and the accomplished Hayes brothers, Shane Hayes on accordion and Fiachra Hayes on fiddle & banjo.This youthful trio blend Irish traditional melodies with their own personal flair which has gained them critical acclaim and accolades including ‘New Band of the Year’ by the Irish Music Association. The group have been embraced in the United States, having been booked by every major Irish festival and praised for their modern traditional style and energetic approach to music. They have a clear love for live performance which only compliments the traditional essence in their shows and makes for a truly unique form of entertainment.

Direct download: TSR17-12_SOCKS_IN_THE_FRYING_PAN.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:11am CDT

That simple line atop Elephant Revival’s Facebook page contains only five words, but reveals volumes about the band’s reason for being. Music unites us in ways that no other medium can. Even when we don’t understand one another’s languages – we can be moved by a rhythm, soothed by a song. Brought together by a unified sense of purpose – the spirit of five souls working as one, in harmony, creating sounds they could never produce alone.

The five souls in Elephant Revival are Bonnie Paine (washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox); Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Charlie Rose (banjo, pedal steel, guitar, horns, cello, double bass); Dango Rose (double bass, mandolin, banjo); and Daniel Rodriguez (guitar, banjo, double bass).

This Nederland, Colo., quintet are, needless to say, quite a sound to be experienced – especially when they fall into the pocket of a groove containing elements of gypsy, Celtic, Americana, and folk.

Direct download: TSR17-11_ELEPHANT_REVIVAL.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:55am CDT

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is looking sharper than ever with their latest release, Matching Sweaters. The new album mixes traditional Irish music with modern influences, creating a sound that's as wide-ranging as the band's own audience.

From bluegrass fans and country cowboys to Deadheads, rock & rollers and Celtic fanatics, Gaelic Storm has built one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music. Matching Sweaters helps explain the broad appeal. Rooted in the songwriting of founding members Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the album moves from drinking songs ("Another Stupid Drinking Song") to energetic instrumentals ("The Narwhaling Cheesehead") to rootsy pop/rockers ("Whiskeyed Up and Womaned Out"), gluing everything together with the spark and spirit of a band that's spent close to 20 years on the road.

"We're a touring band," says percussionist Ryan Lacey, who joined the lineup in 2003. "That's how this band works.Matching Sweaters is one of the most complete albums we've done so far, because it taps into every facet of our live show."

 

Direct download: TSR17-10_Gaelic_Storm.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 2:27pm CDT

After struggling in Music City for several years, Kris Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “For the Good Times,” all chart-topping hits, helped redefine country songwriting. By 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions.

His renown as a songwriter triggered Kristofferson’s successful career as a performer and that, in turn, brought him to the attention of Hollywood, leading to his flourishing career as a film actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films.  In 1977 He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in “A Star Is Born.”  He’s appeared in cult favorites including the “Blade” trilogy, “Lone Star,” “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries,” “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Blume In Love,” “Cisco Pike,” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Recent films include “Fast Food Nation,”  “Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story,” “The Jacket,” “Silver City,” “He’s Just Not That In To You,” and “Dolphin Tale.”

Heralded as an artist’s artist, the three-time GRAMMY winner has recorded 29 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent three decades performing concerts all over the world, in most recent years in a solo acoustic setting, which puts the focus on the songs. “There’s an honesty in the sparseness.  It feels like direct communication to the listener,” he says.  “I still have more fun when I’m with the band, but being alone is freer, somehow.  It’s like being an old blues guy, just completely stripped away.”

Direct download: TSR17-09_Kris_Kristofferson.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 12:54pm CDT

While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn’t lend itself well to categories or boundaries. Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the Midwest music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin’ McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Marty Stuart.

Backstage Monologue

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ –Mike describes how it's tough to get dates with a dead cow tail hanging out of your car trunk. Also a bonus performance by Aoife O'Donovan.

Direct download: TSR17-08_Horse_Shoes_and_Hand_Grenades.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:43am CDT

Rising out of the prairies of the Midwest, The Pines are one of the most distinct and powerful indie-rock/Americana groups to hit the national scene in years.

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Direct download: TSR17-07_The_Pines.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:24pm CDT

Mandolin Orange makes their Big Top debut. The duo of multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriters Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin delivers “honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings” according to American Songwriter.

www.tentshowradio.org

 

Direct download: TSR17-06_Mandolin_Orange.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:07pm CDT

Rolling Stone calls moe. a “legendary jam band.” They are a celebrated progressive rock band with 20 years of touring and just as many albums under their belt, and they continue to push the standard for performance art. Whether touring across the globe, headlining music festivals, or sharing the stage with such celebrated acts as the Allmans, The Who, or Robert Plant, among others, what keeps moe. at the forefront of the music scene is not only the energy and vitality of their music and songwriting, but the showmanship in which it is delivered.

Direct download: TSR17-04_MOE_updated.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 7:48pm CDT

Tall Heights is a contemporary folk duo from Boston. They provide a moody, harmony-heavy sound featuring guitar, cello and synthesizer that has been called “unclassifiable,” part Simon & Garfunkel and part Bon Iver & Fleet Foxes.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike describes how he lost $3.78 on a rooster.  Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the Big Dang Word “chiffonade.”

Direct download: TSR17-05_Tall_Heights_and_BCO_updated.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 12:16pm CDT

The Barefoot Movement has become a Big Top favorite, returning for their third time as the leaders of our annual Bluegrass Camp for Kids. They were award winners at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2013 and the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Awards. They draw on bluegrass, folk, acoustic rock and Americana, and with original songs, impressive instrumentation and interweaving harmonies, this band converges old and new into a style all its own.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells us why the teetotal goes to the tavern.  Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the Big Dang Word “otiose.”

Direct download: TSR17-03_Barefoot_Movement.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 1:39pm CDT

Country a cappella band Home Free was crowned Champions of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2013 launching them onto the national spotlight. The group, hailing from Mankato, Minnesota was founded by brothers Chris and Adam Rupp during their college years when they performed at countless State and County Fairs, college campuses and in theaters across the country.  Home Free continues to entertain audiences nationwide with their high-energy show peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor. They were a unanimous hit last summer when they debuted at the tent, tying for Number 1 in our reader’s poll of favorite 2015 Big Top shows. We’re thrilled to welcome them back.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ –Mike tells the story of the clodhopper and the Prince.  Then–in clodhopper terms–he defines the Big Dang Word “encomium.”

Direct download: TSR17-02_Home_Free.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:43am CDT

Yonder Mountain String Band bends bluegrass, rock and other influences, pioneering a genre-defying sound of their own. The Colorado-based foursome has crisscrossed the country over the past eleven years playing such varied settings as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Bonnaroo and Big Top Chautauqua six times since 2006!

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells the story of getting someone else to cut his trees down. Then–in clodhopper terms–he defines the Big Dang Word “declivitous.”

Direct download: TSR17-01_Yonder_Mountain_String_Band_1.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:05am CDT

Perhaps the biggest new hit of last summer was this musical gem from the team of Severin Behnen, Stevie Matier and Bruce Burnside. Belfast to Bluegrass is a musical adventure of jigs and ballads as they travel to the Appalachian Mountains by way of a quarter of a million Scots Irish. Before the United States were formed, the inhabitants were absorbing, merging and transforming the ethnic sounds of its people. Hear the changes in the traditional Celtic tunes as bluegrass and other genres are being born into the world of our traditional American musical culture. Performed by the Blue Canvas Orchestra, featuring special guests Stevie Matier, Molly Stoddard, Tom Draughon, Nori Perrine and Liesel Wilson.

Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

The Cactus Blossoms, brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum grew up in northeast Minneapolis and have been blending their voices as The Cactus Blossoms since 2010. Their hypnotic harmonies and unforgettable songs have made them favorites in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul music scene. Their latest album, Live at the Turf Club, blurs the line between old and new as they sneak a few originals into their repertoire of early country and Western swing.

Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:57am CDT

We bring together music and humor in a special night of grand entertainment. Michael Perry,a Wisconsin native,is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and the host of Big Top’s Tent Show Radio. Tonight he’ll present humorous monologues from his books and humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues. Ronny Cox is a superbly talented singer-songwriter, musician and actor who has been consistently active in music and Hollywood for over 40 years – you might recall his character spots in Deliverance, Beverly Hills Cop, Total Recall and others. Ronny’s music is eclectic, a woven tapestry of songs and stories that tells something of “the human condition”. Enhancing his consummate storytelling is the music provided by Ronny and his band of world-class, virtuoso musicians, including Blue Canvas Orchestra member Bruce Bowers.

Direct download: TSR16-24_Ronny_Cox_UPDATED.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:54am CDT

The Quebe Sisters (pronounced Kway-bee) are the newest darlings of Western music, performing a refreshing blend of vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.

Direct download: TSR16-23_Quebe_Sisters_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:50am CDT

Our celebrated house band, led by the incomparable Ed Willett on cello, cuts loose in a special concert showcasing the best of the Blue Canvas Orchestra. The band and special guests will reprise some of our favorite songs from the 2015 season of shows and dust off some old favorites. The Blue Canvas Orchestra has been the glue that holds the Big Top family together for 30 years. Their exquisite musicianship covers many styles of music ranging from bluegrass to folk to jazz and country! Come discover why this band is beloved throughout our great state and beyond.

Direct download: TSR16-22_BCO.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:43am CDT

Country a cappella band Home Free was crowned Champions of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2013 launching them onto the national spotlight. The group, hailing from Mankato, Minnesota was founded by brothers Chris and Adam Rupp during their college years when they performed at countless State and County Fairs, college campuses and in theaters across the country.  Home Free continues to entertain audiences nationwide with their high-energy show peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor. They were a unanimous hit last summer when they debuted at the tent, tying for Number 1 in our reader’s poll of favorite 2015 Big Top shows. We’re thrilled to welcome them back.

Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:38am CDT

Ireland’s Folk Band of the Year, The High Kings, is Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. Coming from impressive musical pedigrees, The High Kings grew up in households soaked in the Irish musical tradition. Since 2008, they have sold out hundreds of shows in Ireland and the U.S., made numerous TV appearances, and achieved platinum status with their first two albums – they are a phenomenal live band as we found out last year in their critically-acclaimed debut at the Big Top en route to Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Direct download: TSR16-20_The_High_Kings_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:33am CDT

Over the course of 10 albums and nearly 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is dishing up a hearty serving of Full Irish – The Best of Gaelic Storm. The latest album spans the bulk of the band’s career, mixing crowd favorites and concert staples with three previously unreleased recordings, including “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Irish Party in Third Class” from Titanic. Full Irish is the band’s fifth consecutive #1 Billboard World Album. Regularly playing more than 120 shows a year, Gaelic Storm has built a loyal following for their cross between traditional Irish music and harder-edged Celtic rock.

Direct download: TSR16-19_Gaelic_Storm_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:21am CDT

Charlie Daniels is partly Western and partly Southern. His signature “bullrider” hat and belt buckle, his lifestyle on the Twin Pines Ranch (a boyhood dream come true), his love of horses, cowboy lore and the heroes of championship rodeo, Western movies, and Louis L’Amour novels, identify him as a Westerner. He is the son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth; his music – rock, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel – is quintessentially Southern. He is best known for his number one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.

Direct download: TSR16-18_Charlie_Daniels_Band_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am CDT

For thirty-five years Riders in the Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. While remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life ‘The Cowboy Way!’ 

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced three live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow, Live From Big Top). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Direct download: TSR16-17_Horseshoes_and_Handgrenades_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT

Cloud Cult, originally from Duluth, is an experimental chamber rock band that has sold more than 100,000 albums via their own label, Earthology Records. Started by Craig Minowa, the band is known for its commitment to the environment and for its philosophical lyrics centered on big picture spirituality. Their live shows feature two on-stage painters who create artwork during the concert, as well as a full band complete with violin, cello, trumpet, trombone and French horn.

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced three live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow, Live From Big Top). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Direct download: TSR16_15_Cloud_Cult_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 7:42pm CDT

Tab Benoit is one of Louisiana’s best musical exports. In 2007, Benoit won the dual awards of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Best Contemporary Male Performer at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards). In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album for Brother to the Blues, a collaboration with Louisiana’s LeRoux. More than just an acclaimed bluesman, he is an indefatigable conservation advocate. Benoit is a driving force behind Voice of the Wetlands, an organization working to save Louisiana’s wetlands. In 2010, he received the Governor’s Award for Conservationist of the Year from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. Benoit also starred in the iMax motion picture Hurricane on the Bayou, a documentary of Hurricane Katrina’s effects and a call to restore the wetlands.

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced three live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow, Live From Big Top). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Direct download: TSR16-14_Tab_Benoit_UPDATED_FOR_REPEAT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 7:28pm CDT

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: 12:50pm CDT

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: 12:43pm CDT

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: 12:41pm CDT

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: 1:52pm CDT

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: 1:46pm CDT

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 www.bigtop.org

Direct download: TSR16-08_BCO_with_Nattali_Rize__Notis.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:37am CDT

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: 2:49pm CDT

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: 1:44pm CDT

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: 1:39pm CDT

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: 1:29pm CDT

Tonight's show begins with the familiar sounds of Big Top Chautauqua's very own Blue Canvas Orchestra along with special musical guests Corey Carlson, Danielle Nepstad, Randy Savage and Randy Sabien!

Closing out the show in tonight's second half are local favorites Tin Can Gin! Born and brewed upon the shores of Lake Superior near Duluth by childhood pals Harrison Olk and Trevor Marrin. Along with mandolinist Bryan Nelson, the trio created the trademark TCG tunes that are fan favorites to this very day. In the autumn of 2011 the group was summoned to the stage at their first gig as “Tin Can Gin”. As time passed the band added fiddle virtuoso Nori Perrine and Neil Krause on stand-up bass to round out the sound! Tonight we welcome them back!

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin' – Mike talks about why he prefers a yellow firefighter's helmet over a red firefighter's helmet.

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced three live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow, Live From Big Top). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Direct download: TSR16-03_BCO_AND_TIN_CAN_GIN.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:03am CDT

Arlo returns to Big Top to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the event that inspired his seminal song, ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’. We’re pleased to welcome Arlo back to the tent for his 7th appearance at Big Top Chautauqua.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike goes for a summer jog (rhymes with “bummer slog”).

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. Culture under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour variety series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. It has aired continuously since 1994, is available for free and hosted by best-selling author, humorist and intermittent pig farmer, Michael Perry. Tent Show Radio features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced three live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow, Live From Big Top). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.

Tent Show Radio can be heard live each week on Wisconsin Public Radio and independent radio stations around the United States.

Direct download: TSR16-01_Arlo_Guthrie.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 12:08pm CDT

Kahulanui (The Big Dance) is an inspiration passed down three generations from Grandfather Robert Kahulanui Naipo, to Dad Rodgers L.L. Naipo Sr., to Grandson and Kahulanui band leader, Lolena Naipo, Jr. Lolena remembers stories of his Grandfather who was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band during an era when horns and drums were a part of Hawaiian music. Come enjoy the big band sounds ringing under canvas!

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin'  – author and humorist Michael Perry shares his experience with driverless cars.

Direct download: TSR16-01_KAHULANUI.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:57am CDT

Join us for our traditional closing night of the summer season. Old Last Night is a variety show featuring music from our beloved house band the Blue Canvas Orchestra with commentary by our host and special guest Michael Perry.  Michael is the host of Tent Show Radio and author of several humorous and heartwarming books about ordinary yet extraordinary Midwesterners.

 
 In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells a little story about music and how it moves him.
Direct download: TSR15-26_OLD_LAST_NIGHT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:22am CDT

Cape Breton Natalie MacMaster has received a number of Canadian music awards, including several "Artist of the Year" awards from the East Coast Music Association, two Juno Awards for best instrumental album, and "Fiddler of the Year" from the Canadian Country Music Association. MacMaster was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Niagara University in New York in 2006. In 2006, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike explains how he found the perfect lawn mower.

Direct download: TSR15-25_NATALIE_MACMASTER.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:16am CDT

Long before they combined their voices, the three members of the Lone Bellow were singing on their own. Brian had been writing and recording as a solo artist for more than a decade, with three albums under his own name. Kanene and her husband Jason were living in Beijing, China, hosting open mic nights, playing at local clubs and teaching music lessons. Zach began writing songs in the wake of a family tragedy: After his wife was thrown from a horse, he spent days in the hospital at her bedside, bracing for the worst news. The journal he kept during this period would eventually become his first batch of songs as a solo artist. Happily, his wife made a full recovery.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells a story about pareidolia and the world famous Bongo Java “Nun Bun.”

Direct download: TSR15-24_LONE_BELLOW__BCO.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

Come sail the Great Lakes and the 7 Seas with Big Top Chautauqua’s Blue Canvas Orchestra. Shanties & Shipwrecks draws on the bountiful collection of sea shanties, sailing songs and rowdy sailors-in-port songs that have come down through time from those that roamed the great waters aboard vessels of wood with canvas sails. Of course not all of the wayfaring men returned to dry land. Hear and see their tales in song, story and big screen pictures. New in 2014, Shanties & Shipwrecks was an audience favorite — rousing and wildly entertaining! Go to www.bigtop.org for this season’s show schedule up at the tent.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike reports on selfie sticks and a bad case of creeping codgerism.

Direct download: TSR15-23_SHANTIES_AND_SHIPWRECKS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:40am CDT

This week on Tent Show Radio Dave McGraw and Many Fer light up the stage with an opening set followed by - Jeff Daniels - an American actor, musician, and playwright. He founded a nonprofit theater company, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, in Chelsea, Michigan. He has performed in a number of stage productions, both on and off Broadway, and has been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor for the Broadway play God of Carnage (2009), along with his other three cast members. Probably best known for his role in the comedy Dumb and Dumber. He played at Big Top Chautauqua on August 28, 2014 with his son’s band The Ben Daniel’s Band.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells a little bedtime story.

Direct download: TSR15-22_DAVEandMANDY_JEFF_DANIELS.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:15am CDT

This week on Tent Show Radio: Toad the Wet Sprocket - an American alternative rock band formed in 1986. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss. They had chart success in the 1990s with singles which included “Walk on the Ocean”, “All I Want”, “Something’s Always Wrong”, and “Fall Down”. The band broke up in 1998 to pursue other projects but in 2006 began touring the United States as a band in small-venue, short-run tours each summer. In December 2010, the band announced their official reunion as a full-time working band and started writing songs for their first studio album of new material since their 1997 Columbia Records release Coil.  The album, New Constellation, was released on October 15, 2013.

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike conflates hope, despair, and a little girl looking at robins.

Direct download: TSR15-21_TOAD_THE_WET_SPROCKET.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:04am CDT

Recorded live at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in beautiful Bayfield, Wisconsin on the shores of the great Lake Superior.  

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike tells the story of how love can bend your beak, and welcomes Barefoot Movement!

Heartfelt, energetic, and down home. Heralded by CMT Edge as “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene,” the music of the Nashville based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while under the blue and gray canvas.

Direct download: TSR15-20_BAREFOOT_MOVEMENT.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:35am CDT

The Blue Canvas Orchestra re-creates the music of The Opry’s legendary performers such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins and The Carter Family. Debuting in 2014, this show was a resounding hit. Severin Behnen wrote the show and leads the band. Corey Carlson, our own musical chameleon, assisted Behnen in the creation of the show and is featured along with guests Randy Sabien, Joe Savage, Danielle Diamond, and Emily Belanger in this nostalgic and entertaining romp through the best Western songs from the heydays of The Grand Ole Opry. 

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – Mike misses his pigs. 

Direct download: TSR15-19_BIG_TOP_OPRY.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

Originally formed by four friends from the same hometown, Pert Near Sandstone formed unintentionally over weekly, whiskey-fueled picking sessions in an old house in St. Paul, MN. In 2008, Pert Near Sandstone was hand-picked by Garrison Keillor to appear as the featured musical guest on A Prairie Home Companion where Garrison proclaimed that, “The group has become a force on the Minnesota roots music scene and beyond.” Listen to them live from Big Top here on Tent Show Radio!

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ – : Mike surrenders to the moles. - See more at: http://tentshowradio.com

Direct download: TSR15-18_Pert_Near_Sandstone.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:36am CDT

Terrance Simien (born September 3, 1965 in Mallet, Louisiana) is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. He and his band won the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for 2008. Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish. He was introduced to music via the piano at home, the Catholic Church choir, and in school band programs where he played trumpet. Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations and tonight we are pleased to welcome him to our Big Top stage! -

In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’  – Mike discusses sump pumps and daffodils.

See more at: http://tentshowradio.com

Direct download: TSR15-17_TERRANCE_SIMIEN.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:31am CDT

After 10 albums, and nearly 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is dishing up a hearty serving of Full Irish. The greatest-hits album spans the bulk of the band’s career from 2004-2014, mixing crowd favorites and concert staples with three previously unreleased recordings. - See more at: http://tentshowradio.com

Direct download: TSR15-16_GAELIC_STORM.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:26am CDT

Preservation Hall was founded in 1961 to promote traditional New Orleans jazz in all its authenticity. Legendary players like George Lewis, Sweet Emma Barrett and Kid Thomas Valentine, all rooted in the formative years jazz, were its original stars. That generation is long gone now, yet the hall is still in business and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to tour the world.  Preservation Hall is the geographic and musical heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, the band releases every ounce of the joyful, timeless spirit this music embodies. - See more at: http://tentshowradio.com

Direct download: TSR15-15_BCO_PHJB.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 9:21am CDT

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour music series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield Wisconsin.

Airing continuously since 1994, Tent Show Radio is hosted by farmer, humorist, New York Times best-selling author, volunteer firefighter, Michael Perry and features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the bestselling memoir Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, and the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced two live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com

In 2014, Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua will celebrate its 29th season under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. Big Top Chautauqua is a non-profit performing arts organization. For more information visit www.bigtop.org or www.tentshowradio.org

Direct download: TSR15-14_DELLA_MAE.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:14am CDT

Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour music series showcasing live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield Wisconsin.

Airing continuously since 1994, Tent Show Radio is hosted by farmer, humorist, New York Times best-selling author, volunteer firefighter, Michael Perry and features regional and national acts with regular contributions by the Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the bestselling memoir Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, and the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced two live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow). Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com

In 2014, Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua will celebrate its 29th season under canvas on the south shore sands of Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin. Big Top Chautauqua is a non-profit performing arts organization. For more information visit www.bigtop.org or www.tentshowradio.org

Direct download: TSR15-12_CORNMEAL.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:08am CDT



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