About This Episode

Musician, filmmaker, and 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.

"I make music because I believe it can change people's lives and make a difference in the world," enthuses Franti, "music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose." He and his band Spearhead guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as energetic. We were excited to welcome Franti for his 3rd visit in his 2017 appearance at Big Top.

This episode also features Noble Sound System, the hard working original reggae act from Northern Wisconsin.

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: TSR_19-08_Michael_Franti_-_Noble_Sound_System_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am CST

About This Episode

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’s recording career currently includes more than seventy albums, earning nineteen GRAMMY Award nominations and five GRAMMY Award wins; Shaka Zulu (1988), Raise Your Spirit Higher (2004), Ilembe (2009), Singing For Peace Around the World (2013), and Shaka Zulu Revisited (2017).

In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. They have provided music for many movies, have appeared on Broadway where they were nominated for a Tony Award and even had a documentary film, titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, the Story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, nominated for an Academy Award.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo carries a message of Peace, Love and Harmony as they travel the world year after year. They bring this message, in song and dance, to every theater they perform in. We hope you will join them as they sing their message.

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: TSR_19-07_LSBM_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm CST

About This Episode

Formed at the Hoxeyville Music Festival in 2014, The Sweet Water Warblers have gone on to attract serious admiration wherever they appear. Michigan songbirds, Rachael Davis, Lindsay Lou and May Erlewine had each carved out successful careers on the American Roots Music circuit and in the process grew to respect each others’ work. When they finally gelled into the potent force they have become, it was the most natural coming together – three singing sirens and multi-instrumentalists whose repertoire swings from gospel and bluegrass to soul and even joyful interpretations of pop. With three-part vocal harmonies that are sublime, they trade instruments including mountain fiddle and banjo, uke, guitar and double bass.

Lindsay Lou is well known as lead vocalist with her band The Flatbellys who have toured extensively and appeared at festivals ranging from MerleFest in the USA to Shetland Folk Festival in the UK. One of the main visiting attractions at Celtic Connections in 2017, she was nominated in the 2016 Best Vocalist category by the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association.

May Erlewine has the sort of soul-baring voice that moves the Alan Lomaxes of the world to abandon the ivory tower for the back roads of rural America. One of the most prolific and passionate songwriters of her generation, May’s music has touched the hearts of people all over the world. Her songs have been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, on Prairie Home Companion, sung in churches, played by musicians nationally and regionally and in living rooms across the land. Her words have held solace for weary hearts and her writing is for the times.

Rachael Davis has a broad and faithful fanbase, admired especially by her peers, with a reputation as one of the classiest gals on the scene. At the age of 21, Rachael moved to Boston to start a career as a singer-songwriter and 7 short months after joining the music community she was was awarded the Boston Music Award for best new singer-songwriter. Her influences range from the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald to the soulful contemporary vocals of Patty Griffin – and much more in between.

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: TSR_19-06_Sweet_Water_Warblers_-_BCO_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am CST

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.

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: TSR_19-05_Dead_Horses_-_Lucy_Wainwright_Roche_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm CST

About This Episode

Roy Clark was an American singer and musician. He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and in helping to popularize the genre.

During the 1970s, Clark frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and enjoyed a 30-million viewership for Hee Haw. Clark was highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist, banjo player, and fiddler. He was skilled in the traditions of many genres, including classical guitar, country music, Latin music, bluegrass, and pop. He had hit songs as a pop vocalist (e.g., "Yesterday, When I Was Young" and "Thank God and Greyhound"), and his instrumental skill had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987, and, in 2009, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He published his autobiography, My Life in Spite of Myself, in 1994.

In memorial of Roy Clark's passing on November 15, 2018, we rebroadcast his 2014 appearance on the Big Top Chautauqua stage.

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: TSR_19-04_Roy_Clark_-_BCO_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am CST

About This Episode

A master songwriter, John Hiatt's songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and many more. He received a star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The 2018 show heard on this episode marked the 30th Anniversary of his album, "Slow Turning". The band performed “Slow Turning” in full followed by a final set of all his hits.

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: TSR_19-03_John_Hiatt_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am CST

The New Standards are three friends, musicians and raconteurs who have been performing together since 2005 in clubs and theaters everywhere, from Shanghai to New York City. They've released half a dozen CDs and populated Youtube with a number of popular videos. In their original state, they take the form of an unusual trio (stand up bass, piano and vibraphone), but of-late have been the soul and creative core of a hydra-headed, funny, freewheeling, nutty yet very moving "Variety Show".

Direct download: TSR2019-0220The20New20Standards20-20Yazmin20-20LOW20RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am CST

About This Episode

Many people play roots music, but few modern musicians live those roots like Minnesota’s Charlie Parr. Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals don’t strive for authenticity: They are authentic. It’s the music of a self-taught guitarist and banjo player who grew up without a TV but with his dad’s recordings of America’s musical founding fathers.

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: TSR_19-01_Charlie_Parr_-_BCO_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm CST

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

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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:general -- posted at: 9:56am CST

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 CST

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

Other Ways to Stream

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

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

Other Ways to Stream

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

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

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

Tune in this week as host Michael Perry welcomes gypsy jazz international performers The Trouble Notes along with a set by Big Top's very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

 

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (www.bigtop.org) is a non-profit performing arts organization. 2014 marks our 29th season of 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, a vocal and instrumental ensemble consisting of Bruce Bowers, Jack Gunderson, Bruce Burnside, Phillip Anich, Tom Mitchell,  Jane Aleckson and  Andy Dee. with appearances by a variety of other professional musicians from around the region including Warren Nelson, Corey Carlson, MaryLou Williams, Danielle Diamond, Barbar Jean, Tom Draughon and Nori Perine.

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a humorist, singer/songwriter and  Ney 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 a very recent work, 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: TSR15_TROUBLE_NOTES_AND_BCO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm CST

Featuring host Michael Perry and special musical guests from Nashville, TN, Grammy Nominated Della Mae!

Direct download: TSR14-22_Della_Mae_SHOW_FILE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm CST

Featuring some of our favorite performances from over the years including: Steve Earle, Michael Perry, Brandi Carlile, Aoife O'Donovan, Cloud Cult, Taj Mahal, Elephant Revival, Punch Brothers, The Pines, Greg Brown and host Michael Perry.

Direct download: TSR14-21_20th_Anniversary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm CST

Produced by Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, Tent Show Radio is live in concert tonight from the beautiful Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and features singer Katie Dahl, Big Top's Blue Canvas Orchestra and host Michael Perry.

Direct download: TSR14-20_Live_From_Fish_Creek.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm CST

Hometown hero Corey Carslson takes the Big Top stage on his annual Tent Show performance.

Direct download: TSR14-10_Corey_Carlson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am CST

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