About This Episode

The Blue Canvas Orchestra takes you on a historical adventure of jigs and ballads, journeying through the transformation of traditional Celtic tunes into bluegrass and other genres. Before the United States was formed, its people were merging and transforming the ethnic sounds of their roots. Travel with us to the Appalachian Mountains by way of a quarter million Scots Irish!

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_19-11_Belfast_to_Bluegrass_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am CDT

About This Episode

Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt.country movement, precursor to what is now widely referred to as Americana. Farrar possesses one of the most distinctive voices in roots, rock, country or any genre. He exudes a soulful longing combined with a wise-beyond-his-years command that is as arresting and compelling as ever. As a songwriter, Farrar's depth and poetic penchant has been the foundation of a thoughtful, deep and intelligent body of work.

Son Volt's most recent album release was Notes Of Blue (Thirty Tigers). The 10 songs on Notes Of Blue are inspired by the spirit of the blues, but not the standard blues as most know it. The unique and haunting tunings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and Nick Drake were all points of exploration for Farrar for the new collection.

The album opens with the country soul of "Promise The World", followed by "Back Against The Wall", a song that could stand alongside the great Son Volt songs of their early albums. However, Notes Of Blue reflects the blues as it resides in the folk tradition, but heavily amplified. The primal stomp of "Cherokee Girl", the frenetic guitar on "Static" and the raw slide in "Sinking Down" exude grit and attitude. Conversely, tracks such as "The Storm" and "Cairo and Southern" seamlessly meld blues with hypnotic melodies that add a unique balance to Notes Of Blue.

Whether you call it alt.country, Americana, roots rock, insurgent country or just good ol' rock ‘n' roll, musical trends appear and disappear on regular basis. Notes of Blue is a testament to the legacy of inspiration and creative spirit that Jay Farrar and Son Volt continue to uphold.

This episode also features songs from The Slamming Doors. This Iron Range group brings a lot more to the table than just being a run of the mill country band. The country edge is just a fraction of what is happening with this music. These are sounds and traditions many musicians assume are too mapped out, too well traveled for anyone to successfully create something fresh and new. And in the hands of most bands attempting to operate there, these sounds and traditions often do feel worn out. With The Slamming Doors the memorized map hasn't vanished, or been rejected, it has become Origami.

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_19-10_Son_Volt_-_The_Slamming_Doors_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am CDT

About This Episode

In 2018 as part of Big Top's Free Family Series, Terrance Simien presented the wonderful show Creole for Kidz. If you were lucky enough to attend, it was fascinating and entertaining no matter what your age.

Zydeco is the traditional music of the black and mixed race French speaking Creoles of south Louisiana. Creole for Kids is centered on the history and evolution of this unique American roots music. This groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind program has reached over 500,000 K-12 and college students, parents and educators at schools, art centers and festivals around the globe.

This episode also features a selection of three songs from a 2018 Blue Canvas Orchestra 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: TSR_19-09_Terrance_Simien_and_the_Zydeco_Experience_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59am CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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

Other Ways to Stream

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

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

Other Ways to Stream

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

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

Other Was to Stream

Direct download: TSR_19-04_Roy_Clark_-_BCO_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am CDT

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

Other Ways to Stream

Direct download: TSR_19-03_John_Hiatt_-_LOW_RES.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am CDT

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 CDT



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