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

Other Ways to Stream

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

Other Ways to Stream

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



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