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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tent Show Radio host Michael Perry is a author and humorist, singer/songwriter, intermittent pig farmer and New York Times best-selling author. His works include Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Coop, Truck, the essay collection, Off Main Street, and From The Big Top; a collection of Tent Show Radio essays. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and, 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

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





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