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First broadcast in 1994, Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program showcasing the best live recordings from acclaimed music acts and entertainers who grace the Big Top Chautauqua stage each summer in beautiful Bayfield, WI. In the program's nearly 30 year history it has featured artists like Johnny Cash, B.B King, Brandi Carlile, Willie Nelson, Don McLean, and many more. Hosted by celebrated New York Times best-selling author Michael Perry-who weaves stories and humor throughout each episode - Tent Show Radio features performances from renowned national & regional artists, with regular appearances featuring Big Top’s own unique brand of shows that feature songs and stories performed by its acclaimed house band, The Blue Canvas Orchestra.


Tent Show Radio is independently produced by Big Top Chautauqua, a non-profit performing arts organization, with a mission to present performances and events that celebrate history and the environment - along with their annual summer concert series - nestled in the woods on the shores of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Jan 22, 2022

In this episode of Tent Show Radio, experience Them Coulee Boys and their innovative brand of Americana that blends folk, punk, bluegrass, and rock & roll. Soren Staff & Beau Janke formed the group back in 2011, and with the addition of Jens Staff on Mandolin, played their first gig as the rough-around-the-edges folk band, “Them Coulee Boys,” in 2013. Since then, the group has added Neil Krause on guitar & bass, and Stas Hable on drums, as they have evolved into the full-on Americana rock band whose music “creates community through the shared experience of joy and giving a shit.” This episode revisits their 2021 performance under the tent as they straddle the line between soul-stirring harmonies and high voltage takes on countrified rock & roll with tunes from across their career, including their 4th studio album, released in 2021, “Namesake.”


First broadcast in 1994, Tent Show Radio is a one-hour public radio program hosted by author & humorist Michael Perry, and  created from the best live recordings from acclaimed musical acts who grace the Big Top Chautauqua stage each summer in beautiful Bayfield, WI.  Running 52 weeks a year, Tent Show Radio is broadcast on 31 listener supported radio stations across 6 states and on most podcast streaming platforms. 

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua was founded in 1986. The first show under canvas was the Nelson-Ferris Concert Company Production Riding the Wind, the story of Bayfield and Madeline Island. Since then Big Top has welcomed over 700,000 patrons to the grounds for 3,000+ concerts and events. Our resident band, the Blue Canvas Orchestra, also tours to theaters and schools throughout the Upper Midwest. Over the course of 35 years we’ve touched millions of lives and created millions of memories with our eclectic blend of excellent musical offerings.