one of the most exciting things we ever did was play on A Prairie Home Companion at the Tanglewood Music Festival in MA on June 26th, 2010.
It was a gloriously beautiful evening, with perfect weather, beautiful natural surroundings and the best audience one could ever ask for!
We had an absolute blast the entire time and we met so many nice people, whom we thank so much for making our stay fun and relaxed.
It was great to meet musicians Andra Suchy and The Wailin’ Jennys, as well as The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band ( whom we were honored to play with ) and the wonderful radio actors Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman, as well as talented actress Erica Rhodes.
Naturally we also thank Garrison Keillor a million times for for having hosted us!
Here are some excerpts from my journal entry about the show … just some details.
Day before the show:
Emiliano and I took a bus from NYC to Lennox, MA and went to do sound check in the afternoon.
We settled into our dressing room, marveling at the amazing venue.
About 15 min before our check, Garrison himself raps at our door.
He said that he would listen while we played our songs and give us feedback.
Then we were called to the stage.
When we got on the stage there were 4 engineers on stage at the mixers and another three in front at other mixers.
The stage manager was really nice, told us where we had to be, we had our own “spot” on the stage, with microphones and outputs that only we would use.
There was also a section for GK and the actors; one for the Shoes; one for the Wailin’ Jennys; one for the sound engineers; one for the stage manager, plus 2 onstage seating sections and one for the giant house set. It was a huge stage!
They told us to play something to check volumes and sound, and when we were satisfied, to play the three songs the whole length so they could time them.
Richard Dworsky and Gary Raynor of the Shoes were available to play with us so we said that would be great!
They wrote the changes and tried the songs out with us.
Incredible musicians, needless to say!
We watched the actors try out the script, which was fun ( we didn’t get to pay attention that much during the actual show ).
Day of the Show:
We finished soundcheck with about 3 hours to spare before showtime.
Funny thing: on our intercom in the dressing room we’d hear this summons really often:
“Gentlemen of the Shoes onstage please”.
Emiliano, hearing “Gentlemen – shoes – onstage please” finally asked me why people weren’t wearing their shoes onstage.
We ate our evening meal with Sue Scott. She was pure entertainment when she talked.
She did this southern accent imitation that was hilarious.
And with Tim Russell, who is so nice! He’s the one who plays Dusty, incredibly talented!
The audience started to arrive about 2 hours before showtime.
An hour before show time someone handed me a set list of the entire show.
20 minutes before airtime, GK, Andra and the Shoes started playing.
Em + I peeked from the wings: the place was full, and beyond!
The loudness of the crowd was unbelievable. When the crowd clapped the ground shook. It was amazing.
We were told we could watch the show from the seats onstage and also from the wings so that’s what we did.
There was a big clock onstage that counted backwards to airtime. As soon as it got to zero, Garrison smoothly went from whatever he was saying/singing before into the show intro, and the band started to play.
And then there was the show.
We were ushered onto the stage about 1 minute before we were supposed to play, so we could position ourselves.
And then we just played. The audience ( 7,000 people at least ) was so silent you could hear a pin drop.
How that many people can be that quiet is a mystery to me. That would never had happened in Italy.
The applause was wonderful!
The rest of the show was a blur but we were able to enjoy most of it. “Motherless Child” was incredible.
When the show went off air GK continued to sing for an hour and Emiliano and I would join in once and awhile, along with other performers.
After it was over we took the van back to the hotel and hung out at the bar with all the other musicians and APHC staff.
It was so fun !!
An official review by Nichole Dupont :