The guitar-slinging duo of Pat Donohue and Mary Flower kicked off this Mountain Stage road show, recorded on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn. As the house guitarist for A Prairie Home Companion, Pat Donohue is one of America's most gifted players, and one of a select few to have a Martin signature model that bears his name. His song "Would You Like to Play the Guitar" is one of the most insightful and funny songs ever written about the life of a working musician.
I rarely feel nervous before in-studio performances, but the June visit to KEXP by Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, was an exception. Since emerging in his various "Palace" incarnations in the early 1990s, Oldham has been responsible for a dauntingly huge, rich, influential catalog of music. Yet Oldham acted so utterly at-home in our studio that I immediately relaxed and got lost in his playing.
Singer-songwriter and classical guitarist Michael Johnson makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn. During his set, Johnson shares a heartfelt story about how his life was recently changed for the better when he reunited with his adult daughter — a story turned on its head later in the evening by born joker Cheryl Wheeler, creating a running gag that persisted throughout Mountain Stage's stay in Grand Marais.