Not Your Parents' Prairie Home Companion: Nickel Creek's Chris Thile Ushers in a New Era

Oct 13, 2016

The long-running public radio program A Prairie Home Companion will sound much different beginning this Saturday, as new host Chris Thile takes the reins on a permanent basis.

Chris Thile is a familiar name among music fans. He's a founding member of the bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers and has also worked with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer. In 2009, he debuted his mandolin concerto, Ad astra per alas porci,  which he performed with the wcfsymphony in 2011. In 2013 released his mandolin-based interpretation of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.

Lake Street Dive, have a few Iowa connections: bassist Bridget Kearney was born in Iowa City, and the band performed their first show in Des Moines in 2007. They join Thile for his first show as permanent host.

Lake Street Dive were one of the bands at the Hinterland Music Festival in St. Charles back in August. Their album Side Pony was released earlier in 2016. 

Jack White will also be a guest during Thile's first show. Still best known for his band The White Stripes, White has gone on to record a couple of solo albums and is a member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. His latest album, Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016, includes early versions of songs and some newly-released material.

Musical guests in the coming weeks will include Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Anais Mitchell, Esperanza Spalding and Dawes. The show will also feature top comedians every week, and some familiar names will be returning, including The Royal Academy Of Actors, pianist Richard Dworsky and singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz.

A Prairie Home Companion with Chris Thile can be heard Saturdays at 5 pm on IPR's News and News/Studio One streams. IPR will air archived editions of the show, hosted by Garrison Keillor, Sundays at noon.