Tab Benoit

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About This Episode

This episode features Tab Benoit, a Cajun man who’s definitely got the blues. A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends.

The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band – a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun-spiced vocal attack. He took his show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since.

More than just an acclaimed bluesman, he is an indefatigable conservation advocate. Benoit is a driving force behind Voice of the Wetlands, an organization working to save Louisiana’s wetlands.

Also on this episode, Hope Country – a band started by Brent Johnson in 2011 to create an environment and place of hope. Born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin, Brent had a desire to see the world and travel at an early age. He began playing in bands at 17 and has since toured in over 40 states as well as all over Canada. With an emphasis on strong songwriting and storytelling lyrics, Hope Country has developed into a prime example of modern-day Americana.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

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Brett Dennen

Radio air date: July 21, 2018

About This Episode

Our featured performer on today’s show is self-proclaimed “wild child” singer songwriter Brett Dennen. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about the consequences of self-inflicted sugar bombs. We’ll also sneak in musicby Quito Rymer and our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Josh Ritter and Michael Perry and the Long Beds

Radio air date: July 14, 2018

About This Episode

Big Top gave a warm welcome to Indie songwriter Josh Ritter to the tent. The New York Times says: “The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon on the Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.” And, “A guileless, boy-next-door voice belies the depth and ambition of Josh Ritter’s songs, whether he is confessing a simple crush or following his thoughts on a long, Whitmanesque incantation.”

This episode also features a tent appearance by Michael Perry and the Long Beds. Though their music has been variously described as ‘country folk,’ ‘roughneck folk,’ ‘folk-twang,’ and Americana, they prefer the description given by an audience member after a benefit concert in Perry’s old high school gym: “You sound just like Gordon Lightfoot… only zippier!” Nice – but there are limits. “Zippy or not,” says Perry, “when ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ comes on the radio, we sit down, shut up, and listen.”

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

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Asleep at the Wheel with Dale Watson

Radio air date: July 7, 2018

About This Episode

Formed in 1970 in Paw Paw, West Virginia and now based in Austin, Texas, Asleep at the Wheel has been the most instrumental force in keeping Western swing music alive. In their career, they have released more than twenty studio albums, have charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard country charts, and earned nine Grammy Awards.

The band continues to introduce Western swing to new generations on tour and takes audiences on the ride of a lifetime with their freewheeling, classic sound. Described by Reuter’s as “one of the best live acts in the business,” Asleep at the Wheel made their third appearance on the Big Top stage in 2017, this time joined by Texas musical icon Dale Watson. Watson is a country singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin. He champions “Ameripolitan” as a new genre of original music and has positioned himself as a tattooed, stubbornly independent and slightly irreverent outsider who is interested in authentic country music.

About Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.

Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.

Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.

Follow Michael Perry

Other Ways to Stream