Sweet Water Warblers

Radio air date: February 9, 2019

About This Episode

Formed at the Hoxeyville Music Festival in 2014, The Sweet Water Warblers have gone on to attract serious admiration wherever they appear. Michigan songbirds, Rachael Davis, Lindsay Lou and May Erlewine had each carved out successful careers on the American Roots Music circuit and in the process grew to respect each others’ work. When they finally gelled into the potent force they have become, it was the most natural coming together – three singing sirens and multi-instrumentalists whose repertoire swings from gospel and bluegrass to soul and even joyful interpretations of pop. With three-part vocal harmonies that are sublime, they trade instruments including mountain fiddle and banjo, uke, guitar and double bass.

Lindsay Lou is well known as lead vocalist with her band The Flatbellys who have toured extensively and appeared at festivals ranging from MerleFest in the USA to Shetland Folk Festival in the UK. One of the main visiting attractions at Celtic Connections in 2017, she was nominated in the 2016 Best Vocalist category by the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association.

May Erlewine has the sort of soul-baring voice that moves the Alan Lomaxes of the world to abandon the ivory tower for the back roads of rural America. One of the most prolific and passionate songwriters of her generation, May’s music has touched the hearts of people all over the world. Her songs have been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, on Prairie Home Companion, sung in churches, played by musicians nationally and regionally and in living rooms across the land. Her words have held solace for weary hearts and her writing is for the times.

Rachael Davis has a broad and faithful fanbase, admired especially by her peers, with a reputation as one of the classiest gals on the scene. At the age of 21, Rachael moved to Boston to start a career as a singer-songwriter and 7 short months after joining the music community she was was awarded the Boston Music Award for best new singer-songwriter. Her influences range from the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald to the soulful contemporary vocals of Patty Griffin – and much more in between.

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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Dead Horses

Radio air date: February 2, 2019

About This Episode

At fifteen, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos’ world turned upside down. Raised in a strict, fundamentalist home, Vos lost everything when she and her family were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father had long served as pastor. “My older brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and my twin had mental illnesses and cognitive disabilities,” explains Vos. “When the church kicked us out, they basically told my dad, ‘If you can’t lead your family, how can you lead your church?’”

“At the time we were expelled, we lived in the church’s parish house,” explains Vos. “Suddenly, my father was unemployed and my family was homeless. My parents couldn’t afford insurance for the medical care my siblings needed. We were kicked out and completely abandoned.” However, Vos’ love of music carried on after she left the church.

“Almost half of those services [were] just singing hymns,” she reflected in a recent interview. “I also went to a parochial school, so I had to memorize hymns and Bible verses all day, too. When I really look back, before I had the chance to explore music on my own, that was really central. Even the way I write songs [today] is reminiscent of hymns. That’s maybe why I was so drawn to folk music to begin with: it’s geared towards communities singing it together.”

By the time Vos turned 18, her family had begun to get back on their feet. She headed to Milwaukee for college, and there, came to terms with revelations about her sexuality that her religious upbringing had forced her to repress. The mix of freedom and relief and shame and guilt was overwhelming, and a depressive breakdown ensued.

“I couldn’t take care of myself,” she remembers. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I stopped going to classes, and then I dropped out altogether and moved back home to Oshkosh. That’s where I met Dan.”

When bassist Daniel Wolff and Vos first started playing music together, it felt as if the clouds had finally parted. Vos introduced songs she’d been writing since high school open mics, Wolff learned a new instrument for the band (the double bass), and within months, they had earned a devoted local following. Regular gigs led to steady residencies led to regional touring and their first recordings. Two of the band’s original members ultimately left the group due to opioid addictions (“I still see the pawn shop sticker every time I look at my guitar tuner,” remembers Vos), but the Dead Horses moniker the pair created as a tribute to a friend who’d over-dosed from heroin stuck even after their departure.

American Songwriter called Vos “a compelling vocalist…who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real,” while No Depression hailed her songwriting as “beautiful and fresh.” With a fleshed out touring lineup, the group logged countless miles, sharing bills along the way with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, Rhiannon Giddens and Elephant Revival in addition to making festival appearances from Bristol Rhythm and Roots to WinterWonderGrass.

We were lucky enough to welcome them live on stage at Big Top Chautauqua.

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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Roy Clark

Radio air date: January 26, 2019

About This Episode

Roy Clark was an American singer and musician. He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and in helping to popularize the genre.

During the 1970s, Clark frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and enjoyed a 30-million viewership for Hee Haw. Clark was highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist, banjo player, and fiddler. He was skilled in the traditions of many genres, including classical guitar, country music, Latin music, bluegrass, and pop. He had hit songs as a pop vocalist (e.g., “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound”), and his instrumental skill had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987, and, in 2009, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He published his autobiography, My Life in Spite of Myself, in 1994.

In memorial of Roy Clark’s passing on November 15, 2018, we rebroadcast his 2014 appearance on the Big Top Chautauqua stage.

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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John Hiatt

Radio air date: January 18, 2019

About This Episode

A master songwriter, John Hiatt’s songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and many more. He received a star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The 2018 show heard on this episode marked the 30th Anniversary of his album, “Slow Turning”. The band performed “Slow Turning” in full followed by a final set of all his hits.

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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The New Standards

Radio air date: January 12, 2019

About This Episode

The New Standards are three friends, musicians and raconteurs who have been performing together since 2005 in clubs and theaters everywhere, from Shanghai to New York City. They’ve released half a dozen CDs and populated Youtube with a number of popular videos. In their original state, they take the form of an unusual trio (stand up bass, piano and vibraphone), but of-late have been the soul and creative core of a hydra-headed, funny, freewheeling, nutty yet very moving “Variety Show”.

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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Charlie Parr

Radio air date: January 5, 2019

About This Episode

Many people play roots music, but few modern musicians live those roots like Minnesota’s Charlie Parr. Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals don’t strive for authenticity: They are authentic. It’s the music of a self-taught guitarist and banjo player who grew up without a TV but with his dad’s recordings of America’s musical founding fathers.

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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Terrance Simien

Radio air date: December 29, 2018

About This Episode

Terrance Simien is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish.

While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was in his early 20’s and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists continuing the traditions.

Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos. He has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, The Big Easy, Exit To Eden and A Murder Of Crows.

Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the “Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco” performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.

In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.[10][11] His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008. He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots 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

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Blue Canvas Christmas

Radio air date: December 22, 2018

About This Episode

The tent may be all tucked away in hibernation for winter, but the Blue Canvas Orchestra is brimming with the magic of Christmas. Hearken back on old memories with songs the Blue Canvas Orchestra has been performing for years, and hear some new songs too. There’ll be holiday classics, instrumentals, and maybe even an audience sing-a-long.

The Blue Canvas Orchestra has played a lot of shows under the big blue tent over the years. Some of their most cherished arrangements, however, have happened at Christmastime. When the magic of Big Top combines with the magic of Christmas, you can bet your last sugar cookie the good cheer will be flowing! So sit back and enjoy while music decorates the air like so much tinsel.

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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Corey Carlson

Radio air date: December 15, 2018

About This Episode

What do you get when you grow up in a house right next to the ticket gate of Big Top Chautauqua? Corey Carlson, of course. Weaned on all the legendary performers gracing the Big Top stage from childhood on up, and now a regular play with our own Blue Canvas Orchestra, Carlson is a prolific songwriter and exceptional musician whose charismatic stage presence, amazingly versatile voice, and rock solid instrumentation make him a perennial favorite. Corey performs his unique brand of rock, blues & soul.

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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Superior! Songs and Stories of the Big Lake

Radio air date: December 8, 2018

About This Episode

Jan Lee and Severin Behnen led the Blue Canvas Orchestra in a new show in 2017 about the queen of all the Great Lakes – Lake Superior. Celebrate the power, majesty, history, and natural wonder of Gitche Gumee through original songs and stories.

Jan Lee is the founder of StageNorth in Washburn and a regular performer on the Big Top Stage. Severin Behnen is Big Top’s Musical Director during the summer and a teacher and professional musician in Los Angeles in the offseason. They were joined by BCO members and special guests including Molly Stoddard, Frank Montano, Tom Draughon, Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunderson, Phil Anich, Liesel Wilson, and Bruce Qualey, along with visual director Betty Ferris, for this special original production.

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