Prairie Home Companion – new host, new name, same unique flair
Three-and-a-half years after the host of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor, retired from the 40-year-old variety radio show, the music plays on.
Chris Thile, Garrison Keillor’s successor, is bringing audiences near and far together each week with Live From Here. Thile took up the mantle following Keillor’s retirement in 2016 and has put his own spin on the production. First, putting his own mark on the show by changing its name to Live From Here.
Thile said of the name change, “Live from Here is about people making beautiful things and sharing them with our audience in real time. The fact that the show is live—where anything is possible—is part of what makes it so special.”
But the show carries on much of what made A Prairie Home Companion a national favorite.
Every Saturday night, people can come together—whether at the show or on live radio—to experience live music in the form of a compilation of musical performances, comedy, and exchanges with the audience.
Prairie Home Companion – a stage for talented, up-and-coming musicians
Thile, an acclaimed musician and songwriter, brings together a variety of well-known and new talent to the stage to offer something different to radio audiences. With an emphasis on folk and bluegrass stylings, the show includes all kinds of music.
Past shows have included musicians such as Marcus Mumford, Bon Iver, Sara Bareilles, The Pixies, and many more. They’ve also included well-known comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Gary Gulman, and Janean Garofalo.
What makes Live From Here so special isn’t just it’s blend of musicians, tongue-in-cheek drama, or it’s relaxed sense of humor—it’s the ongoing inclusion of its audience. The radio show is in fact recorded in front of a live audience each week, meaning that nothing is staged except for the instruments.
Viewers and listeners get to experience the chemistry and energy that each group comes together with. They get to experience the new up-and-coming artists first hand, as well as classic favorites.
Thile, musician and songwriter, is the right fit
Thile was only 15 years old when he first appeared on Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. He had been playing the mandolin since the age of 5, and was among the best of the house musicians on the show. Just a few decades later, he would take over.
A dream come true for Thile.
When he was chosen to host the show at 35 years old, Thile told CBS This Morning, “When [Keiller] said the words, my mind just exploded with all the things I wanted to do.”
A folk artist through and through, Thile is a singer and songwriter, which is what brings Live From Here its contemporary edge.
This contemporary edge has brought the original A Prairie Home Companion a long way from its inside jokes involving the lives of Midwesterners living in a fictitious town outside of Minneapolis, Lake Wobegon. Thile has really brought things up to speed, making Live From Here a special and relatable experience for all corners of the nation. He even goes as far to seek out local musicians on the road to make an appearance on the show.
No two shows of Live From Here are ever the same, and neither are any two experiences from the audience. The blending of different talents and the sense of community the show brings is unparalleled in its energy.
Anything is possible with Live From Here, which is what makes the new name so fitting and the experience unforgettable.