Music Calendar

Pat Donohue & Butch Thompson

Pat and Butch Web

Staples of the twin Cities jazz, blues and folk scenes, world renowned pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson and Grammy winning singer/guitarist Pat Donohue have collaborated for the last several decades, performing regularly on the national radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Their long-awaited first duo recording, Vicksburg Blues is highly evocative of the early jazz piano and acoustic guitar recordings of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, and features 14 classic tracks by greats like Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Jelly Roll Morton, as well as five Thompson and Donohue originals.

Donohue is a talented songwriter whose original songs have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, and more. Pianist Thompson is regarded as one of the foremost early jazz artists in the world. His dazzling New Orleans and Kansas City stride-style technique is simply without parallel.

Pat Donohue

“A masterful guitarist and talented singersongwriter… Donohue is a natural entertainer.” -Los Angeles Times

Grammy winning fingerpicker Pat Donohue’s devotion to acoustic guitar has made him an American standard, as he echoes the tones of Robert Johnson, Charlie Parker, Merle Travis or Muddy Waters. A versatile guitarist’s guitarist, Pat enjoys entertaining fans with intricate fingerpicking, easy wit, and nimble interpretations of old blues, swing, R&B and original tunes.

“I first heard him on the radio and got upset. Then I heard him in concert and got more upset. He thinks harmonically, improvises beautifully, and writes. If you’re a guitar player, he’s going to haunt you…” —Leo Kottke

Pianist Butch Thompson has long been regarded as one of the country’s foremost authorities on early jazz and ragtime music. His performing prowess has taken him to stages all over the country; at age 18, he became one of few artists not native to New Orleans to perform at Preservation Hall. In 1974, he started his radio career playing piano for a local variety show called A Prairie Home Companion. He held the post of house pianist for the show for 12 years.

“Thompson is internationally acclaimed as perhaps the finest interpreter of early jazz piano.” -Offbeat

As one of the most sought-after jazz and blues musicians, he has performed on many recordings, including the Grammy-winning Verve release Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton. He has also released 27 albums of his own, including his acclaimed 10-volume solo series and his highly anticipated new recording with Pat Donohue called Vicksburg Blues.

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