Staples of the Twin Cities jazz, blues and folk scenes, the Grammy-winning guitarist and world-renowned pianist/clarinetist have collaborated for the last several decades, performing regularly on the national radio show A Prairie Home Companion. The dynamic duo released their first album together earlier in 2012. Highly evocative of the classic piano and acoustic guitar recordings of artists like Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, this stunning 19-track album features songs by Carr, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Blind Blake and Butch’s mentor–blues legend Little Brother Montgomery. Woven in seamlessly with five fantastic originals and one that Butch Thompson co-wrote with Montgomery (“Sunday Rag”), these tunes sound both fresh and familiar, showcasing Butch and Pat’s first-rate musicianship and their deep love and respect for the tradition of the blues.
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.
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