The news from Lake Wobegon: Garrison Keillor and the cast of “A Prairie Home Companion” are going to hit the road this summer before they hit the high seas.
The so-called APHC Radio Romance Tour will kick off July 8 in Spokane and hit 26 cities in 30 days. Wow, it’s as if Ol’ Mr. Keillor suddenly wants to live like those hard-touring Trampled by Turtles boys who’ve been on the show. He’s even bringing the bus to the famous concert site Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver on July 18 (see: U2’s “Under a Blood Red Sky”).
Aoife O’Donovan of Crooked Still and “APHC” extended family member Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek will swap duties as guest vocalists on the tour, with O’Donovan appearing July 8-24 and Watkins on board July 27 through the final gig Aug. 6 in Interlochen, Mich. Some of the other maybe-you’ve-heard-of-’em stops on the trek include Brevard, N.C. (July 23), and Canandaigua, N.Y. (Aug. 1). Click here for the full tour itinerary.
This is the third such tour, following the “Summer Love” outings in 2010 and 2011. Without the weeklong ritual of putting on a show for broadcast -- like this week's episode from the Town Hall in New York with hip young musical guests the Milk Carton Kids -- the tour's near-nightly schedule “allows the show to reach more of our audience and Garrison’s fans,” said “APHC” spokesman David O’Neill. It’s good promotion for the broadcasts, in other words.
It’s also a good warm-up for the seventh annual APHC At Sea Cruise, which sets sail Aug. 21 in Barcelona and winds its way around to Venice. And yes, we're talking the Barcelona and Venice on the Mediterranean Sea, not small ports somewhere along the Great Lakes. Come September, look for another season kick-off at street dance back home at the Fitzgerald Theater.