Randy Newman returns to "A Prairie Home Companion" on Oct. 21. / Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times/TNS

Randy Newman returns to "A Prairie Home Companion" on Oct. 21. / Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times/TNS

Whatever you think of “A Prairie Home Companion” now that musician Chris Thile has taken over as host from Garrison Keillor, you can’t deny that Minnesota’s renowned public-radio show is getting hotter music acts these days – especially not now that the lineups for this season’s first three tapings in St. Paul have been announced.

Nashville’s coolest mega-star of the moment, Chris Stapleton, will perform for the season kick-off show Oct. 7 at the Palace Theatre, followed by New Orleans’ esteemed Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Oct. 14 and then Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Randy Newman with fast-rising alt-twanger Margo Price on Oct. 21, the latter two shows both at the Fitzgerald Theatre.

As of this writing, tickets to all three shows are still available via PrairieHome.org ($33-$52). The show will then go on the road after these first three tapings.

While Newman played “APHC” before under Keillor’s reign, he has not performed in town for Twin Cities fans since 2011. His co-star that night, Price, served as Jack White’s duet partner on the show last year but hasn’t done her own thing yet. It will be Stapleton’s first "Prairie Home" appearance and falls the same night as his highly anticipated gig at Xcel Energy Center. The Preservation Hall crew is also pairing their appearance with a local gig two nights later (Oct. 23) at the Guthrie with Irma Thomas.

Here’s a more detailed description of each of those three St. Paul tapings from the “Home” office:

Oct. 7, Palace Theatre: Thile welcomes Chris Stapleton, Julien Baker, and comedian Laurie Kilmartin.  The season premiere will also feature The Royal Academy of Radio Actors—Tim Russell (man of a thousand voices), Serena Brook, and sound effects wizard Fred Newman.  Chris’ duet partner will be Emily King, and tying it all together will be the show’s band with Rich Dworsky, Chris Eldridge, Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert and Ted Poor.

October 14, Fitzgerald Theater: Guests include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and writer George Saunders — and will also feature duet partner Rachael Price along with Rich Dworsky, Matt Chamberlain, Brittany Haas and  Paul Kowert.  Also on hand to tickle your funny bone, The Royal Academy of Radio Actors—Tim Russell, Serena Brook and Sound Effects Man Fred Newman.

October 21, Fitzgerald Theater: Guests include Randy Newman, and Margo Price.  The final fall show from St. Paul will also feature duet partner Madison Cunningham along with Rich Dworsky, Matt Chamberlain, Paul Kowert and Mr. Sean Watkins.  Also on hand, the acting company—Tim Russell, Serena Brook and Sound Effects Man Fred Newman. 

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