With a bevy of harmonious beauties in tow, and bluesman Keb Mo, Garrison Keillor returned to the Koussevitsky Music Shed at Tanglewood for the 15th year in a row. This is a case where familiarity breeds competition and comparison. Audience members were heard bragging about being at the 1st Tanglewood show, or having their greeting read by Keillor at last year’s. We even overheard a debate on the lawn over the relative merits of Wailin Jennys, The DiGiallonardo Sisters, each of whom have made several appearances and both today.
Pre-show serenade for Tanglewood picnickers
Longest encore in radio show business
And knowing a late June evening in the Berkshires had to be savored, he stretched the show until every moment of daylight had been exhausted. There’s just a quiet moment on stage when the broadcast ends at 8PM; the applause builds steadily, evincing the audience’s appetite for more, which gets fulfilled, in ample measure. Today, Garrison and company kept the party going until after nine. They improvised an impressive setlist, including such audience favorites and sing along standards as Going to the Chapel, Brown-Eyed Girl, Sweet Caroline, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Honky Tonk Woman, You’ve Got a Friend, and Amazing Grace.
It was a beautiful day in the Berkshires – what they used to call “chamber of commerce” weather; for more, do visit the American Public Media do a great job maintaining audio and video archives of A Prairie Home Companion.