In the beginning, there was the Guy's All Star Shoe Band, featured each week on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. The band played its own features as well as accompanying Garrison’s tunes and providing backup for many of the musical guests on the show. Those included opera singers, classical, jazz, New Orleans, Nashville and Austin soloists, pop icons such as James Taylor, Carole King, Aaron Neville, Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler, Keb Mo, Elvis Costello, etc. The band was known for it’s extraordinary ability to find the heart of every style, providing immediate comfort and security to those artists that were performing live for millions of listeners.
The New Shoes are guitarist/mandolinist/ fiddler Richard Kriehn, bassist Gary Raynor, drummer Peter Johnson and frequent Guy’s guest steel guitarist Joe Savage. They continue the tradition by presenting music from many streams, the only requirement being the inherent quality of the songs, and of course, the joy of working together to bring this music to their audiences.
Mandolin, violin, guitar & vocals
Minnesota-based multi-instrumentalist Richard Kriehn has been playing with the “Guys All-Star Shoe Band” and the “House Band” on A Prairie Home Companion since June of 2010. Richard has played in symphony orchestras, bluegrass bands, baroque ensembles, pit orchestras, cover bands, country bands…but there is no one he would RATHER make music with, than with his friends at Prairie! While living in Nashville, he toured with Travis Tritt, Aaron Tippin and Michael Peterson, all the while, playing in the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946. He appeared numerous times on the Grand Ole’ Opry and made appearances on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Prime Time Country as well an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Before he and his family moved to the Twin Cities, they lived in Eastern Washington where he was a faculty member in the School of Music, Washington State University.
Pedal & lap steel, dobro, harp & vocals
Pedal steel ace Joe Savage may think of himself as a Perennial Sideman (title of one of his albums), and it is true that he has performed with a long list of artists in addition to being a go-to studio musician. But solo or sideman, Joe has been a welcome fixture on the Twin Cities music scene since moving from Cloquet, Minnesota, to Minneapolis in the 1980s.
A Minnesota resident since 1977, Gary Raynor (bass) toured with Sammy Davis Jr., performed with the Count Basie Band, the Rupert’s Orchestra, and dozens of Broadway touring shows — including the first presentation of The Lion King. He regularly performs at local jazz clubs.
Raynor is featured on Janet Jackson’s hit single “Again” and the original Rio Nido album, I Like to Riff. Gary teaches across the street from the Fitzgerald at McNally Smith College of Music.
Drums & Vocals
Peter Johnson is drummer/composer and a St. Paul native. He has toured the globe as drummer for the vocal group “Manhattan Transfer”, pop singer Gene Pitney, as well as “A Prairie Home Companion”. As a composer he has been the music director/songwriter for two “Sesame Street Live” shows, and has written hundreds of jingles, songs, and underscores for TV and radio commercials. Peter also teaches composition at McNally-Smith College of Music in St. Paul.