On Stage: Garrison Keillor comes to Sellersville

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor will bring years of experience to the stage at the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) on October 2 – experience as a storyteller, a poet, a narrator, a broadcast veteran and an amiable all-around entertainer.

On July 6, 1974, Garrison Keillor hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, and the perennially popular radio show remained on the air until July of 2016, wrapping up 40-plus years with an extravaganza from the Hollywood Bowl. But there has been no put-your-feet-up retirement for GK. The author of several dozen books – including “Lake Wobegon Days,” “Leaving Home,” “The Book of Guys,” “Homegrown Democrat,” and “The Keillor Reader” — has continued to delight legions of fans worldwide.

Since Prairie Home Companion signed off, he has written a memoir (“That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life”), two novels (“The Lake Wobegon Virus” and soon-to-be-published “Boom Town”), and “Living with Limericks,” a collection that poet Billy Collins called “an inventive pastiche, which entertains, charms, reveals, then entertains some more.” In addition, there is The Writer’s Almanac (a daily podcast of poetry and historical interest pieces), a weekly column, and other writing — available via Substack.

Listening to people describe the experience of attending a live show by Keillor makes it sound like it’s an experience similar to finding an old favorite pair of jeans in a closet, trying them on and finding they still fit and are very comfortable.

Keillor’s solo performance will be filled with reminiscences and verse and audience sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon (“the little town that time forgot and the decades could not improve”).

“The point is to amuse you and give you some sort of insight,” said Keillor, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“At Sellersville, I’m not going to do a preface. It’s more – ‘cut the introduction and get right into it.’ I don’t want to preach. I’ll just go out and be who I am – a very lucky 79-year-old man. Seventy-nine is a great time of life. We get to this point with tremendous good luck.”

When you’re in your 70s, you have a wealth of knowledge about life and living – and surviving. You also have to accept that you also are often in a state of invisibility.

“To be my age is to be an alien in this country,” said Keillor. “It’s not in my power to affect things in this world. My thoughts about things don’t matter.”

There might be some truth to this — but the real truth is that what Keillor says does matter.

That’s why his books are best-sellers. That’s why his weekly columns are well-anticipated rituals. That’s why his podcasts attract a huge number of followers. That’s why his radio show “Prairie Home Companion” was on the air for 42 years.

Keillor’s love affair with words began at a very young age.

“I was a reader,” said Keillor. “I was the middle child in a very large family growing up in Anoka, Minnesota. We lived in the country and we were fundamentalists. The Bible was there.

“Reading exploded for me around fourth or fifth grade. I always had a book in my hand. Books were astonishing for me. ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ hit me hard in high school. It was the first book I read where I felt a connection with the author.

“I also loved H.L. Mencken. He was very funny and acerbic. With his writing, you could feel the language.”

Keillor’s introduction to speaking in front of people left such an impression on him that he still remembers the event in vivid detail more than a half-century later.

“It goes back to when I was 14 in school in Minnesota,” said Keillor. “I was in shop class. I was making something – probably a bird house – and I had a power saw. I was making jokes about. The teacher saw it and knew he had to step in before I cut my hand off. So, I got sent to speech class.

“The shop teacher – Orville Buehler – took me out of shop class and walked me upstairs to speech class. The speech teacher – LaVona Person – came to the door and welcomed me. She was young, beautiful and a very nice person. In speech class, people laughed when I talked.

“LaVona taught me to have confidence in myself. I got up in class and recited a limerick I had written – a limerick that didn’t rhyme. Limericks are supposed to rhyme. She laughed because my limerick didn’t rhyme.

“I owe a lot to her. She has since passed away. I really liked and respected her a lot. I spoke at her retirement ceremony, and I spoke at her memorial service.

“I still write limericks. Limericks are very special. Unfortunately, the limerick is a fading art form.”

Fans can expect to hear some of Keillor’s original limericks at his show Sunday.

“My show in Sellersville will be 90 minutes,” said Keillor. “There is no real intermission. I like to do a standing intermission where people can leave for a break or stay, I stand there, and we sing a cappella songs.

“I’ll do some of my poetry. Poetry is the way our souls would speak if souls could speak.

“I’m also going to talk a bit about my own story. I’m going to talk about the beauty of getting to this age.”

Video link for Garrison Keillor – https://youtu.be/cAYHVYbO4CI.

The show at Sellersville on October 2 will start at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $45-$65.

Other upcoming shows at the Sellersville Theater are Alan Hewitt & One Nation on September 30, The Englishtown Project on October 1, Phil Keaggy on October 2, Justin Hayward on October 3 and Albert Cummings on October 6.

The World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, worldcafelive.com) came back to life this week with its official Re-Opening Party in The Lounge on September 29 – a free show featuring live music from SnackTime & Deborah Bond.


Things get more serious on September 30 when Adeline headlines the venue’s first ticketed show sing the pandemic closed everything down.

If you want to get live music at the club off to a rousing start, Adeline (pronounced ad-uh-leen) is a great choice.

Originally introduced to the world as the front woman for the nu-disco band Escort, Adeline has toured globally, sharing the stage with such notables as Anderson.Paak, Lee Fields, Chromeo, Big Freeda and Natalie Prass, as well as making recent appearances at Afropunk, Funk on the Rocks (Red Rocks) and Winter Jazz Fest, Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park and Central Park Summerstage.

The French-Caribbean singer, bassist and producer spent most of 2020 offering listeners a stream of soulful, heartwarming songs, including 2 EPs, a fire hot duet with Kamauu called “Mango”, and numerous other collaborations and guest appearances with artists including Pastel, Kraak & Smack, Blue Lab Beats, Jonathan Singletary and up-and-coming French rapper Lisko.

Adeline also recently announced Nightshade, her new production outfit with partner Morgan Wiley (Midnight Magic, Jessica 6). For their first act, they co-wrote and produced the summer jam “Mango” for Atlantic Records artist Kamauu – a track that features Adeline on vocals and bass.

Adeline is currently on a nationwide tour supporting her “Adi Oasis” EP, which was released on September 10, 2021.

Adeline offered the following description of “Adi Oasis” – “Adi Oasis is the artist who has been growing inside of me. Creating this EP during one of the weirdest times in our modern history — not just the pandemic, but these difficult political times, global warming, our ongoing struggle against racism, etc. — has helped me find a deeper meaning for why I make music and what being an artist means to me. Music is my oasis, the stage is my oasis, the studio is my oasis. No matter what is going on in the world, I can always find a magical place to go to. No matter how dry the world surrounding me can be, I know where to find a source of freshwater and a fertile ground where plants grow. And that’s within me. Adi Oasis is inside of me.”

The EP, which was produced by Nightshade, features Morgan Wiley (keys), Caito Sanchez (drums), Abram Seiferth (guitar), Carter Yasutake (trumpet) and Adeline (bass and vocals).

“The vibe on ‘Oasis’ – I just try to make music that is funky,” said Adeline, during a recent phone interview from New York.

“The thread is an affirmation of me as an artist. ‘Oasis’ refers to all things music and the place where you are when you’re in your head with music. I just want my music to be an oasis for people.”

Earning acclaim spanning Rolling Stone, Bass Player, Blackbook and more, the seven-song collection features a handful of previously shared, fan-favorite singles and three enthralling new tracks.

The EP includes Adeline’s latest single, “Stages” ft. KAMAUU. According to Adeline, “’Stages’ is about my journey in the music business as a young black woman, but it’s relevant to indie artists in general, and everyone who’s hustling to reach their goals.”

Adeline is a modern European with Caribbean roots.

“I’m from France,” said Adeline. “I was born and raised in Paris. Music has been in my life since birth. My father is from a Caribbean island – Martinique. My parents were into Bob Marley, reggae and other Caribbean music. My siblings all sang, and I sang almost as soon as I could speak.

“I started very young. I joined a choir when I was five years old. Then, I joined a group when I was eight or nine. I was in a little band from 14-18.

“At the end of high school, I got more into songwriting. I did gigs in Paris as a backup singer. Then, I moved to New York when I was 19.

“There was a lot of growth for me as an artist – and a lot of growth as a person. There were people who saw my potential but didn’t see me as a songwriter. I had to deal with some predators – especially when I worked as a model. I sing about it in my new song, ‘Stages.’

“A few years ago, I had a band called The Crowd. That’s when I started playing bass. I was already playing guitar. We had a show and the bass player cancelled. So, the band asked me to play bass. After that, I fell in love with bass. Big influences are Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins and Joseph Scott, who played bass for Curtis Mayfield. Singing and playing bass at the same time can be a challenge.”

In addition to playing funky bass, Adeline also has developed as a talented songwriter.

“When I’m writing songs, most of the time it’s a groove with drums and bass,” said Adeline. “Then, I sit down and work on the vocals. With lyrics, I’ve always thought they should be meaningful.”

Video link for Adeline — https://youtu.be/21-vGVrqvp4.

The show at World Café Live on September 30 will start at

Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

Other upcoming shows at World Café Live are Heartless Bastards on October 1, Jefferson Berry & The UAC on October 1, Christine Havrilla on October 2, Sun Ra Arkestra on October 2, Sammy Rae & The Friends on October 3, Alicia Witt on October 3, The Moth on October 5 and Chris Renzema on October 5.

Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal Street, Philadelphia, 215-309-0150, www.thefillmorephilly.com) which includes The Fillmore, the main hall, and The Foundry, the smaller upstairs room, has also come back to life after a COVID-19 shutdown.

Wild Rivers

On October 4, The Foundry will welcome Wild Rivers, one of Canada’s top young indie-folk bands.

Wild Rivers, which is based in Toronto, Ontario, traces its start back to 2015 – to a duo known as Devan and Khalid. After a while, the musical project of Devan Glover and Khalid Yassein morphed into Wild Rivers.

“Devan and I started playing together in college,” said Yassein, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon from a tour stop in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We were going to Queens University in Kingston (Ontario) and met through mutual friends. I was majoring in biology and Devan was a psychology major. I started bringing her my original songs that I was afraid to do on my own. We made a Devan and Khal EP called ‘This Town’ in 2014.”

The lead single, “No Ribbons,” from their debut EP, “This Town,” enjoyed national radio airplay and led to the two being voted Toronto’s Best New Artist in the 2015 CBC Searchlight contest.

“We played together at coffee shops and did bar gigs and made enough money to make an album,” said Yassein. “We graduated in 2015 and spent 2016 making an album. Our self-titled album was totally independent. We played the music, produced the record, and then released it and promoted it on our own.”

The duo moved to Toronto, added Ben Labenski on drums and Andrew Oliver on bass and guitar and became Wild Rivers.

“Andrew Oliver is our other cornerstone,” said Yassein. “He plays everything and is a great producer on his own. With our music, we produce our stuff together.”

Wild Rivers first caught attention with their 2016 self-titled debut, followed by their acclaimed EPs, 2018’s “Eighty-Eight” and 2020’s “Songs To Break Up To,” which all combined have earned the band 200 Million streams.

“We got on Spotify and luckily got on a big play list,” said Yassein. “We started touring the states a little. We were astonished with the reception. We even had some sold-out shows in America.”

Signed to the Nettwerk label, the group toured hard in support of “Eighty-Eight.”

“We released ‘Eighty-Eight’ three years ago,” said Yassein. “The five tracks were recorded between Nashville and Ontario. It came out in June 2018.”

Wild Rivers followed with “Songs to Break Up To” in 2020. The band recorded the EP in Nashville with producer Skylar Wilson, known for his work with Rayland Baxter, Justin Townes Earle and Joshua Hedley. The band expanded its boundaries by adding synths, guitar effects and choral harmonies.

“Now we’re getting ready to release our second full-length,” said Yassein. “We started recording the album last year in Connecticut with Peter Katis. We were there for a couple weeks. We were halfway done when COVID hit and we had to go back to Canada.

“We recorded the rest of the album on our own around Toronto. We put the final touches on at The Bathouse Recording Studio in Kingston. We finished mixing the album in April. The album will drop on February 4.”

FYI — The Bathouse is pronounced “bath house” not “bat house” (which would be a horrible name in this COVID era).

Wild Rivers started 2021 with a rousing and emotional single called “Love Gone Wrong” – a song that continues the theme introduced on “Songs to Break Up To.” It was produced remotely from Los Angeles by Christian “Leggy” Langdon (Meg Myers, Banks, Amos Lee) and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Emily Lazar (Beck, Vampire Weekend, Dolly Parton).

When asked how Wild Rivers’ music has changed over the last five years, Yassein replied, “We’ve just gotten better in every way. We’re more ambitious with the kinds of sounds we put on our records. It’s all originals. We just try to rip our heart out.”

Video link for Wild Rivers — https://youtu.be/fTUqzKNoGqg.

The show at The Foundry on October 4 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Other upcoming acts at The Fillmore and The Foundry are Lorna Shore on September 30, Dashboard Confessional on October 1,

Lil Tjay with special guest Kaash Paige on October 2, Weathers on October 3, Jungle on October 5, Justine Skye on October 5, Rod Wave on October 6, and nothing,nowhere. on October 6.

The upcoming week’s schedule at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, uptownwestchester.org) includes Jingo on October 1 and Eaglemania on October 2.

Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will host Proud Monkey on October 1.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will present Melvin Seals & JGB on September 30 and October 1, Hello Goodbye on October 2, Peter Cincotti on October 3, and Black Stone Cherry on October 5.

The Living Room (35 East Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, https://thelivingroomat35east.com) will present a triple-bill on October 2 featuring The Peace Creeps, Smash Palace and Rogers and Butler.

118 North (118 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, www.118northwayne.com) will present 29ers along with Mark Schultz & The Wayne Rangers on October 1, Disco Perfect and Jeff Greco on October 2, The Jamie Mclean Band on October 2, Butchy Band on October 3 and Yellowman on October 6.

Jorma Kaukonen

The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will present Jorma Kaukonen, founding member of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, on October 1,

The Met (858 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, http://themetphilly.com) will host a concert by Primus on October 1.

The American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, 800-0 648-4102, www.AMTshows.com) will present the Marshall Tucker Band on September 30 and 38 Special on October 2.

The Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org)  is presenting its  brand-new mainstage production – “The Best of the Candlelight Theatre” – now through October 31.

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