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Chris Thile set to host 'A Prairie Home Companion'

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Garrison Keillor takes a two-week break from his radio duties, and lets Chris Thile step to the centerstage mic at the Minnestota Public Radio's Fitzgerald Theater hosting A Prairie Home Companion for Garrison Keillor February 7 and 14. Thile will be joined live by his string quintet comrades Punch Brothers, singer Sarah Jarosz, poet Billy Collins, and storyteller Tristan Jimerson. As always, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, will be on hand, as will music director Rich Dworsky.

Thile is no stranger to A Prairie Home Companion and has been a guest on the program for almost 20 years, making his first appearance on the show in 1996, playing mandolin at age 15. Of his role as Prairie Home guest host the next two weeks, Thile says:

"It's still more like a dream about flying than anything else - I have to keep reminding myself that I will, in fact, be guest-hosting A Prairie Home Companion. I bet it won't all come into focus until the moment I say something that is graced by a Fred Newman sound effect. It'll be like waking up in the middle of a flying dream, actually doing loop-the-loops a few thousand feet over a very real Lake Wobegon."

Hear 'A Prairie Home Companion' live from St. Paul, Minnesota, Saturday afternoons at 4 on KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio.