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When I Get Home

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Album Review

Garrison Keillor is an acclaimed radio host and author, and occasionally on his long-running program, A Prairie Home Companion, he has raised his voice in song. Unfortunately, he isn't much of a singer, which is confirmed by a listen to this album devoted entirely to his musical efforts. Backed by the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, Keillor sings traditional country material, sometimes augmented with his own lyrics. Actually, his singing voice isn't technically that bad; he probably has a wider range than some professional singers, say Bob Dylan or Lou Reed. But he is an amateur in the sense that he doesn't really work at his singing — his breath control is lacking, his sense of pitch dodgy, and he swallows his words, sometimes making it difficult to understand them. In sum, he sounds more like a man in the privacy of his shower musing to himself, rather than someone trying to entertain listeners. He is actually more effective when he is less ambitious, when he avoids quick tempos and any attempt to croon, and instead talk-sings his way through, so that his occasionally witty lyrics can be followed more easily. Still, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to listen to this recording absent Keillor's renown in other fields. Nevertheless, the album may appeal to the many fans of A Prairie Home Companion, who doubtless have been indulging Keillor's musical shortcomings over the radio for a long time.

Customer Reviews

Minnesotan Charm

I haven't bought this album (yet), but these are many songs often familiar to the APHC "regulars," and he adds his organic Minnesotan charm to the songs. I read the album description, and found it to be very misleading. It says that GK sounds like he is more of a guy singing for his own self, not really to entertain. It also says that his pitch is a tad weird, and the breathing control is off, among other "faults." But that just shows that he's human like the rest of us; we need more people like this. And any performance should be done in a way that you, as the performer, enjoy; if you enjoy yourself, then most likely others will enjoy it too. So what if there are little flaws? "Flaws" add to the charm of most anything, and this is one in that group of most anything.

Great Driving Music

Great way to get my fix before Sunday morning comes around.


I listen to this CD in my car while driving in Los Angeles' hellish traffic. I am a rock & roll girl through and through, so my ear is accustomed to hearing strained "balls to the walls" type vocals; and of course that is all good.

Other reviewers may say his pitch is off and his breathing wierd. Nonesense. Garrison's voice is completely effortless; something our ears are not accustomed to hearing anymore. But if you take the time to listen, other sensations begin to emerge; like happiness. I relax. I sing along. My resentments begin to subside, I get back in touch with the "sweetness" of life. Thank you, Garrison Keillor. I will continue to buy and support everything you do as an artist.


Born: August 7, 1942 in Anoka, MN

Genre: Literary

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A shy, introspective, persona is balanced by a sharp sense of humor, small-town wisdom and love of traditional folk and jazz by Radio Hall of Fame member Garrison Keillor. The host of the popular live radio show A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor is heard weekly on more than 400 National Public Radio stations. Keillor's books, including Lake Wobegone Days, Wobegone Boy, Happy to Be Here and We Are Still Married, have made him a regular presence on the best-selling lists of American authors. An audio...
Full Bio

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