All in Due Time by Richard Dworsky
"All in Due Time is a collection of my stylistically diverse original compositions, recorded in collaboration with some of my amazingly gifted friends.
For my Bluegrass piano piece “Ridin’ the River Home,” I recruited Nashville legends Stuart Duncan and Jerry Douglas. "High Altitude Blues" features the harmonica wizard Howard Levy. "Dr. Wang" (a tribute to my acupuncturist/herbalist in NYC) sounds like hot 1920s jazz and features some of the best trad-jazz players around. “Goin’ to the Dance With You” has been previously recorded by the great Kristin Chenoweth, but my “composer’s version” here is sung by the fabulous Tony DeSare. My amazing little sister, Sally Dworsky, sings a sweet version of “All The Joys,” which I wrote for her adorable daughter, Lila. And my dear old friend, the stellar Al Jarreau, sings a lovely version of my setting of Emily Dickinson’s “I Shall Not Live in Vain.”
“The T.K. Reel’ is a tribute to A Prairie Home Companion’s late great sound man, Tom Keith, and features the show’s fiddler/mandolinist, Richard Kriehn. A couple evocative semi-classical ballads feature cellist Anthony Ross and trumpeter Charles Lazarus from the Minnesota Orchestra. And, of course, there are a few solo piano tunes too. Many of these pieces were first heard on A Prairie Home Companion and I feel so fortunate to revisit them here along with such wonderful friends."
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Watch the title track as performed on A Prairie Home Companion
A Prairie Home Companion's pianist, music director, composer, and arranger returns! With All in Due Time, Richard Dworsky draws from his richly diverse musical experience and uniquely eclectic compositional style to breathe life into a collection of original songs, most heard first on A Prairie Home Companion. For the album, Rich is joined by many friends including Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Tony DeSare, Andy Stein, Arnie Kinsella, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Howard Levy, Dean Magraw, Sally Dworsky, and Al Jarreau, among others. The original compositions include 2 songs, “Cadiz Calls” and “Ricordi d’Estate,” that were inspired by A Prairie Home Companion cruises. Other tracks include “Ridin’ the River Home” and “The T.K. Reel,” plus 10 others.
- Ridin’ the River Home
- All in Due Time
- Your Mischievous Charms
- Goin’ to the Dance with You (Tony DeSare – vocal)
- Dr. Wang
- Moonlight on the Pier
- Cádiz Calls
- The T.K. Reel
- All the Joys – A Lullaby for Lila (Sally Dworsky – vocal)
- The Night Surrenders
- High Altitude Blues
- A Leaf in the Wind
- Ricordi d’Estate
- I Shall Not Live in Vain (Al Jarreau – vocal)
A few questions with Rich:
What’s your musical background? Who were some of your early influences?
I started classical piano lessons at age six and continued my studies through college level at the University of Minnesota. I also studied theory, counterpoint, orchestration, and conducting there. But I never got my degree because I didn’t have time to finish Psychology 101 or Astronomy 101 since I was busy working as a theatrical composer/conductor/pianist and studio musician, etc. My early influences were many. My mom loved classical, Jewish music, and Broadway; and my Dad loved jazz, especially Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, and the great, innovative Brazilian combo of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz. We had a hi-fi record player in the living room, and I spent endless hours listening to records in those styles. And then came The Beatles! OMG!
How did you get involved with APHC?
I started as an accompanist in the early 1980s and then made some solo appearances. Garrison had me put together a band for our show at the Minnesota State Fair in 1986, and then I became the music director for the shows we did for the Disney Channel. Garrison saw I was a theatrical composer and improviser, and let me loose creating original underscore music for the comedic scripts. That’s been huge fun for me to this day! I came back full time in 1993 and led the house band till Garrison left the show in 2016.
What do you love most about piano and the B-3?
I see the piano as an orchestra. It has the full range, from low to high. It can be played with a great dynamic range, from serene pianissimo to bombastic fortissimo. And it can be played contrapuntally, meaning you can play multiple lines or voices simultaneously. It has been at the center of musical development for the last few hundred years, from classical to jazz and rock, so there are so many wonderful styles to choose from and reassemble in my own way. I do all my writing at the piano, usually looking out at the woods and pond through the window. I’ve played Hammond B-3 since I was a teenager in my first rock band. It’s beautiful and expressive, but I love to use it for funk and gospel too.
How was the show (and your job/week) different with Chris as the host vs. with Garrison as the host?
Chris and Garrison are both gifted geniuses, so I just change the genius channel and humbly continue my job of preparing the music for each show. What’s new for me is that Chris’s musical choices are a couple generations younger than Garrison’s. So now I’m writing the music charts for Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Marcus Mumford, etc. and learning to love a lot of great music that I wasn’t familiar with before. Chris’s music is a lot more complicated and challenging to notate than the music Garrison favored, so I’ve begun using a great notation software called “Sibelius,” which lets me enter notes into a computer from a musical keyboard. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Garrison had a tradition of doing a post-broadcast sing-along with the audience that often went on for about an hour and a half! So many wonderful memories of accompanying James Taylor, Arlo Guthrie, Sara Bareilles, and others there.
You’ve played piano, organ, and melodica on the show, and now you’re also playing some accordion on certain pieces. Is that something you’ve experimented with before, or did you pick it up just for these shows?
I’m a newbie accordionist. Sometimes a piano is just too big of a sound to play along with a string band. So I’ve started playing accordion, which has a more folky vibe. But I’m only playing the keyboard side. To learn the chord buttons would take me another lifetime!
You’ve composed a few piano-cello duets and played them on the show and on the APHC cruises. Why do those two instruments work well together?
Cello is such a beautiful instrument with a singing tone. It’s thought of as a tenor instrument, which corresponds to my singing range. Nobody ever pays me to sing (except the “Catchup" jingle) so I find myself writing songs without words that I give to the cellist to be my voice.
What other projects are you working on? Where else can we hear you playing?
I just started recording a new album. Like the last one, it will be stylistically diverse, all original pieces, with lots of brilliant guest players and singers. I’ve also been playing a lot with Garrison. Last summer, we did a Norwegian cruise and then a 29-city bus tour. And I continue doing concerts with him and the brilliant singer Heather Masse. Occasionally, you’ll find me stepping out and doing a solo show. I hope to do more of those too.