Early in this show, fellow guest Tim O'Brien joked that the Ontario-based Great Lake Swimmers "had better get started" if they hoped to make it to the show on time. They didn't actually swim – but it was still great to have the Toronto band on an episode of Mountain Stage recorded on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn. Fronted by singer and songwriter Tony Dekker, the group's evocative, folk-pop sound has earned praise from the likes of Robert Plant, Bela Fleck, and Feist. The album Lost Channels was recorded in various locations in the Thousand Islands area along the Saint Lawrence River.
Great Lake Swimmers are followed by singer-songwriter Jon Vezner. The founder of the North House Folk School's Unplugged festival, Vezner won a songwriting Grammy for Kathy Mattea's 1990 hit "Where've You Been," and remains one of Nashville's most respected songwriters. Vezner is backed Jeff Gilkinson on cello, along with Mattea, O'Brien and more for a set that includes "I Like This Town" from his latest EP.
This show originally aired November 10, 2011.