96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Nonesuch 564711-2 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

I guess you either get A Prairie Home Companion or you don’t, but there was a major change to the popular US radio show in 2016 when founder and long-term mainstay Garrison Keillor stepped down, replaced by Chris Thile. As this album, drawn from songs Thile wrote to open each week’s episodes, shows, the performer/comedian/mandolin virtuoso has kept things on a pretty even keel. Diehards needed not to have worried – with Thile at the helm it’s equally as good, just different. Although dedicated Trumpians may not take too well to his dissection of social media on ‘Feedback Loop’, or the wistful look back to the pre-Donald days of ‘Stanley Ann’, the recording puts Thile’s voice very up close and personal. The lyrics are as important as the evident musicianship here, with only occasionally too much emphasis on the plosives and sibilants. AE

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

There’s some evidence on tracks 6, 7 and 9 of mixed-rate content [black spectrum], probably from the backing cast that were recorded at different times (places?). The master looks like analogue tape, digitised at 96kHz, but with little above 28kHz. PM