Each episode of the program has between 4 and 6 segments, which we like to think of as peas in a pod. The peas come in different varieties.
A fun opening song (every episode)
These are sung by our host Will Mackerras, with new words he’s written to old melodies (sometimes borrowing from the original lyrics as well). Tunes in our first series include Redwing, I Ride An Old Paint, Take Me To The Ballgame, and Sweet Betsy from Pike.
An interview (episodes 2, 3, 4, 9)
Interviewees include our bandleader Paul Enns, Canadian singer-songwriter Miriam Jones, and an American lad who could have been a pig farmer but decided to be a school teacher.
A story told by a listener (episodes 4-12)
In most episodes Will also asks a listener to tell a story that they think might be a good illustration for something in the Bible, much like the stories that a preacher would tell in a sermon, but significantly wackier.
A quieter song (episodes 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11)
Paul sings three of these, Will sings two, Miriam Jones sings one, and Paul and Miriam sing one together. Some are songs we wrote ourselves, others are old classics such as ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’.
Will’s monologue story (episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12)
In most episodes Will tells a story from his days in a small town in Australia called Bugilbone. These stories last for between 6 adn 12 minutes, and are completely true, except sometimes Will changes a name to avoid embarrassing anyone but himself. This segment is inspired by Garrison Keillor’s ‘News from Lake Wobegon’ in ‘A Prairie Home Companion’.
A rollicking closing song (every episode)
Paul or Will brings home the show with a rollicking version of an old hymn or Christian spiritual.