In two weeks, Chris Thile (pronounced The-lee) officially takes over as host of the only live music and variety show aired nationwide. A Prairie Home Companion With Chris Thile debuts on GPB Radio’s statewide network on Saturday, October 15 at 6 p.m. (You can listen to it online here when it debuts.)

Jack White of The White Stripes and Lake Street Drive will join Thile live from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. Guests for the remaining shows from the Fitz include: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and John Hodgman on October 22 and Esperanza Spalding and Aparna Nancherla on October 29.

More guests will be announced soon.

Thile, a singer and mandolinist, is a long time listener and guest of A Prairie Home Companion. He made his first appearance on the program in 1996 at age 15. Founder and longtime host Garrison Keillor personally asked Thile to take over the reigns. (For more on him read our blog post Five Things to Know About Chris Thile, New Host of A Prairie Home Companion).

In a letter to public radio listeners, Thile says he won’t meddle with the show's format. “We’ll be changing the actual format of the show very little. (If it ain’t broke ...),” he wrote.

“There will still be musical guests, drawn from the width and breadth of music new and old. We’ll add a spoken-word guest to every show — maybe a comedian or actor, novelist or poet. And look for all involved to weave those talents together.”

Read Thile’s entire letter to Fellow Public Radio Lovers and check out this video below of the new host performing “Omahallelujah” on the show with Sarah Jarosz, Richard Dworsky and members of Punch Brothers — Chris Eldridge, Paul Kowert and Gabe Witcher — and Ted Poor.