Last week I heard the news that John Prine will visit my hometown for a concert next spring. For me he is one of the greatest musical inspirations there is. But since I reckon there are rather many people, I would say too many, that haven’t heard of him at all. On the other hand there’s another category of people in my everyday life, a much more smaller group though, that have heard of him, and all of them agree on John Prine being a fabulous singer and, perhaps even better songwriter.
Therefor I think I should make more people aware of his existence, and thus agree on his greatness. That’s why I have made a Spotify playlist to highlight some of his, in my opinion, most important work. Or most important, I don’t know. These songs are just good and since there are a lot of good songs written by him, I might have missed som “important”. Let me know if you would have any other songs to suggest in that case.
But what about him then? Why should I bother listening to yet another sad white guy with a guitar, telling stories from his point of view, I hear someone say? Well in that point of view he might not add that much new knowledge to the table, there are a lot of songwriters doing the same thing as John Prine and many of them are doing it pretty well, no doubt about that. But as far as I can see John Prine’s unique selling point is his way of telling these stories. He somehow manages to see the unexpected angles in everyday situations. It can be an unexpected narrator – for instance the little child interpreting his war veteran father’s drug-addiction, or the lonely woman living in a safe yet loveless relationship. All told with a huge heart, and a humble voice and without fear of being too funny or too serious or even being both at the same time. At least I don’t know of many similar storytellers – I mean, even if you don’t that much into listening to country music, John Prine’s stories are beyond dorky honky tonk fiddle and cowboy hats. But you have to give it a chance. If you, when listened to it don”t agree, or if you would have even better tips, please let me know. You can never get too much of it, I think.
For you who have followed this blog frequently, might have a bell ringning when hearing John Prine’s name. Yes that’s right, I made a cover version of one of his songs on my album Kind of Angered – Speed of the sound of lonelines.
Here’s my John Prine playlist:
A disclamer for you who might be sensitive for too much country, I recommend you to listen to this song first before you dare to go for the real thing.