John Prine at The Kings Theatre

Good day dear readers! I hope all’s well in your lives. These are indeed dark days in the world of late….but really there’s always been strife. It’s how we endure and persist that matters…oh and what we’re listening to or what we can make, to accompany the ebb and flow of the tides of fortune. 2 weeks ago, April 8, 2016, I went to hear John Prine at The Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. I had previously seen Wilco there (see the Wilco post). Everyone I encountered, who works there, was welcoming, polite, and helpful. I had listened to Prine’s first 2 or 3 albums when visiting my sister, brother in-law, and nephews (my brother in-law had them loaded in the car). I had heard some of his songs before but from those concentrated listens I was hooked. I know it’s often said of artists you admire but I thought John Prine would be taller, it’s a testament to the towering songs he’s written. His face just beams, as though he has a permanent smile, it’s just built that way. The show began with a set by Iris DeMent (my first time seeing her live too). John kicked off his set with a cover of Merle Haggard’s, ‘Ramblin’ Fever’. Merle had died just a few days prior and it was a fitting tribute to his artistry and writing. I don’t know why John Prine hasn’t made bigger waves in the country music world….his views may lean too far to the left? I don’t know. He writes lyrics so effortlessly it’s as though they were always meant to be. His songs and his usually wry delivery of them, while often grappling with the harshest of realities, are never mean, often insightful, and sometimes just plain fun. The arrangement was; John on acoustic guitar and vocals, he really supported and enjoyed his young lead guitar player, Jason Wilber (who was a very tasteful player), Dave “Double Duty Daddy” Jaques on mandolin, guitar (who was clearly having a blast), and Pat McLuaghlin on upright and electric bass. Everybody’s time has to be pretty good to pull off arranged songs without drums and these men did so with great grace and style. If you ever get the chance….beg, borrow, or steal to go hear John Prine live. He will put a smile or a tear on your face from the depths of what it is to be human. He’s truly one of the best living songwriters. Not to be missed. I leave you with the setlist and Sam Stone. Be good to yourselves people!! Til next time! -p

Ramblin’ Fever
(Merle Haggard cover)
Glory of True Love
Long Monday
Taking a Walk
Please Don’t Bury Me
Six O’Clock News
Souvenirs
Grandpa Was a Carpenter
Hello in There
Fish and Whistle
Angel From Montgomery
Illegal Smile
You Got Gold
That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round
Mexican Home
Sam Stone
Milwaukee Here I Come (with Iris DeMent)
We Could (with Iris DeMent)
In Spite of Ourselves (with Iris DeMent)
She Is My Everything
Bear Creek Blues
(The Carter Family cover)
Lake Marie
Paradise

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