Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield, IL - March 9, 2007
Opening for John Prine - Maura O'Connell & John Mock, band: Dave Jacques & Jason Wilber
Prine makes his debut at Sangamon Auditorium
By NICK ROGERS
Published Thursday, March 08, 2007
Acclaimed singer-songwriter John Prine is getting a strong native-son welcome for his first performance at Sangamon Auditorium.
About 1,500 tickets have been sold for the Friday concert from the Maywood-born musician. Bryan Leonard, the auditorium's advertising and media coordinator, says good seats remain.
Since his late-'60s tenure in the Chicago folk-music scene, Prine, 60, has dabbled in a bit of everything in the Americana sound. Kris Kristofferson helped Prine win his first recording contract. While early-'70s records weren't hits, performers such as the Everly Brothers, Bette Midler and Joan Baez earned him cover-song cred with versions of his tunes.
Prine's label dropped him in the early 1980s, and he formed his own, Oh Boy Records. "German Afternoons" earned Prine a 1986 Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category. "The Missing Years," largely considered to be Prine's masterpiece, saw his biggest commercial breakthrough; the 1991 album featured guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bonnie Raitt (with whom he toured) and won a Grammy.
In 1998, while working on a country-duet project with Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Patty Loveless, Prine was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and radiation, he completed that record in 1999.
Prine's next release is "Standard Songs for Average People," a collaboration with country-bluegrass musician Mac Wiseman on classic-country covers. Due in April, the album features renditions of tunes by Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubbs, Charlie Feathers and more.
Opening for Prine is Maura O'Connell, an Irish-born singer who has recorded both traditional Celtic and "newgrass" offerings. She began with the Celtic group De Dannon, and later worked with producer Bela Fleck. She frequently has worked with producer Jerry Douglas (a performer in Union Station), who recorded her most recent album, 2004's "Don't I Know."
John Prine with Maura O’Connell
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield
Tickets: $49.50 and $39.50; available at the auditorium box office, by calling 206-6160 or online at www.sangamonauditorium.org
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