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John Prine Concert Tour and Reviews 2007

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Louisville Palace, Louisville KY - Sept 8, 2007
Support: Raul Malo - - Band: Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques - Surprise Guests Dave & Billy Prine

By: Crabby Char

  1. Spanish Pipedream
  2. Flag Decal
  3. 6:00 O' Clock News
  4. Souvenirs
  5. Grandpa Was A Carpenter
  6. Far From Me
  7. Fish and Whistle
  8. Glory of True Love
  9. Crazy As A Loon
10. Angel From Montgomery
11. Carousel Of Love
12. Donald And Lydia
   13. Please Don't Bury Me
14. Illegal Smile
15. Dear Abby
16. That's The Way The World Goes 'Round
17. Sam Stone - Dave and Jason came out and rejoined him.
18. Bear Creek
19. That's All Right By Me
20. She Is My Everything
21. Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
22. Hello In There
23 .Lake Marie
24. Paradise - with brothers Dave and Billy



By: Louisville Eccentric Observer

PREVIEW taken from here
Saturday, Sept. 8
   Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine is no stranger to the River City, but he hasn’t been here in a while. That changes this weekend. Nearly 40 years ago, Prine was a Chicago mailman learning guitar chords from his brother. He burst onto the national scene in 1971 — with a big push from Kris Kristofferson — and quickly evolved into serious social satirist/critic and poet.
   His best tunes look at events through the gritty lens of everyday folks and events and blend comedy and tragedy, love and loss, the sacred and profane. He’s been covered by nearly everyone under the sun, but there is nothing quite like his own quirky original treatments.
   He was first known primarily as a folk artist, but Prine (a cancer survivor) has dabbled in rockabilly, blues, country, bluegrass and many combinations thereof. His latest album for his own Oh Boy! Label is a tasteful collaboration with Mac Wiseman. For his next act, Prine is said to be assembling a gospel record to be titled Religious Songs To Drink By.
   John Prine plays the Palace Saturday at 8 p.m. Tix are $42.50-$52.50 and going fast. The audience will be full of his Kentucky kin, and we have a request: Save your chatter (at least during his quiet songs) for after the show!

By: Marty Rosen

PRINE HARD WORKING AND FLAWLESS full review here --> here
   It would be easy to mistake John Prine for some sort of avuncular hippie. After all, he likes to sing about folks who cultivate an "Illegal Smile."
   And his philosophy distills to two simple rules. The first, stated on his 1973 album "Sweet Revenge, might be called the "Dear Abby" rule: Accept yourself because, after all, "You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't."
   The second, which crops up in one form or another in dozens of songs, is, "Have fun -- and don't hurt anyone."
   Prine's peaceful tolerance runs so deep that not long ago the Cincinnati-based band Over the Rhine proposed -- in their whimsical song, "If a Song Could Be President" -- that if "John Prine would run the FBI/All the criminals would laugh and cry."
   Still, Prine is no hippie at all -- at least not onstage.
   Saturday night at The Palace he worked like a man determined not to waste a single precious moment. Accompanied mostly by Jason Wilbur (guitar) and David Jacques (bass), he delivered 120 flawless minutes of music that covered nearly 40 years of songwriting. He resurrected timely Vietnam War-era tunes like the satirical "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" and the dark "Sam Stone."
   In yearning ballads such as "Angel From Montgomery" and "Souvenirs" he sang of memory and desire -- and the sometimes painful price one pays for both.
   If the well-worn gravel of his voice made a rustic path for songs of love, it fared even better in moments of mordant humor: " 'Please Don't Bury Me' in the cold, cold ground," he sang. Instead, he instructed, "Cut me up and pass me all around. Throw my brain in a hurricane, and the blind can have my eyes. And the deaf can take both my ears, if they don't mind the size."
   He alternated between robust finger-style guitar, vigorous acoustic strums, and raucous, tinny vamps on an electric guitar -- a segment that culminated in a breathtaking version of "Lake Marie." And, of course, no Prine show would be complete without "Paradise," which on Saturday doubled as both encore and family reunion.
   Earlier, Raul Malo delivered a stunning set, mostly drawn from "After Hours," his recent collection of country standards. An audience that greeted Malo with the indifferent buzz of conversation was quickly won over by his creamy tenor, the clarity of the arrangements and the vitality of songs like "Welcome to My World" and "Crying Time."
   By the time he finished, Malo had more than earned the standing ovation he received.


Lexington Opera House, Lexington KY Feb 16 & 17, 2007
Support: R. B. Morris - - Band: Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques


By: Walter Tunis

Full story here -
Prine's musical meditations summery, dark and mystical
  Absent from Lexington venues for nearly six years, John Prine took to the Opera House stage last night dressed from head to toe in black and a profile illuminated by spiky gray hair and a bright, cherubic smile that seemed almost electric. If you didn't know him or his music better, you'd swear the songsmith hailed from deep in the heart of Eastern Europe.
   But, as soon as he tore into Spanish Pipedream, the anthem of release that has served as a show opener for decades, you knew exactly where Prine's Americana heart and mind stood. During the two hours that followed in this opening of a sold-out, two-night Opera House engagement, Prine sang of death and renewal through music colored by summery country contemplation and dark mystical waters.
   Armed with the resourceful support of bassist Dave Jacques and guitarist/mandolinist/harpist Jason Wilbur, Prine was in noticeably froggier voice than usual -- which meant his singing was only slightly more ragged and raspy.
   Among the few secrets revealed during the sparse onstage chat time were that the "just-married" verse of 1973's Dear Abby was the part of the song actually pulled from the advice column. Also, in introducing the chipper Glory of True Love, a tune from the Grammy-winning 2005 album Fair & Square, Prine explained where inspirational splits existed between himself and co-writer, Roger Cook. "I had my wife in mind when I wrote it," Prine said almost shyly. "I was hoping that he didn't."
   Fair & Square tunes were scattered about the concert's second half, from the contemplative Takin' a Walk to the scorched Bear Creek Blues.
  As fine as the newer fare was, the crowd had set its mind on hearing Prine's work from the early '70s. He obliged, playing nine tunes from his 1971 debut album alone.
  What stood out most in this recital from the past was how much of Prine's early material dealt with death. On Please Don't Bury Me, it became a giddy living will. On Fish and Whistle, it became a childlike look toward heaven. And on Six O'Clock News, it was splattered in bright red all over a TV screen.
   That Prine undersings almost every tune made these meditations all the more moving, and none more so than 1972's Souvenirs. In the past, when Prine sang the song solo, there was an unbearable sadness -- especially in performances after the death of his fellow songwriter and longtime pal Steve Goodman.
  Last night, the tune held a warmer cast thanks to the trio arrangement. Prine also allowed he was playing it on a guitar owned by Goodman because the one he usually used "broke its neck in Kalamazoo
  Leave it to Prine to conjure a friendly spirit with such vivid, effortless expression.



By: Lexington Harold

John Prine's best
* * * * full article posted here:
   Still need a reason as to how John Prine sold out two nights at the Lexington Opera House before most fans even knew he was playing here? How about 10 reasons? All the explanation you need can be found in these remarkable records, which span more than 30 years of prime Prine.
   1. John Prine (1971). A still-stunning debut, loaded with Prine's finest songs. Among them: Illegal Smile, Angel From Montgomery, Sam Stone, Hello in There, and the strip-mining snapshot from Muhlenberg County, Paradise.
   2. Bruised Orange (1978). Prine's first album away from Atlantic Records refocused on the humble, human charm of his debut with Fish & Whistle, Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone and That's the Way the World Goes 'Round.
   3. The Missing Years (1991). A polished, Grammy-winning triumph produced by the late Howie Epstein, The Missing Years boasts whimsical meditations on Christ (Jesus the Missing Years) and stark tales of divorce (All the Best).
   4. Sweet Revenge (1973). This is perhaps the closest Prine came to cutting a country record. But it stands out today for its array of underdog tunes, including Blue Umbrella, Mexican Home and Christmas in Prison.
   5. Fair and Square (2003). The first album of new Prine material since his recovery from cancer is highlighted by flip-flopping takes on domestic bliss and torment: Glory of True Love and Other Side of Town, respectively.
   6. Aimless Love (1984). Another fine return to form after a pair of uneven electric Asylum albums, Aimless Love launched Prine's label Oh Boy with the champion reveries The Bottomless Lake and Slow Boat to China.
   7. German Afternoons (1986). Probably the biggest sleeper in Prine's catalogue, a mix of fanciful novelties (Linda Goes to Mars, Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian) and bittersweet reflections (Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, Sailin' Around).
   8. Diamond in the Rough (1972). Prine's second album seems neglected in retrospect only because of his debut's lasting popularity. But Souvenirs, which Prine now dedicates to his late pal Steve Goodman, makes Diamonds shine.
   9. Common Sense (1975). The last and least heralded of Prine's four Atlantic albums was produced with more commercial intent than its predecessors. But the cast of the songs (He Was in Heaven Before He Died) was far grayer.
  10. Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (1995). An immensely likeable followup to The Missing Years hits its stride with the bluesy affirmation Ain't Hurtin' Nobody but comes to a beautiful boil on the surrealistic Lake Marie.


By Walter Tunis
A special delivery
- Full Article here:
   Muhlenberg County native and onetime postal worker John Prine has been enthralling fans with his music and storytelling for more than 35 years, and his popularity has crossed generational lines.
   It was quite possibly the last song by the last singer you would ever expect to find at Bonnaroo.
   Instead of the newer groove tunes, modern pop delicacies and jam-band anthems that defined the sprawling music festival, the tune quietly percolating on a tent stage as the rains poured down sounded as if it came from another age. That's because it did.
   The song was Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore, a country-ish gem that heralded the arrival of John Prine in 1971.
   It was a fair bet that most of the 5,000 patrons on hand weren't born when the album was first released. But the irony of the performance was hardly lost on Prine. The tune was a whimsical but pointed bit of protest written at the height of the Vietnam War that warned how bandwagon patriots could no longer expect entitled salvation when American lives were being lost overseas.
   Prine all but wore the stars off Flag Decal by singing it so often during the '70s. By the end of the decade, he stopped playing it altogether. But at Bonnaroo in 2005, surrounded by a generation with an unpopular war of its own, Prine's anthem was topical enough to be downright frightening.
  "I took it out of retirement by special request of the President of the United States," he told the Bonnaroo audience. "It wasn't a formal request. But believe me, he's asking for it."

  Such is the whimsy and candor of Prine -- a onetime Chicago mailman, a favorite son of Muhlenberg County and one of the finest, most unassuming storytellers popular music has ever known.
   The songwriter has played Lexington many times, from the long-defunct Breeding's on New Circle Road in the 1980s to, in recent years, the Lexington Opera House. He returns to the latter for two performances this weekend. As with almost every other venue Prine has stepped into over the past three decades, the stage will be his own and the shows will be sold out.
   'Watching Picasso'
   So where does the appeal come from? Prine's music gets minimal radio airplay, yet his songs get around.
   "He's our most-requested artist," said Rob Franklin, the longtime co-host of WRFL-88.1 FM's The Hot Burrito Show, one of the few local programs to regularly play Prine's records. "It's been consistent over the years. We get lots of calls for George Jones and Merle Haggard. But John Prine, year after year, is the most requested guy."
   Prine has strong Kentucky ties stemming from the Muhlenberg summers he enjoyed in his youth, but his appeal is strong all over the country. What has sustained a grass-roots appeal strong enough to be championed today by a new generation of songwriters and fans alike?
   "Can't honestly say," said Todd Snider, the immensely popular Americana songsmith whose mix of humor and bittersweet reflection often approximate Prine's work. "I do know that I am one of the fans his music has endured for. It eases the pain over and over, no matter how many times I hear it. I can't prove that his music is endurable to anyone but me. But I know I still feel the same lonesome I felt when I found John. His music still eases that lonesome."
   Snider has forged an especially strong bond with Prine and his music through the years. Aside from sharing concert bills and recording several albums for Prine's label Oh Boy, culminating in 2004's East Nashville Skyline, Snider worked as a runner for the songwriter when he was recording his 1991 comeback album, The Missing Years. It wasn't a job so much as a favor from a friend who understood Snider's already fervent devotion to Prine's music.
   "It was only for a few days back in the early '90s," Snider said. "He made demos of songs with a few different producers. One of them was Keith Sykes. Keith knew I was obsessed with John and graciously hired me to drive him around and run for things like cigarettes and food.
   "After one of the sessions, I had a show, and John came to it. When the place cleared out, he took my guitar and played me and the owner of the club every song on The Missing Years. It was one of the best nights of my life. I felt like I was watching Picasso."
   Unequaled as a storyteller
   The beauty of Prine's music comes from the very human characters that inhabit his songs and the unfanciful scenarios that make up their existence. His work is deceptively simple, a mix of honest emotion and a knack for spinning a homespun yarn from an unintentionally sage perspective.
   The sense of worldly whimsy pervading 1978's Fish and Whistle, for example, is as light and animated as an Irish jig, whereas the chatty, confessional correspondence on 1973's Dear Abby reads like blue-collar prose.
   But the drama unveiled in the darker corners of two 1971 tunes, Sam Stone and Six o'Clock News (the former is an account of a war veteran-turned-drug addict who dies alone; the latter is a tale of fleeting innocence that makes headlines in a pool of blood), is equally unadorned and every bit as emotive.
  "John, of course, has a wonderful sense of humor," said songwriter, poet and playwright R.B. Morris, who like Snider has recorded for Oh Boy. He also has opened Prine concerts for more than a decade and will again this weekend. "But even when John is telling a dark story, his music is very accessible, very palatable. That's something that just comes through in his manner.
   "For instance, he always plays Six o'Clock News. The images in those songs, of somebody's brains on the sidewalk and blood on their shoes, are pretty tough. A lot of singers, even if they wanted to sing something like that or tell such a story, wouldn't be able to pull it off. When John sings them, you really receive those stories. You can handle them."
   Snider concurred but confessed that Prine's songwriting gift for capturing human detail and sentiment is largely unequaled.
   "I am one of many, many Nashville songwriters trying and failing at being more like John Prine. And it's my humble opinion from being around him so much that he has an innate, wide perspective of everything, mixed with such natural humility that's it's not something you can imitate by working harder. You're either John Prine or you're the rest of us."
   He's still here, to his surprise
   As a writer, I've covered Prine performances for roughly three decades. My first encounter was a sold-out concert at the University of Kentucky's Student Center Ballroom in 1977. Back then, the especially sleepy-looking singer showed off ragged solo versions of Sam Stone, Dear Abby and a blueprint of the whimsical That's the Way That the World Goes 'Round, which wouldn't make its way onto a record until his album Bruised Orange surfaced in the summer of 1978.
   In ensuing years, I've sent in dozens of requests to interview Prine ahead of his Lexington performances. He has consented exactly once, and that was for a Louisville concert promoting The Missing Years in November 1991.
   Prine missed our scheduled phone-interview time by nearly an hour. When his call finally arrived, he was cordial and profusely apologetic. Prine said he was tardy because he had repeatedly called the wrong number of an elderly woman who grew increasingly perturbed at being disturbed.
   "I never called what I did writing," Prine said as he eased into conversation. "I called it making up songs. When I decided to step up on a stage, I had found a record deal for more money than I could ever make in 20 years at the post office. But 20 years later, I never pictured I'd still be doing this.
   "Like most people in the '60s and '70s, I didn't even think the world was going to be around this long."
  If you go: John Prine and R.B. Morris --- When: 8 p.m. Feb. 16-17. --- Where: Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St. --- Tickets: sold out. --- Call: (859) 233-3565 --- Online: ----


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