JOHN PRINE LIVE ON SOUNDSTAGE 1980
street date release March 27, 2007
Official Press Release from SHOUT! Factory and Oh Boy Records http://www.shoutfactory.com/press/180/john_prine_live_on_soundstage_1980.aspx
JOHN PRINE LIVE ON SOUNDSTAGE 1980: 1/23/2007 Los Angeles, CA --
On March 27, 2007, Shout! Factory and Oh Boy Records releases John Prine Live On Soundstage 1980, the first archival DVD from the legendary, Grammy® award-winning folk troubadour.* The concert, which first aired in 1980 on the celebrated PBS concert show Soundstage, includes early classics such as “Angel From Montgomery” and “Hello In There,” as well as songs from Prine’s signature albums, Bruised Orange and Pink Cadillac. Intercut with the live performances is a sequence of interviews with Prine as he tours his childhood hometown of Maywood, Illinois, returns to the scene of “The Accident” and then to the back porch of his childhood home where he performs acoustic versions of "Paradise" and "How Lucky." Special guest, Sun rockabilly singer, Billy Lee Riley joins Prine on “No Name Girl” and “Red Hot.” John Prine Live On Soundstage 1980 is available for the suggested list price of $19.98.
John Prine has been writing, singing and recording music for over 35 years, from his self-titled debut album in 1971 to his recent Grammy Award-winning Fair And Square.* Discovered by Kris Kristofferson and covered by everyone from the Everly Brothers and Dwight Yoakum, to Bette Midler and 10,000 Maniacs, his original sound and affecting lyrics have given him a kind of stature and longevity uncommon in the music world.
Soundstage is a trendsetting live concert series that ran on PBS from 1974 to 1985. The revered show was recently revived by PBS with artists such as Tom Petty, Alison Krauss, Michael McDonald, Lucinda Williams, and many more. *Grammy Awards:
1991 Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Missing Year
2005 Best Contemporary Folk Album for Fair & Square Performances
Automobile, Spanish Pipedream, Fish And Whistle, Angel From Montgomery, The Accident (Things Could Be Worse), Ubangi Stomp, Hello In There, Paradise, No Name Girl (featuring Billy Lee Riley), Red Hot (featuring Billy Lee Riley), Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow), Saigon, How Lucky About Oh Boy Records
Oh Boy Records, established in 1983, is the home of legendary, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/performer John Prine. Recently, John Prine released “Fair & Square”, his first album of new material in nearly 10 years. This release took home the Grammy Award for Best Cotemporary Folk Album in 2006. For more on Oh Boy Records, visit http://www.ohboy.com.
JOHN PRINE LIVE ON SOUNDSTAGE 1980 Catalog Number: 826663-10362
Price: $19.98 SLP
Pre-Order Date: March 2, 2007
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Running Times: +/- 60 minutes
PRESS RELEASE: John Prine Live On Soundstage 1980 Release Date: March 27 2007 By: Patrick Luce Jan 24, 2007
Full article here:
On March 27th, Shout! Factory and Oh Boy Records releases John Prine Live On Soundstage 1980, the first archival DVD from the legendary, Grammy award-winning folk troubadour. The DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98.
The concert, which first aired in 1980 on the celebrated PBS concert show Soundstage, includes early classics such as “Angel From Montgomery” and “Hello In There,” as well as songs from Prine’s signature albums, Bruised Orange and Pink Cadillac. Intercut with the live performances is a sequence of interviews with Prine as he tours his childhood hometown of Maywood, Illinois, returns to the scene of “The Accident” and then to the back porch of his childhood home where he performs acoustic versions of "Paradise" and "How Lucky." Special guest, Sun rockabilly singer, Billy Lee Riley joins Prine on “No Name Girl” and “Red Hot.”
John Prine has been writing, singing and recording music for over 35 years, from his self-titled debut album in 1971 to his recent Grammy Award-winning Fair And Square. Discovered by Kris Kristofferson and covered by everyone from the Everly Brothers and Dwight Yoakum, to Bette Midler and 10,000 Maniacs, his original sound and affecting lyrics have given him a kind of stature and longevity uncommon in the music world. ---
Soundstage is a trendsetting live concert series that ran on PBS from 1974 to 1985. The revered show was recently revived by PBS with artists such as Tom Petty, Alison Krauss, Michael McDonald, Lucinda Williams, and many more.
By: Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
full review here John Prine "Live on Soundstage 1980" DVD 2 stars One of the great American songwriters, John Prine just grows in stature every year. But this edited hour-long concert broadcast on PBS isn't the place to learn why. (His "Live From Sessions at West 54th" DVD is good but not definitive.) This set features only a half-dozen of his 50 or 60 classics -- including "Angel From Montgomery" and "Hello in There" -- but the performances are nothing special. The concert was in support of his worst album -- "Pink Cadillac" -- so its songs weaken the show. Fans might be interested because the concert is interspersed with clips of Prine driving around his hometown of Maywood, Illinois, and pointing out real locations from songs and even playing two songs in the back yard of his childhood home.
(Mary P. comments - this guy is obviously not a fan and where does he get off saying that Pink Cadillac was a worst album - I love the DVD - back from John and his hunky days, full of piss and vinegar, relating stories of his songs - I wonder what DVD this Mark Robison was actually watching.... please comment on his dumb review and let him know that his review sucks)
REDISCOVERING JOHN PRINE by Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times March 21, 2007
BACKTRACKING ------ read the full review
The veteran folk-country songwriter has been going his own way for almost 40 years.
Conor Oberst writes with such originality and depth that you have to forgive critics for dusting off Bob Dylan references to convey their enthusiasm. So it felt quite fitting earlier this month for Oberst to take time during his concert at the El Rey to sing a song by another songwriter who was described in Dylanesque terms when he came on the scene almost 40 years ago: John Prine.
Much of the El Rey audience probably assumed "Crazy as a Loon" was actually a new Oberst tune because it is blessed with the same warm, human touches that make his work so compelling. In fact, the song, co-written by Prine and Paul McLaughlin, speaks of a man who keeps blaming the rest of the world for his problems, not noticing how they follow him wherever he goes — be it his attempt at being an actor in Hollywood or a country singer in Nashville.
A twentysomething fan standing near me at the El Rey certainly thought it was an Oberst song. When told it was written by Prine, she asked, "Who is he?"
"John Prine Live on Soundstage 1980" is a good way for her and anyone else to be introduced to the veteran folk-country songwriter. The hourlong DVD due Tuesday from Shout! Factory is taken from Prine's appearance on the distinguished PBS concert series. It doesn't include many of the essential early Prine songs, including "Sam Stone" and "Donald and Lydia," but it gives you enough of a sample to understand why Prine stands as one of the great songwriters of the modern pop era.
* John Prine
"John Prine Live on Soundstage 1980"Shout! Factory / Oh Boy
The back story: In 1970, a few months after proclaiming Kris Kristofferson to be the best new young songwriter in America, I got a phone call from someone suggesting I may have been wrong. He said the best young songwriter in America might just be a former Chicago mailman named John Prine. I remember the call so well because it was Kristofferson on the line.
The writer of "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night" had seen Prine at a club in Chicago and helped him get a contract with Atlantic Records.
That debut album, "John Prine," was a classic the moment it hit the shelves, and he's made nearly a dozen great albums since, each filled with honest portraits of people caught in various stages of joy, acceptance and despair. Even so, he has never enjoyed the commercial breakthrough of a Bruce Springsteen or Jackson Browne, two other outstanding writers from the same period.
One reason is that Prine was pretty much ignored by radio in those pre-Internet days when radio exposure was vital for widespread commercial success. Pop stations called Prine's style too country, while country stations argued he was too pop. Both shuddered at his ragged vocals.
Rather than change to fit into a pop or country format, Prine simply followed his creative instincts. After stints at Atlantic and Asylum, Prine opted out of the major label sweepstakes and opened his own indie label, Oh Boy, in Nashville. It was a bold move — and it seemed a bit crazy at the time.
Prine, in retrospect, was simply ahead of his time in realizing that an indie route may be the most advisable for a truly independent artist. Oberst also records for an indie label, Saddle Creek.
Prine has also resisted throughout his career sticking with what seemed to be working for him. "Whenever I got to the point one type of song became too easy, I wanted to try something else," he said shortly after starting Oh Boy with manager Al Bunetta in the early '80s. "I wanted to keep my music alive. That was always my biggest goal, and I feel I've done that. When it came to sales, I figured I'd just have to wait until it was my time. I'm a patient man."
Besides performing nearly a dozen of his own songs on the DVD, Prine takes a camera crew on a drive around his hometown of Maywood, Ill., including the intersection that was the site of a car crash described in the song "The Accident (Things Could Be Worse)."
The "Soundstage" show, produced by Ken Ehrlich, is the only archival concert of Prine available on DVD, and it's likely to leave you wanting more.
* Further listening/Prine: The best overview of Prine's work is Rhino's "The John Prine Anthology Great Days," a two-disc set that contains 41 songs. But the package, released in 1993, falls far short of fully documenting Prine's body of work. Maybe Rhino and Oh Boy could team up for a truly comprehensive set, one that could easily run four discs without resorting to filler. Of his Oh Boy recordings, I'd start with "The Missing Years," which won a Grammy in 1991 for contemporary folk album.
* Further listening/Bright Eyes: Hopefully, Oberst's tip of the hat to Prine won't just encourage some Oberst fans to check out Prine but make Prine fans curious about this 27-year-old from Omaha. The starting place in that search should be "I'm Wide Awake — It's Morning," a marvelous 2005 album that battles cynicism and indifference. Meanwhile, keep an ear open for Oberst's latest album with his band, Bright Eyes. Titled "Cassadaga," it's due April 10. *
By: Michael Patrick Brady - march 27, 2007 - Full story here.
John Prine puts the folksy in folk; his songs are insightful, emotional portrayals of regular people and their regular problems, and the songs’ impact is due to the familiarity of their subject’s plights. We can identify with his characters, laugh at their shortcomings, and cry for their sorrows because they’re not too far removed from our own. Prine himself is the perfect vehicle for these tales, an unpretentious songwriter whose on-stage presence is welcoming and warm, full of good humor that electrifies his fans.
Live on Soundstage 1980 is a very unique and enlightening encapsulation of Prine’s work, not only featuring a live performance of some of his most popular songs, but interspersing them with a journey back to Prine’s hometown of Maywood, Illinois. Along the way, he serves as a tour guide, driving around his old neighborhood in a classic automobile, all black with shiny silver chrome. It’s the kind of car you think only existed in Dick Tracy comics until you see one in the steel.
The stage concert is a good survey of the prolific composer, covering his much-covered “Angel from Montgomery” and the brilliant, tear-jerking “Hello in There”, in addition to some wryly humorous cuts like “Spanish Pipedream”. The latter song has Prine in a bouncy romance with a “level headed” topless dancer and embracing some alternative ways of living in an effort to find meaning as peach-fed country folk.
“The Accident” is a cutting satire of fear and expectations, based on the true story of a car accident he witnessed back in Maywood. After leading the audience to the actual site of the two-car collision, he launches into the song’s sarcastic chorus which lambastes the naïve preoccupation with unlikely or inflated dangers when there are far more mundane things to worry about. “They don’t know how lucky they are,” he sings, “they could’ve run into that tree / been struck by a bolt of lightning”.
The most powerful song of the set is performed by Prine and his bandleader John Burns in the backyard of the home he grew up in. There’s no telling what the current owner thought of these two shaggy-haired men and their camera crew looking to film on their property, but their consent allowed Prine and Burns to create something truly beautiful. Together, they strum out the chords to “Paradise”. a touching song about the beauty of nature, someone like a less on-the-nose “Big Yellow Taxi”. It’s a striking story about his parent’s home in Western Kentucky, and how the rich, unspoiled environment from which his ancestors sprung had been scourged and devastated by strip mining. It couches its environmentalist themes in a blanket of nostalgia, perhaps presenting it more admirably than any pointed invective or protest song could.
In Prine’s old backyard, the song attains an even greater intimacy, and it’s as if the viewer has been invited to a cookout or to just hang out and have fun listening to them play. It’s so casual and authentic one can’t help but feel welcome to listen in.
Towards the end of the stage concert, Prine welcomes to the stage Billy Lee Riley, an old-timer even back in ‘80. Riley was in the Sun Records stable way back when (he’s best known for the raucous “Flyin’ Saucer Rock and Roll”) and he fits the archetypal rockabilly guitar slinger perfectly. He’s got a face carved from stone, a real old school rock ‘n’ roller who draws a sharp contrast with the hippy-dippy troubadour look Prine sports. Riley’s wide lapel, ivory white suit-jacket and strutting inject a bit of energy into the concert, and makes it clear that Riley is not just a musician or singer, he’s a performer. He’s there to put on a big, high-energy show, and tears through old classics like “Red Hot” and “No Name Girl” like a ‘50s drag racer. Live on Soundstage 1980 is a great way to get better acquainted with John Prine. This DVD will give viewers wonderful insight into the characters and situations that populate his songs, and help them understand the world that helped produce it all.