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Anchorage | Fairbanks | Homer | Juneau


Saturday August 16, 2008 - JOHN PRINE At the Juneau-Douglas Auditorium with guest Jason Wilber, JUNEAU, AK. back-up musicians: Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques

By: Spenser in Real LIfe: John Prine
8/17/08 John Prine so... john prine came to town. its funny, most people i know dont know who he is. hes one of the best singer/songwriters of all time, hes just not really known at all with my generation, but hes up there with neil young as far as how big he is with the older crowd, and ive been listening to him my whole life. its also weird because when you talk about him coming to juneau, it makes it seem like hes not as big as he is.. just cause juneau is so.... not a place that famous people come. but it was an amazing concert.. played all my favorites, talked/joked with the crowd a lot, and i shook his hand on stage! haha. we were front row center, so... best seats in the house. anyway, i wont write a lot. here are a few pictures and videos.


Preview By: Eric Morrison | JUNEAU EMPIRE

From Tennessee to Alaska
Grammy winner John Prine to make debut performance in Juneau
August 7,2008 Preview: full story -- > here
  In a celebrated career that has spanned more than three decades, the last several years have been particularly exciting for singer-songwriter John Prine, manager and friend Al Bunetta said.
  "When he goes to perform, these have been his biggest years these last couple of years," he said. "It's just really a good time for John and I'll tell you what, he's earned it. He's earned it 'cause he works hard." Prine is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, in the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. Tickets cost $40 and are available at Hearthside Books. In 2005, Prine was invited by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser to be the first singer-songwriter to perform at the Library of Congress. In 2006, Prine won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album for his release "Fair & Square." And last year he performed an exciting concert at Carnegie Hall, Bunetta said. "It was a major event," he said. "But he'll do that same show wherever he goes, he'll do that same, same good show. ... He really loves and really respects his audience so he can't give enough to them," he said.
   Prine has established himself as one of America's premiere singer-songwriters since his critically acclaimed 1971 self-titled album. His songs have become standards in the repertoire of recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt and George Strait, and include "Angel from Montgomery," "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" and "Paradise."
   Prine releases music at his own pace and under his own volition, Bunetta said.
   "John only puts out a record when he's ready to and has something to say," he said.
   He took a five-year hiatus from releasing albums between "Fair & Square" and the 2000 release "Souvenirs."
   "It was just time," Prine said in an interview after the release of "Fair & Square." " I had a bunch of songs. I'd started recording them, and it turns out, I liked them pretty well. So, now, I get to get them all just the way I like them - and then I get to let them out to meet the world."
   In 2007 Prine released "Standard Songs for Average People" with bluegrass icon Mac Wiseman, a duet album consisting of classic renditions of American songs.
   The Tennessee-based musician also tours at his own convenience, performing about four to six concerts a month, Bunetta said.
  "John works periodically during the year," he said. "It's all centered around his personal life. he'll do weekends here, two shows here, two shows there."
  "John gets embarrassed talking about himself and talking about his music that he's been doing for years and years and years," he said.
  Prine's tour in Alaska includes stops in Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Homer.
  "He's coming to Alaska because he's looking forward to that," Bunetta said. "It's a place he really wants to go so we designed a little tour to try to cover as much ground as we possibly could in a short period of time and he chose to go to Alaska."
  People in Juneau are getting equally excited to see such an accomplished singer-songwriter coming to town, said Linda Frame, board member of the Alaska Folk Festival, the group sponsoring the concert.
  "He really fits into what we do, the kind of music that seems to come across the Alaska Folk Festival stage," she said. "I think because he has so much longevity that it's a really exciting aspect for us."
  And it's not just the traditional folk aficionados anticipating Prine's first-ever concert in Juneau, Frame said.
  "One of the things I find fascinating about this is the cross-generational appeal," she said. "I think that's very interesting that someone who is a singer-songwriter that has been around as long as he has, has also managed to cultivate a younger audience as well. There are a lot of 30-year-olds that have expressed to me how excited they are about this concert."
  Prine is a talented storyteller whose music resonates with many listeners, Frame said.
  "He plays with words and turns everyday situations that might not necessarily be happy situations, but he looks at them in unique ways and expresses them poetically," she said. "That's something that I really appreciate about his music."
  Bunetta said Prine is basically a loyal guy, honest friend and all around good person.
  "He cares about the human condition," he said.
  Prine's demeanor is evident through his lyrics and music, Bunetta said.
  "He's just a good guy and a great, great songwriter and an Average Joe and average guy who believes in the right thing," he said. "It's kind of strange in today's time, isn't it?"

Anchorage | Fairbanks | Homer | Juneau

Tuesday August 19 & Wednesday August 20- Homer, AK -Mariner Theater - opener: Jason Wilber back-up musicians: Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques

By: Two Sisters Bakes!
Monday, August 25, 2008 - Read the full blog from Two Sisters Bakes! hereJohn Prine drinks Evian...
   John Prine came to town this week! Our little corner of the world gets some pretty amazing people coming through and Mr. Prine is a favorite who comes town to perform every few years. As usual, we got the rider via e-mail from our local promoter and, honestly, as far as 'talent' riders go, this one wasn't that bad...we weren't supposed to be cooking for them, just some deli trays and some very specific beverage requests.
   They had one show scheduled for Tuesday , which sold out, so they added a second show Wed. allowing the guys to slip in some kayaking or fishing... (good for them! too often traveling performers have to get on a plane and head to the next town, never getting to really appreciate how beautiful it is here.)
   Since I was off Tues, I offered to do the set-up backstage. Melissa, my delightful right hand girl, had already done most of the shopping so it seemed like it would be kind of fun, and maybe I ‘d get to meet some of the band. I had the kids with me because it was the day before school and we still had a few items on the supplies list to get, and they are great little porters always ready to help carry stuff from here to there...which is just what we ended up doing on this day!
   We started by going to the Bakery to pick up the stuff, whip out a deli tray and get the final list for what we didn't have. The sun was shining, one of the rare beautiful days we've had this summer. The kids were chattering (and fighting, let's be honest!) over the next days schedule of events and asking all kinds of questions about who we were delivering food to and why does it need to be Canada dry diet ginger ale and not the store brand? Which, as far as I can tell, after going to every store in town that might even think about carrying soda, is not available here in Homer-town. Given the circumstances, we tried to sub in what we could and left out the things we couldn't. After all this is Homer ALASKA, right? right!
   So we go the Auditorium with all of our goodies for Mr. Prine and his band. We are lucky to have a beautiful 500 seat theater with nice dressing rooms, etc. attached to our high school. It was fun setting up, we had cut flowers from the bakery yard and put little vases of them out and tried to make it all very nice. As we were leaving, I realized we needed more Ice, so off we went to the store again and raced back to the theater hoping to get there before the performers moved in. We were met at the door by ‘the manager’ and he immediately set about telling us to move everything to another dressing room and fired off a list of things we had not addressed (which were not on my copy of the rider, I might add!).
   Being all eager to please, I jotted down a new list, the kids and I went back to the store AGAIN and returned to the theater thinking this was the last of our obligations. (All the while Jane and Charles, my kids, are going off about how rude and bossy this guy is being, me, I just want to do good job and get the heck out of there!) But before I could escape ‘the manager’ stopped me and asked what we had planned to feed John for dinner after the show(!) I shrug with resignation and say it’s not on my list, but if John Prine needs dinner at 11:30 at night, I can make that happen…”what would he like?”, I ask. “Manicotti with sausage” was the answer,( “oh yeah and neopolitan ice cream with smuckers fudge sauce and John needs a real plate and bowl and silverware, too”…!)
   I’m sure this guy was thinking we had some Italian restaurant in town that I could go get it from, but since there isn’t anything like that here, I went back to the store AGAIN and bought the stuff I needed, took it back to my kitchen and made the best darn manicotti ever with sausage and fresh mushrooms and homemade sauce. We delivered it to the theater just as the show was ending. Mission accomplished! Rather than being paid cash, I had traded the dinner for tickets to the next nights show and took that opportunity to track down ‘the manager’ to see how things went and to gather up my supplies from the night before. When I found him, all he could say was, “it was fine, I loved it! There was one problem, though, John Prine doesn’t like mushrooms, he spit them all out, but, hey, the rest of us thought it was really great!”
   ...As for the was REALLY GREAT! And I as watched him stop between songs to drink from his 500ml bottle of Evian (no exceptions!) I felt a certain pride that at least I got the water right!

Preview By: Katie Emerick

John Prine: Artist, musician, poet
Artist’s music epitomizes true nature of American grit
Homer Tribune - August 13, 2008 - Photos and full article can be seen here
   John Prine plays at the Mariner Theatre at Homer High School on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
   Much can be said about John Prine. It’s tempting to simply use his own lyrics, as they would probably paint a more accurate portrayal of an artist whose storytelling is both humorous and deeply personal.
   The best artists are ones born from years of experience — and Prine is such an artist. He was born into a small Chicago suburb in 1946 to blue collar parents who were deeply rooted in their own Kentucky upbringing. Prine was able to integrate the influences of both cultures into his music.
   At a fairly young age, John’s older brother taught him his first guitar chord. And by 14, the younger Prine began documenting his own songs on personal recorders at home. After graduating high school in the mid ‘60s, Prine was stationed in West Germany as a member of the army.
   While working as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, he got his first weekly gig in Chicago. That opportunity — as well as the notice of Kris Kristofferson — propelled Prine onto the main stage of the music world with his first recording contract.
   One of the more distinctive characteristics of his music is his diversity. It’s a quality that ranks him with the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.
   With 35 years of albums ranging from classic folk to smashing rock to “twangy” country, Prine explores various terrains of musical frontiers. Often, his excursions away from the norm tend to lead to disgruntled fan reaction. But Prine offers no apologies — and no explanations.
   While he often cites Dylan as one of his biggest influences, it’s always been clear that he had no intention of imitating anyone. Perhaps the most exceptional quality to Prine’s music — aside from a husky voice that both pierces and soothes — is his ability be profound and funny at the same time. In any given song, one can go from being deeply touched by his poetic visions to laughing at his wry sense of humor.
   It’s a rare talent, but one that has become a kind of trademark for Prine’s songs. They seem to epitomize the true nature of American grit; barroom ballads, factory themes and songs of the hobo.
   Whether through the playful allegory in “Please Don’t Bury Me,” or his perfect poetic sense and imagery in “He Was in Heaven Before he Died,” Prine brings a rawness of emotion that you can’t help but feel.
   In his song, “Paradise,” he recalls well-worn memories of his time spent in Kentucky — as well as his sadness over much of what it became: “Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel/ And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land/ Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken/ Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.”
   With several Grammys and Grammy nominations tucked under his belt — including “best contemporary folk album” for his newest solo release. “Fair and Square” — Prine clearly proves just how capable he is as a musician and songwriter. In addition, the 1981 creation of his own record label — Oh Boy! Records — has given him the ability to continue writing and producing material on his own terms.
   On Tuesday night, Homer will play host to the man himself in a show that also brings out bassist David Jacques and guitarist Jason Wilber.

Anchorage | Fairbanks | Homer | Juneau

Friday August 22, 2008 - Fairbanks, AK - Hering Auditorium, Fairbanks, AK.- opener: Jason Wilber. back-up musicians: Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques

By: Erica Goff
Full article here
FAIRBANKS - To local music lover Trudy Heffernan, John Prine is more than just a folk music entertainer.
   “He is, to me, one of the all-time heroes of music,” Heffernan said, proud to bring Prine to Fairbanks for a second time in his career.
   Heffernan is co-owner of Mace and Trudy’s Acoustic Adventures, which helps bring folk, bluegrass, blues, Celtic and other genres of acoustic artists to Fairbanks. Prine performed in the area in 2002 and she’s been trying to bring him back ever since.
  “It didn’t just come together, it took a lot of work,” she said. “It was an uphill battle to get an offer big enough and have the right things come together at the right time.”
   Heffernan’s diligence paid off and, it turns out, Aug. 22 will be the right time, and Hering Auditorium will be the right place. Hearing Prine during his first visit brought back memories, she said, but meeting him put things in a new perspective, and likely made her and even more devoted fan.
   “I happened to catch him as he was leaving the stage and told him that the first music I ever bought was John Prine on eight-track,” she said.
   His down-to-earth response was what caught her.
   “He said, ‘You know, I have a ‘68 Cadillac that has an eight-track in it.’ He was just so nice and such a real person,” Heffernan said.
   That characteristic can be noted in Prine’s songwriting, Heffernan said, because it discusses things “real, regular people” can relate to.
   “It has been said that John Prine sings about ordinary people in an extraordinary way,” she explained. “He’s not singing about a famous person, he’s singing about an anonymous old person or an anonymous soldier who just returned home, hooked on morphine.”
   An Illinois native, Prine’s rise to fame began with the 1971 release of his self-titled debut album. It included a few of what have become signature songs, such as “Illegal Smile,” “Sam Stone” and “Paradise.” His career since has been monumental, belting out numerous albums, reaching the Billboard U.S. Top 100 chart, winning Grammys and garnering a devoted fan base.
   Staunch fans will know favorite tunes and such career facts as Prine’s successful battle with throat cancer in 1998, and his performance in the Library of Congress in 2005 — he was the first singer/songwriter to do so. Heffernan said those who believe themselves to be unfamiliar with Prine’s career may not be as lost as they think.
  “A lot of people know John Prine songs without knowing it is him,” she said, noting such hits as “The Great Compromise” and “In Spite of Ourselves.”
   Describing Prine’s style is not easily done, Heffernan said, because of its divergent nature: It is “more complicated than it seems, but also simpler than it seems.” He is often serious, making tongue-in-cheek comments about his opinions on such things as war and other political issues, and he also can be quite “goofy” at times, Heffernan said, using topics that “make you think, ‘Where did that come from?’”
   Tickets for Prine’s Fairbanks concert are available by calling Accoustic Adventures, 488-0556, online at and at Grassroots Guitar. Heffernan said the floor seats are sold out but balcony seats are still available.
   What: Folk musician John Prine :::: When: 8 p.m. Aug. 22 :::: Where: Hering Auditorium :::: Tickets: $45, available at Grassroots Guitar, or by calling 488-0556 ::::

Anchorage | Fairbanks | Homer | Juneau

Sunday August 24 - Anchorage, AK - Atwood Concert Hall - opener: Jason Wilber. back-up musicians: Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques

By: Dawnell Smith
BALLADS: Knack for soulful storytelling satisfies fans.
Published: August 26th, 2008 12:44 AM - Last Modified: August 26th, 2008 02:56 AM
Link to full review: here
   Throwing out the TV seemed like a dumb idea with the Olympics under way, but it sounded as sensible as carrying a flashlight in the glove box when John Prine played the Atwood Concert Hall on Sunday night.
   With music like that, who needs TV? Definitely not the full house of Prine fans who know that the down-home resonance of a Prine song outwits an overwrought tale of Olympian majesty any day.
   Prine's opening number, "Spanish Pipedream" (aka "Blow Up Your TV"), single-handedly captured the whole gamut of life in calloused lines built on the silliness of the human predicament and its accompanying sorrow and redemption.
   Ever the brilliant songwriter, Prine kicked off the concert with songs from his 1971 debut album, "John Prine." Once he got through his old protest tune, "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," he claimed to have hung the song up for good until the president beckoned it back.
   "It wasn't a formal request," he said, "but I think he was asking for it."
   The crowd of devotees howled in response, as roused by his way of talking as his politics.
   A loyal following has always buoyed Prine's career, and it showed up in droves for the three-hour show, equally delighted at the old and the new, from folk-country standbys like "Sam Stone" and "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" to later rock/country/blues hybrids like "I Ain't Hurtin' Nobody" and "She Is My Everything."
   The show's opener, Jason Wilber, performed a clever, confident acoustic set before donning a suit as Prine's lead guitarist and multi- instrumentalist while the capable David Jacques fleshed out the trio on bass. Jacques' soft touch made his stand-up bass a gem to hear behind Prine's raspy voice.
   Not surprisingly, people sighed in relief when Prine dished out a languorous but gritty version of "Angel From Montgomery." But they also welcomed tunes from Prine's many albums like 1973's "Sweet Revenge," 1976's "Prime Prine," 1995's "Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings," 2000's "Souvenirs" and 2005's Grammy-winning "Fair and Square."
   In arguably the highlight of the show, Prine sandwiched a solo set between stints with the band. Left onstage with just his voice and presence, Prine's knack for storytelling sunk deep, not so much out of perfection as heart.
   With his band back onstage for the finale, he raged into the eerie and wistful "Lake Marie" before powering through two encores, the whimsical "Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone" and workingman epic, "Paradise."
   Laid-back and grounded, Prine connected with the audience via his songs rather than too much chatter, saying just enough to leave the audience wanting more. An icon in Americana music, Prine has certainly played better shows in cozier venues over the years.
   That hardly matters. With a playlist as broad and rich as his, the only bad show is no show -- and the folks in the Atwood knew it.

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