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Sun 08/23 - Charlottetown, PE - Confederation Centre for the Arts with Carrie Rodriguez sold out



full review here
Just plain good
   John Prine plays at Confederation Centre of the Arts
   John Prine to play Atlantic Canada this August.
   The day I saw that subject line in my email I almost choked on my tasteless diet soft drink.
   Then a big smile spread across my face.
   My mind drifted back to an autumn night in 1971 when I heard Prine's debut album for the first time.
   I could almost smell the stale beer and cigarette smoke that filled the air that night as Prine's Illegal Smile made the first of several trips around the turntable at UPEI's Dalton Hall.
   That album, simply titled John Prine, kindled a life-long fondness for Prine and his music.
   I'd never heard anyone quite like him up until then.
   He was Hank Williams Jr., Bob Dylan and John Steinbeck all rolled into one.
   That first album yielded several Prine classics, Spanish Pipedream, Hello In There, Sam Stone, Paradise, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore, Angel from Montgomery, Donald and Lydia, Six O'clock News and the aforementioned Illegal Smile, all of which remain favourites with Prine fans almost 40 years later.
   Standing in the lobby of Confederation Centre last Sunday night waiting for the doors to the theatre to open I couldn't help but wonder how many of those songs Prine would do and how they'd sound today.
   I would not be disappointed on either count. In fact I've yet to talk to anyone else who was there that night who didn't leave the theatre thinking they'd just shared something very special.
   Prine, now 62, proved he was very much deserving of the accolades that have been lavished on him by everyone from Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan to Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.
   He was amiable, he was engaging, he was funny, he was insightful and he was charming.
   But more than anything, he was just plain good.
   Backed up by longtime sidemen Jason Wilber (guitar) and Dave Jacques (bass) Prine took his audience on a musical journey that spanned four decades and reacquainted them with some of the most compelling characters ever to populate a piece of music, from the lonesome old souls at the centre of Hello In There and the troubled Vietnam veteran in Sam Stone who can't cope with life back home without a needle in his arm to the disillusioned woman looking for something to believe in Angel From Montgomery. He took his audience to places that have special meaning for him, like western Kentucky, the birthplace of his parents.
   The places he sings about in Paradise are indeed real places in Kentucky.
   While many of Prine's songs have an element of profound sadness or melancholy, he's also been responsible for penning some of the most humorous pieces to see the light of day, and he delighted his audience by performing fine versions of several such gems: Fish And Whistle; Dear Abby; Please Don't Bury Me; Spanish Pipedream and In Spite Of Ourselves, one of the duets he recorded with Iris Dement. Dement's part was performed by Austin singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, who had opened the show for Prine with a wickedly good set that caught most of her audience totally off guard.
   Rodriguez, who's also a fine fiddle, guitar and mandolin player, has not gotten a lot of exposure in this corner of North America but has a growing profile at home where she's worked with artists like Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Chip Taylor and Mary Gauthier, >>> She made a big impression with Prine's audience, as did Prine's guitar player Jason Wilber.
   But it was Prine they came to see last weekend and they let him know it, hootin', hollerin' and bellowing at the stage throughout the night, particularly when he switched to something upbeat.
   There were times when the audience was perhaps a little too vocal. No it's not church, you don't have to sit there with your hands in your lap and be quiet.
   But there's a difference between a theatre and a bar, even when you're serving alcohol.
   Sitting next to someone who doesn't know when to put a cork in it can take a certain amount of enjoyment out of a show like that. Equally distracting is sitting next to people who've drunk far more beer than their kidneys can hold.
   And enough with the flash photography.
   One woman told me afterwards there were so many flashes near her she was afraid they would trigger a seizure.
   But when all is said and done Prine's Charlottetown concert was one those who were there will long remember. >>> Prine was nothing short of brilliant.
   There still isn't anybody else out there who writes in quite the same way.
   Pink Floyd's Roger Waters may have said it best.
   In an interview with Britain's Word magazine last year, Waters described Prine's work as "extra-ordinarily eloquent music" and placed him on the same level as Neil Young and John Lennon. Prine has earned his place in the hall of fame and in our hearts.
full review here:


By: Michele

Went to see John Prine last night, and it was wonderful. I surprised my husband with tickets. He was shocked and very pleased to get to see him after 30years, he had seen him in Calgary many years ago. His songs were great. we loved his opening act Miss Rodriquiz. HOpe you come back soon John. I'm sure you could have sold out 3 shows here.


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