John Prine home page John Prine Music - Lyrics, Chords, Repertoire, Tabs, Song note, guitars, album reviews, Trivia and information John Prine Tour Dates, Concerts, Tickets, Venue, and Artist Links John Prine Biography information John Prine picture show - image  links and items to buy John Prine souvenirs, 35 years of posters, cds, albums, clothing and more John Prine message board, chat room, misheard lyrics, guest book, polls, Prine poetry, lots of Prine fan participation Live Music Trader forums, cd art, set Lists, boots


Read the Current John Prine 2009 Concert News, Previews & Reviews.
Concert Reviews by State
AZ | CA | CO | CT | GA | IL | LA | MO | MA | NC | NY | PA | RI | TN | VA | WI 
CAN :  
AB | BC | MB | NB | NL | NS | ON | PE
  More: Other Reviews in 2009 |   2008 Reviews   |  2007 Reviews  | Set Lists Archive | Past Reviews

May 8, 2009: John Prine at Shubert Theatre, New Haven CT - with special guest opener Jason Wilber. Band: Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques

By: Randall Beach
Comment and read the full blog here
   The Return of John Prine
   We've waited a long, lonely time for John Prine to come back to New Haven. The last time I heard him sing in this town was in the late '70s or early '80s -- I pulled my clipping of that great event out of the 'ol peach box of yellowing Register music reviews, but I hadn't written down the date on the thing. Still, it told me this much: I had a nice time talking with the man in his room at the Holiday Inn, a few hours before he hit the stage at Toad's Place. (He got excited about eating at   Louis' Lunch when I told him about the place, but it was closed that night
He told me about being a mail man back in Chicago as he was trying to break into the singing business. Shortly after he got the nerve to tell the U.S. Postal Service he was retiring from their employ, he landed a recording contract (because somebody realized the guy could write fabulous lyrics as well as sing them beautifully) and in 1971 he released that first album, "John Prine." Still a classic
   Yeah, but when I went to the Holiday Inn that day, the clerk downstairs had never heard of John Prine. And if you'd walked around downtown last Friday night, just before he so moved the crowd at the Shubert Theater, I'm sure plenty of people would have replied, "John who?" if you had asked them about that name. No, he didn't sell out the place, but that's OK. He got up there with his fellow guitarists, Jason Wilber and Dave "Daddy" Jacques and he shared a wonderful evening with us
   Maybe you know his "Angel From Montgomery," because Bonnie Raitt had a hit with it. Well, he sang that beautiful song for us and at least a dozen more, and he told us stories between them. For instance, he talked about singing in a Chicago club on Thursday nights after he'd gotten done delivering the mail
   My favorite moment was when he sang "Hello in There," the most moving song about old people you ever will hear. Jacques' mourning deep bass was a wonderful accompaniment
   The encore, after a rousing standing ovation, was "Paradise," his ode to Muhlenburg County and the Green River "where paradise lay." And he wants his daddy to take him back there, but no: "I'm sorry, my son...Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away." Prine reveres the country, the traditions, the struggling people. If you ever get another chance, go and listen
   Thanks, John Prine. I hope this time you made it to Louis' Lunch.

John Prine Sprinkles Simply Crafted Tunes With Subtleties

Full Review here
   John Prine has been one of music's quirkiest charmers for nearly four decades, a writer of tunes that are equally amusing and powerful, and that wrap easily into a comfortable blend of country and folk. The 62-year-old Illinois native's varied appeals were fleshed out in good-natured fashion Friday night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, where he performed an array of simply crafted tunes of potent depth.
   At the forefront of a suit-clad trio, Prine was an understated presence who spun tales with calm authority, beginning with the steady roots undulation of "Spanish Pipedream (Blow up Your TV)." His weathered voice floated contentedly across the steady "Picture Show," his acoustic guitar strumming a fluid counterpart to the pulsating electric bass line laid down by Dave Jacques.
   Prine specializes in compelling subtleties, particularly within stark backdrops such as "Six O'Clock News" that enabled him to tell stories distinguished by strong sentiment and raw edges. His mellow, deliberate "Storm Windows" was a formidable showcase for nuance, from its minimally rendered lyrics to Jason Wilber's mildly twangy electric guitar playing.
   Prine's manner was mild but playful, fashioning wry moments outside of songs as assuredly as it did within them. He eased alongside the mandolin-lined backdrop of the insouciant "Fish and Whistle," and led into "Glory of True Love" with typical homespun economy as he said of working with its co-author Roger Cook: "When I was writing this, I was kind of thinking about my wife . and kind of hoping he wasn't."
   Prine has frequently been covered by other artists, including a popular version of his "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt. Prine's rendition of the song was poised and mesmerizing, a deceptively deep character sketch he handled with utmost care. During a stretch of solo tunes, his acoustic guitar work had a lot in common with his singing, showing itself to be straightforward but evocative as he wrapped it around the sad "Sam Stone" and the amiable country floater "In Spite of Ourselves."
   Despite the frequent restraint in Prine's approach, he stretched out occasionally as he led the way across the hillbilly romp "Bear Creek Blues" and switched to rhythm electric guitar to add some high tone sounds to the sturdy "She is my Everything." His set closed with a string of worthy enticements, from the mellow sway of "I Ain't Hurtin' Nobody" to the rich narrative "Hello in There" and the shifty, expansive "Lake Marie." He returned for an encore that had some grit under its surface, selling the rugged, image-rich sway of "Paradise" with even-tempered allure.

  John Prine's show Friday included the following songs: "Spanish Pipedream (Blow up Your TV)," "Picture Show," "Six O'Clock News," "Souvenirs," "Please Don't Bury Me," "Storm Windows," "Fish and Whistle," "Glory of True Love," "Crazy as a Loon," "Angel from Montgomery," "In Spite of Ourselves," "You got Gold," "The Bottomless Lake," "Donald and Lydia," "Sam Stone," "Bear Creek Blues," "She is my Everything," "Ain't Hurtin' Nobody," "Hello in There," "Lake Marie," (Encore) "Paradise."

By: Walter Ruscoe
Jason Wilbur opened for John. Jason played a very nice set including Lazy Afternoon. The audience was very receptive to this talented musician. John played a set that spanned his entire career. He sounded great and was in very good spirits. In no particular order he are the songs he played. I may have missed one or two. Glory of True Love Picture Show Please Don't Bury Me Six O'Clock News The Bottomless Lake Sam Stone Donald & Lydia Hello in There Paradise Angel From Montgomery Souvenirs Fish & Whistle Storm Windows Crazy as a Loon She's my Everything Bear Creek Blues Lake Marie

By: James Velvet
Dog, Found - John Prine ain't hurtin' nobody at the Shubert
Thursday, May 07, 2009 Full Preview and comments here
John Prine With Jason Wilber. 8 p.m., May 8.
   Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs." - Bob Dylan to Bill Flanagan in The Huffington Post, April 15, 2009.
   That about sums it up.
  "Angel From Montgomery" is one of John Prine's best known songs, covered most famously by Bonnie Raitt. It's a plea from an aging woman stuck in a loveless rut in Montgomery, Ala. She dreams of escape. She rambles and remembers. She complains. An unlived life has left her hoping for flight on angels' wings. It's a sad statement of futility with a beautiful, uplifting melody. That Prine wrote the song when he was a 25-year-old army veteran from suburban Chicago, on the verge of a successful career, is testimony to his story-telling prowess.
   Prine is a songwriter's songwriter. He can write wry, dry, tragic, mundane and fantastic. First person, third person, any person. He's a wordsmith who seemingly pieces rhymes together effortlessly, often with comic results.
   Good story-telling alone does not explain why Prine's tunes have been covered by Johnny Cash, Dave Matthews, Kris Kristofferson, Ben Harper, Jimmy Buffet, Laura Cantrell and Tanya Tucker. There's a melodicism built into his finger-picked guitar playing, often in the key of G, "the people's key." Through waltzes and two-beats and straight-four time he can make melodies soar, push, plod, or skip depending on what the lyrics call for.
   Here's a good example: The title track of his 1999 album of gal/guy duets is "In Spite of Ourselves," sung with Iris DeMent. He uses the same three chords (C, F and G) throughout the song. In the verses, the melody stays on the beat with very few rests, emphasizing the dead-pan humor ("she thinks all my jokes are corny/convict movies make her horny" and "he ain't got laid in a month of Sundays/I caught him once sniffin' my undies") But in a romantic chorus, sung in two-part harmony, the melody stretches out and arches over the beat, with plenty of rest time between phrases ("In spite of ourselves/we'll end up sittin' on a rainbow/against all odds/honey we're the big door prize") giving the song a true love feel. Check Prine and DeMent's concert performance of this tune on YouTube.
   Prine came out of the Chicago folk revival of the late 1960s. He was first reviewed in the Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert (!) who caught him singing at an open-mic and raved about him. His first eight albums were on Atlantic Records and Asylum Records, and met with critical and popular success. When the folk boom died at the end of the '70s, he started Oh Boy Records, where he has been recording comfortably ever since.
   It's hard to pinpoint highlights in a body of work as vast as Prine's. There's Dylan's favorite Prine song, "Lake Marie," from Lost Dogs And Mixed Blessings. Native-American history, crime drama, good love faded and beautiful melody take this song way beyond the average. Or try "Jesus, the Missing Years," released in 1991 and featuring a host of top L.A. sidemen. It's a hilarious, rambling account of Jesus' life after childhood, before the big years.
   His most recent CD, Standard Songs For Average People, is a collection of duets with bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman (aka the voice with a heart). It's safe to say that Prine covers the waterfront of 20th century American popular music.
   Catch him at the Shubert with rising folk star Jason Wilber supporting and accompanying him. Come for the Proustian existentialism and/or the beautiful songs.

Add your John Prine concert thoughts or reviews here or Add photos here


Join the Official John Prine/Oh Boy Records Mailing List!
John Prine dot Net Welcome to the John Prine Shrine - The online John Prine Fan Club - jpshrine.orgOh Boy Records - Company of John Prine

©1996-2016 John Prine Shrine