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Event: Music, Country
John Prine

Upcoming performances:

John Prine
Collins Center in Westford

Track Event  |  Mark as Going

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Chicagoan John Prine burst onto the early '70s singer-songwriter scene amid a flurry of completely justified hype. He was among the first of many artists pegged as "the new Dylan," but his combination of folk, country, and poetic-but-simple lyrics was completely his own. Over the years, his albums have featured rock and country shadings to varied degrees, but his inimitable writing style has remained consistent. ~ Rovi

- Rovi

John Prine (born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, Illinois) is an American country/folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a recording artist and live performer since the early 1970s. Prine and friend Steve Goodman had each been active in the Chicago folk scene before being discovered by Kris Kristofferson in 1970. In 1971 Prine's self-titled debut album was released. The album included his signature songs “Illegal Smile,” “Sam Stone,” and the folk and country standards “Angel from Montgomery” and “Paradise.” The album also included “Hello In There,” a song about aging that was later covered by numerous artists and “Far From Me,” a lonely waltz about lost love for a waitress that Prine later said was his favorite of all his songs. The album received many positive reviews, and some hailed Prine as “the next Dylan.” Bob Dylan himself appeared unannounced at one of Prine's first New York City club appearances, anonymously backing him on harmonica. Prine's second album, 1972’s “Diamonds In The Rough,” was a surprise for many after the critical success of his first LP. It was an uncommercial, stripped-down affair that reflected Prine's fondness for bluegrass music and features songs reminiscent of Hank Williams's work as Luke The Drifter. Highlights include the allegorical “The Great Compromise,” which features a recitation and addresses the Vietnam War, and the touching ballad "Souvenirs," which Prine later recorded with Goodman. Later albums included 1973’s “Sweet Revenge,” containing such fan favorites as “Dear Abby,” “Grandpa Was A Carpenter,” and “Christmas In Prison” and 1975’s “Common Sense,” with “Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard.” The latter album was Prine's first to chart in the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 Albums chart, reflecting growing commercial success. It was produced by Steve Cropper. Many veteran Prine fans view the release of 1978's “Bruised Orange” as a creative highpoint. The Steve Goodman-produced album gave listeners songs such as “The Hobo Song,” “Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone,” and the title track showing that he could capture the human condition as easily as writing politically inspired anthems. In 1974, singer David Allan Coe achieved considerable success on the country charts with “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” co-written by Prine and Goodman. The song good-naturedly spoofed stereotypical country music lyrics. Prine refused to take a songwriter's credit and the tune went to Goodman, although Goodman bought Prine a jukebox as a gift from his publishing royalties. His 1979 album “Pink Cadillac” featured two songs produced by legendary Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who by this time rarely did any studio work. The first song, “Saigon,” was about a Vietnam vet traumatized by the war. During the recording, one of the guitar amps blew up, which is evident on the album track. The other song Phillips produced was “How Lucky,” about Prine's hometown. Prine continued writing and recording albums throughout the 1980s and formed his own record label, Oh Boy Records. His songs continued to be covered by other artists; the country supergroup The Highwaymen recorded “The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over,” which had been written by Prine and Goodman. Goodman died of leukemia in 1984 and Prine continues to perform many of Goodman's songs in concert to this day. In 1991, Prine released the Grammy Award-winning “The Missing Years,” his first collaboration with producer and Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein. The title song records Prine's humorous take on what Jesus did in the unrecorded years between his childhood and ministry. In 1995, “Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings” was released, another collaboration with Epstein. Prine followed in 1999 with “In Spite of Ourselves,” which was unusual for him in that it contained only one original song—the rest were covers of classic country songs—and all were duets with well-known female country vocalists, including Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane, and Iris DeMent. “Souvenirs” was issued in 2000 and intended for German-only release, as the album consisted of new performances of some of Prine's most popular early songs. In 2006 “Fair & Square” was issued by Oh Boy Records. It reached a career high peak of #55 on the Billboard 200 and at the 48th Grammy Awards, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Prine teamed with Mac Wiseman in 2007 for the album, “Standard Songs for Average People.” Wiseman was 82 years old at the time of the recording and Prine was 60. It featured appearances from Stuart Duncan, Ronnie McCoury, Pat McLaughlin, Joey Miskulin, Tim O’Brien and others. In 2010 Prine released “In Person & On Stage” which went to #1 on the Billboard Folk Albums chart. It was followed in 2011 by “Singing Mailman Delivers” which reached #4 on the same chart.

- MediaNet

Born in Maywood, IL on October 10, 1946, John Prine’s body of work has become the high-water mark of American songwriting and his songs have found a home in the repertoire of musical luminaries such as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash and George Strait. On March 9, 2005, at the request of Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, John Prine became the first singer/songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress.

Prine takes his own sweet time dancing with his muse -- and truly writes what's in his soul. So if it takes him a little longer to compose the songs that capture the moments that reveal the gently folded human truths that bind us all together, it's always worth the wait.
There was a nine year gap between his Grammy-nominated "Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings" and his latest solo offering, appropriately titled, "Fair & Square", but his unorthodox timing was rewarded with
critical acclaim. 

- eventsfy

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100 Shawsheen Road
Westford, MA 01886 (US)

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