I started this blog on June 1, 2016. So it's been just about one year since its debut. We started with Buddy Holly, who is my old school rock and roll hero. We skipped around from genre to genre over the course of the year, featuring rock icons like Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriters like Steve Forbert and Iris DeMent, country singers like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, amazing bands like, well, The Band, and, of course, newer artists like The Deep Dark Woods, Darlingside, Frances Luke Accord, the Avett Brothers, and Baskery. There's just so much great music out there. Great old stuff. Great new stuff.
And among the greatest of all time (at least for me) is John Prine. I first heard John Prine my freshman year in college, in 1972. And I first saw John Prine in 1974 at Summerfest in Milwaukee. He was amazing then. And he's been amazing each and every time I've seen him (maybe 25 times or so) since then, including last year at the King's Theatre in Brooklyn. His songs are timeless. They're fun. They're honest. They're insightful. And most of them are pretty simple, three chord songs. Meaning that I can play just about every one of them. Which is not really relevant to anything - - except that I did record a version of John Prine's How Lucky that I'm very proud of. But we'll leave that song for another day.
For some, John Prine's story is well known. His parents were born in Muhlenberg County in Western Kentucky (as John tells the story in Paradise). His folks moved to Maywood, Illinois, where John was born. After a stint in the army and working in Chicago as a mailman, he was discovered by Kris Kristofferson. After recording a bunch of albums for Atlantic Records and Asylum Records, he formed his own independent label, Oh Boy Records, in 1984. Oh Boy released a bunch more John Prine albums. And each album is as great as the one before and after it. I mean, they're all amazing. Each and every one of them. And I, of course, bought them all - - in LP form, and then in CD form, and then digitally. I mean, even though I rationally know that the songs are the same whether heard on an LP or digitally, I just couldn't stop myself from buying the albums again and again. And I listen to John Prine songs all the time. They never get old. And they never get tired. His latest effort, For Better, or Worse, is (another) duet album in which he sings with women such as Allison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and his wife Fiona Prine, among many others. It's among John's best selling records ever.
For those of you who want more on John Prine, I highly (as in really highly) recommend his new book, Beyond Words. John is an amazing man. The kind of guy who you'd love, as in absolutely love, having a beer with. Or maybe a few beers. And he's an American treasure who you should see in concert if you ever have the chance. Really. Don't miss him. Really.
So, there are literally more than 100 John Prine songs that I could feature today. But, since we're off to a family trip to Kauai, let's do Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian. It may not be the most well known John Prine song, but it's awesome, and it's timely (for me), and there is an older version and a newer version to feature. So here's Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian back from 1989, and here's a more recent version from 2012. Aloha!