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Oct 2, 2009 John Prine at The 9th Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Speedway Meadow at Golden Park San Francisco, CA. Back up band Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques Date: April 25, 2009

By: Sam Martin -- The highlight of Friday was John Prine, who played in the afternoon as a notable chill picked up out of the West as festivalgoers dug into their packs for sweatshirts and blankets. Prine, never one to stick to just singing, interspersed songs with commentary, though he nailed hits such as "Angel From Montgomery." The evening was dazzling, with a feel of autumn in the air as Prine and his formally dressed band exited the stage.

Dancing the chicken dance to John Prine: first day of Hardly Strictly BluegrassYou should have seen it: a crowd of people two football fields long, swilling Heineken Light, Dos Equis, Liberty Ale and Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel, throwing beach balls around, clogging and contra-dancing to John Prine. I could have sworn this was Santa Cruz when I saw an irrepressible guy in his 50s near the front, leaping up, shaking his shirtsleeves, waving his elbows and doing the chicken dance to "Grandpa Was a Carpenter.'' Dude looked just like Edward Abbey. There was some weird stuff too, of course; some guy about 100 feet from the stage took out a violin and started sawing away on it right in the middle of "Angel from Montgomery.'' Prine, as usual, put on a perfect performance; ------ Read the rest here

By: Jennifer Maerz in Last Night
Full Blog here
Better than: Listening to John Prine indoors, minus a box of cold beers and the scent of funnel cakes around you. Golden Gate Park has played host to numerous music events over the summer, from the gigantic Outside Lands to the smaller radio station and hiphop concerts. But the season of outdoor shows is fading like evening sunlight, the change notable in the chill creeping into the air in the middle of John Prine's set last night at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Picnicers who had stripped down to tank tops and shorts to beat the blaze all afternoon pulled on their layers as it started to feel like fall in the park meadow. But no one was better dressed for the event than one of Friday's big headliners: John Prine, who sported a snazzy suit (as did all his bandmates) in a performance that helped send the park's giant music gatherings out on a highly memorable note. Prine took the stage just around happy hour, hundreds of fans settled into the grass before him far beyond the festival-food booths, families and friends passing around BYOB cases of Pabst and airplane-sized bottles of wine. read the rest here -> Full Blog here:

THU October 1, 2009 John Prine with special guest Hayes Carll at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. JP's back up musicians: Dave Jacques and Jason Wilber

By: lee-dude@
just discovered john prine through a friend, love your lyrics, show was awesome, also great opening act hayes carll, gary.



April 25, 2009 John Prine at The Warfield, San Francisco, CA with Josh Ritter opening. Back up band Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques Date: April 25, 2009

By: Joel Z

Set List:
Warfield Poster by R Donovan  
1 Spanish Pipedream
2 Picture Show
3 Six O'Clock News
4 Souvenirs
5 Please Don't Bury Me
6 Storm Windows
7 Fish and Whistle
8 Glory of True Love
9 Crazy as a Loon
10 Angel From Montgomery
11 Clay Pigeons
12 Donald and Lydia
13 The Bottomless Lake
  14 You Got Gold
15 Sam Stone
16 Bear Creek Blues
17 Sweet Revenge
18 She Is My Everything
19 Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
20 Hello In There
21 Lake Marie

22. People Puttin' People Down
23. My Mexican Home
24. Paradise

By: Jim Harrington

Full review here
   John Prine has a story he likes to tell about the time he thought he had finished recording a new album, only to find that the record producer wanted him to write one more song for the disc.
  "I thought, 'I'll show him - I'll write the worst thing he's ever heard,'" the 62-year-old singer-songwriter remembered during his concert on Saturday night at the Warfield.
   The fact that the resulting effort was "Fish and Whistle," an unbearably catchy country-flavored tune that has since become a true fan favorite, only confirms my longstanding suspicion: Prine simply can't write a bad song.
   Oh, but he sure can pen some great ones, and that's all that fans heard during the folk-rock star's 24-song, two-hour set in San Francisco.
   Prine's tunes come in three distinct flavors: funny, sad and sad but funny. It's hard to think of another singer-songwriter on the planet that handles both heartbreak and humor as convincingly as this former mailman from Maywood, Illinois.
   He mixed things up right from the very start at the Warfield, opening the show with the hilarious sing-along "Spanish Pipedream" - which includes the most memorable lyric ever written about meeting a woman at a strip club, "I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve" - then continued on with the sad and jarring "Six O'Clock News."
   The mood never remained downbeat for long. For instance, he followed up "Six O'Clock News," a tale that ends in bloody death, with a commentary about the song that had the crowd laughing out loud.
  "I don't know why, in my early songs, I always killed off (the main character)," he said. "There goes the sequel." Prine's voice isn't what it used to be - it's much rougher since he had surgery to remove cancerous tissue on his neck in 1998. Yet, if anything, it's grown more appropriate for the material, especially his more heart-wrenching songs.
   His voice now seems to account for each year Prine has weathered in his life, which makes it a perfect vehicle for conveying the sentiment of a beaten-down character like the one in "Angel From Montgomery," crying out in quiet desperation, "If dreams were lightning and thunder was desire / This old house would have burnt down a long time ago."
   The set list contained numerous offerings from Prine's self-titled first record, which came out in 1971 and still stands as one of the finest debuts of the last four decades, and all of those tracks have held up quite nicely over the years. Besides "Spanish Pipedream" and "Angel From Montgomery," Prine also mined his debut for the ill-fated tale of Vietnam Vet "Sam Stone," the bleak saga of growing older "Hello in There" and the relationship story "Donald and Lydia," which is one of those songs that, at least as its performed in concert, definitely qualifies for the sad-but-funny category.
   Those are all pretty heavy tunes, but they were tossed up among such upbeat country-rock ditties as "Bottomless Lake," "Bear Creek Blues" and "Please Don't Bury Me."
   Josh Ritter, a 32-year-old singer-songwriter who's beloved by indie-music hipsters, opened the show and had a somewhat hard time connecting with the crowd. His brand of folk music was just too straightforward - too plain, really - to register with an audience that was clearly primed for Prine.
   Ritter shouldn't feel too sad about his outing, however, since it's pretty near impossible to compete with a man who's incapable of writing a bad song.

April 24, 2009 John Prine at Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA with guest Josh ritter and Back up Band Jason Wilber & Dave Jacques

By: Patty
Anybody have the set list from this fabulous show? I didn't take notes. Thanks in advance.....

By: franny025

April 22, 2009 John Prine with special guest Josh Ritter in concert at the Sunset Center, Carmel, CA with Back Up Musicians Dave Jacques and Jason Wilber

By: Jim Harrington

Click here for full review.
   Whenever there is talk about the greatest singer/songwriters in rock history, the usual suspects are always named: Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, etc. Any such discussion, however, is incomplete without the mention of John Prine.
   During his nearly two-hour performance on Wednesday (4/22) at the lovely Sunset Center in Carmel, CA, the 62-year-old Prine gave the capacity crowd 20 excellent reasons (i.e., songs) for why he should be ranked among popular music's all-time great wordsmiths. Kicking off the show with the sing-along favorite "Spanish Pipedream," Prine proceeded to mix humor and sorrow, joy and frustration, as naturally in his songs as they blend in real life. That ability is the No. 1 thing that separates Prine from most other folk-rockers. There's not another guy (or gal) on the planet, with or without a guitar in hand, that can take a listener from being teary-eyed one moment to giggling the next as quickly, and as convincingly, as John Prine.
   The emotional rollercoaster of song continued with the bleak relationship tale "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness"--during which Prine moaned out in his throaty voice, "How can a love that will last forever be left so far behind?"--and then moved right onto comedic "Please Don't Bury Me," in which Prine details his last will and testament through a series of one-liners (the best being: "Give my stomach to Milwaukee if they run out of beer.")
   That pacing held up through the entire night. Before a touching, sad tale like "Far From Me" could stop ringing in one's mind, Prine would already be lifting spirits with a catchy country-flavored number like "Fish and Whistle."
   The set list consisted mainly of longtime favorites, songs you'd find on the highly recommended Rhino Records compilation "The John Prine Anthology: Great Days," but there were some newer offerings that held up quite nicely in direct comparison to the older numbers.
   Two of the better new tunes, "Glory of True Love" and "Crazy as a Loon," hailed from 2005's "Fair and Square," which won for Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 48th Grammy Awards. Then, of course, there was "Lake Marie" from 1995's "Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings"--which still ranks as a fairly new record in John Prine terms. That song, an equal balance of poignancy and punch lines, was greeted with the same type of enthusiasm by the crowd as such early '70s classics as "Hello in There" and "Sam Stone."
   It was a great night of music delivered by a true American treasure, yet it was one that also left the crowd wanting in one regard: Isn't it about time that Prine put out a new album? ...

By: Moon's Dad

  Morning, and I'm sitting here with a cuppa Joe thinking about last night's concert. I feel like Musical Moses come down from the mountain with stone tablets...but instead of talking to God, I listened to a guy I'd never heard of, and a True Hero.
   John Prine headlined, with somebody called Josh Ritter opening. Josh looks like he's about 12 years old, but a grandmotherly looking woman in the CD line with me said he's really 32. Either way, I felt like I was listening to a genuine Young Talent. Insightful, wry, dense narratives with a strong sense of humor. Kickass acoustic guitar. Asked for ALL the lights to be turned off so he could sing one song in total darkness... then another time walked away from the mike, and stood alone belting out his song without amplification.
   But the Come To Jesus part of the show was John Prine. He came out fronting a trio-- a giant lanky dude half bald and half ponytail playing stand up bass, (and a couple electric basses) and a guy on electric guitars and mandolin. He did an acoustic set, then an electric set, then an all together set and some encores. But I'm telling you he has not lost a step, and he did versions of "angel from montgomery" and "sam stone" that were the best I'd ever heard. By anyone, anywhere, anytime. It was like listening to a True Heroic Survivor, who instead of getting weaker had pared down his art to the Absolute, and delivered it Soulful and Pure. A
   The bass player bowed the bass cello style with the finesse of some first chair orchestra geek. The guitar player played bottle neck better than some lap steel players... I'm a telling you, it was an emotional retrospective that left me with tears streaming down my face. Thirty, forty years worth of memories? all done beautifully, like a non stop juke box. By three guys in black suits and skinny ties-- 'effortless' (after decades of hard practice). And I kept remembering when teenage Dan Chavez told me I had to listen to a guy called John Prine, that he wrote songs like Bob Dylan, and I'd probably really like him, and he had this album out...
   So this morning I say All Hail John Prine. If he comes to your town, or even near your town, go see him. It's what they mean when they say "performing arts"...

By: cajarrell

The Sunset Center is a beautiful venue and the sound was fantastic, but coming from Kentucky where I spent most of my years listening and going to John Prine concerts, I was disappointed. Not in John...No Way! The audience seemed like they were sedated. Part of the experience for me in the past was audience participation and the energy John feed off of during his performance. The set-list seemed shorter but I can't offer details. I missed Illegal Smile, That's the Way the World Goes 'Round, and Your Flag Decal Won't Get You in Heaven. I really, really missed the audience on Paradise or then again ... maybe I was missing Kentucky

By: Beth Peerless


Read the entire preview here
Acclaimed folk singer-songwriter John Prine has been writing songs with wry wit, humor and insight for almost 40 years
Updated: 04/16/2009 01:59:09 AM PDT
  Folk icon John Prine performs Wednesday night at the Sunset Center in Carmel.
   John Prine has what is known as a cult following. Musicians revere him and cover his songs. Songwriters love him because they care.
   Once upon a time somebody referred to him as "the next Dylan." Regular people just like his songs because of their wry wit, humor, insightful lyrics and a simple turn of phrase.

  Before anyone ever heard of Prine, they were hearing his music sung by other artists, such as Bonnie Raitt's cover of his classic "Angel From Montgomery" (also covered by Emmylou Harris).

  Never a seeker of publicity or the trappings of stardom, he's remained a fringe benefit for those who like to dig deep into the history of song.

  He chooses to keep a low profile, preferring less and less to grant interviews or actively promote himself. Perhaps it's fitting that songwriters should stick to their guns and remain behind the scenes of the music industry.

  For those who know and love the man and his songs, this Wednesday at the Sunset Center in Carmel offers a rare opportunity to hear him, with Josh Ritter opening.

  An acclaimed singer-songwriter whose literate work flirted with everything from acoustic folk to rockabilly to straight-ahead country, Prine was born Oct. 10, 1946 in Maywood, Ill.

  Raised by parents firmly rooted in their rural Kentucky background, at 14-years-old he began learning to play the guitar from his older brother while taking inspiration from his grandfather, who had played with country star Merle Travis.

  After a two-year tenure in the U.S. Army, he became a fixture on the Chicago folk music scene in the late '60s, befriending another young performer named Steve Goodman.
   Prine's compositions caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson,who was instrumental in helping him win a recording contract.

In 1971, he went to Memphis to record his eponymously titled debut album; though not a commercial success, songs such as "Sam Stone," the harsh tale of a drug-addled Vietnam veteran, won critical approval.

  Neither 1972's "Diamonds in the Rough" nor 1973's "Sweet Revenge" fared any better on the charts, but his work won great renown among his fellow performers.

  The Everly Brothers covered his song "Paradise," while both Bette Middleman Joan Baez offered renditions of "Hello in There."

For 1975's "Common Sense," Prine turned to producer Steve Cropper,the highly influential house guitarist for the Stax label.

While the album's sound shocked the folk community with its reliance on husky vocals and booming drums, it served notice that he was not an artist whose work could be pigeonholed, and was his only LP to reach the U.S. Top 100.

  Goodman took over the reins for 1978's folksy "Bruised Orange," but on 1979's "Pink Cadillac," Prine took another left turn and recorded an electric rockabilly workout produced at Sun Studios by the label's legendary founder, Sam Phillips,and his son Knox.

  Following 1980's "Storm Windows," Asylum Records dropped Prine from its roster. He responded by forming his own label, Oh Boy Records with the help of longtime manager Al Bunetta.

  The label's first release was 1984's "Aimless Love," and under his own imprint, his music thrived. Country-flavored "German Afternoons" (1986) earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category.

  After 1988's "John Prine Live," he released the Grammy-winning "The Missing Years" (1991), co-produced by Howie Epstein,bass player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

  The album featured guest appearances from Bruce Springstein, Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty,and proved to be his biggest commercial success to date, selling nearly 250,000 copies.

  After making his film debut in 1992's John Mellencamp-directed "Falling from Grace," Prine returned in 1995 with "Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings," also produced by Epstein,which earned him another Grammy nomination.

  In 1998, while Prine was working on an album of male/female country duets, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, with the cancer forming on the right side of his neck.

  He underwent surgery and radiation treatment for the cancer, and in 1999 was well enough to complete the album, released as "In Spite of Ourselves."

  It featured contributions from Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Connie Smith and others.

In 2000, Prine re-recorded 15 of his best-known songs (partly to give his voice a workout following his treatment, but primarily so Oh Boy would own recordings of his earlier hits) for an album called "Souvenirs," originally issued in Germany but later released in the United States.

  In 2005, he released "Fair & Square," a collection of new songs, followed by a concert tour. Two years later, alongside singer and guitarist Mac Wiseman,he issued "Standard Songs for Average People," a collection of the two musicians' interpretations of 14 folk and country classics.

Venue: Saturday April 18, 2009: Spreckels Theatre, San Diego, CA with Josh Ritter opening and back up band by Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques

By: Knik

After hopping all over the house, gathering all the CD's, making sure the t-shirts, sharpies, snacks, and gathering all my crabby char pendant art were ready we went on our John Prine ROAD TRIP to sunny Southern California!! Great show last night at the Spreckels. Spreckels is an old theater in the downtown area of San Diego. Saturday night and it was hoppin'...people everywhere doing everything. We got there later than I'd like (just as the lights went down we were groping for our seats.) Our seats were in the nosebleed section. The crowd was pretty quiet, the energy level mellow. Josh Ritter was very good, a great introduction for me to his tunes. Good stuff there.

Play List
  1. Spanish Pipedream
  2. Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)
  3. Souvenirs
  4. Far From Me
  5. Please Don't Bury Me
  6. Fish and Whistle (great story about how he wrote that song)
  7. Glory of True Love
  8. Crazy as a Loon
  9. Angel from Montgomery
10. Long Monday
11. Donald and Lydia
12. Bottomless Lake
13. Mexican Home
14. Dear Abby
15. Sam Stone
16. Bear Creek
17. That's Alright By Me
18. She Is My Everything
19. Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
20. Hello in There
21. Lake Marie
22. People Putting People Down

23. Paradise.

Hopefully I got all the titles right because Bottomless Lake and That's Alright by Me were new to me. Mr. Prine told a lot of great stories during this show.

04/17/09 John Prine at the Beverly Hills (Los Angeles), CA Saban (aka Wilshire) Theatre with Josh Ritter opening and back up band by Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques

By: Kevin Turley

Odd set of songs, but still loaded with classics. And John Prine was funny as hell. Even though I saw Leonard Cohen a week earlier, and it was AMAZING, Prine's free-form performance was as beautiful as ever. And what a touch a class for bringing out old sideman Phil Parlapiano and opener Josh Ritter for the encore. Another wonderful John Prine concert

By: Ima Prinefan
Full review here
   Melding two generations of folk-rock music at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles on April 17, John Prine and opening act Josh Ritter took the audience on an often mellow ride, injecting their musical stylings with humorous asides and anecdotes. Upfront and center first in front of the nearly capacity crowd (the theatre seats about 1900), an endearingly clearly nervous Ritter took to the stage alone. Though he was openly shaky about sharing billing with one of his idols, he delivered a seasoned performance even confidently stopping a song midway through to tell a story. One other crowd-pleasing trick? He turned off the lights for ‘Curses’ giving the audience a rare treat by forcing them to focus on the music as their other senses were blacked out. The major event of the evening, Prine got right into the concert but his voice took a few songs to get back to the brooding clarity he is known for. In the first half of his set, his stories were mumbled and his voice scratched raspily over his superb guitar playing. Once warmed up though, Prine’s voice once again elevated his simplistic, rhyming choruses which his fans quickly responded to with increasingly enthusiastic cheers. An overall veteran performance, one long-time fan lamented wanting to have heard more of his classic hits. One other bummer? The encore. Possibly not wanting to be outshined, Prine waited until the very end to allow Ritter back onstage and their encore only lasted one song! While young gun flubbed one of his lines, the fusion of their two voices was something truly special. It would have been a remarkable addition to revel in that blend for more than three minutes since that magic doesn’t come along every day.

By: Annie Eyre

found it here
   Dressed in jacket and tie, John Prine strolled on stage Friday night at the Art Deco-styled L. A. landmark “The Saban” and took the audience on a journey through the ravages of war, love, the state of drunkenness and fishing! With his head down, he came across as unassuming and seldom moved except to change guitars between songs. He was backed by two musicians and spoke little between songs, only doing so to briefly talk about his wife, his dad, and his dislike of being in the studio. The audience was reverently quiet and I wondered if anyone else momentarily forgot to breathe during songs like the heartbreaking “Sam Stone.” There was plenty of Prine’s sharp wit and humor displayed in songs like “Crazy As A Loon” and “Dear Abby.” His audience benefits from the fact that he is not one of today’s video artists; a storyteller like Prine needs no video support, no pyrotechnics and no flashing bells and whistles to distract from his performance. Unencumbered by those trappings, the audience is left to contemplate lyrics like “Father forgive us for what we must do/You forgive us, we’ll forgive you/We’ll forgive each other ‘til we both turn blue/Then we’ll whistle and go fishing in heaven” from “Fish and Whistle.” At times his voice sounds boyish, other times ageless, and oftentimes tender and regretful. I am not ashamed to say I shed a few tears during “Angel From Montgomery” and I doubt I was the only one. In his imperfect character study of “Donald And Lydia,” we are reminded that life itself is “imperfectly perfect.” John Prine held the audience in the palm of his hand.

By: mdelahun

John Prine is a class act. He is genuine and his music is felt as much as it is heard. This was a nearly religious experience for me. My soul connects with his music. He and his colleagues were dressed to kill. Very cool and very professional. Truly the best show I have ever seen. I have seen many shows too. John, please come back to LA soon. I have waited years for you to come out to the west coast. You are totally awesome!


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