15 BRAND NEW STUDIO RECORDINGS OF CLASSIC JOHN PRINE!
After the Ames, IA concert, I raved about the letters I had gotten from Germany, how they were saying what a terrific album this was, how it was bringing grown men to tears. With a grin and an 'Aw shucks shuffle' John replied, "It's just the old songs"
But it's like the old songs with a whole new face. It has been in my CD player since the day I got it. Was dying to hear what others thought. It's like you have him here doing a "set" in your living room.
The fact that the Lost Dogs band of David Jacques, Jason Wilber, and Phil Parlapiano do such beautiful acoustic melodies along Pat McLaughlin on background vocals. with the "now" John Prine makes it nothing less than tremendous.
Yes, when I first put it on, I choked back the tears, I can hear bits and pieces of the cancer battle he fought and won, I can hear him "thinking things over" and I can see him grin. I love this album, to me it is "new" - old songs and all. It's wonderful in the wee hours, a wide eyed welcome the morning, tasty with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's just a 24/7 listener's pleasure to me. It is just so damn special! Don't make me pick a favorite. ~Reeda Buresh
From the first clear ringing guitar notes of "Souvenirs", I knew that John Prine had made this recording for ME.
ME, and all the people worldwide who love John Prine, sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, singing the songs that make us think, remember, shake our heads in wonder, sing along and smile.
We can remember Steve Goodman as we listen to "Souvenirs".
We remember that sometime in our life, deep down inside, we've all felt like Donald or Lydia.
We remember loved ones as we listen to "Grandpa Was A Carpenter".
And we sing along and smile to "Fish & Whistle and "Please Don't Bury Me".
And most of all we shake our heads in wonder while we listen to these fifteen great songs.
We wonder how someone whom we've never met can sit down and "write our feelings"...
How does he know that we once had a relationship where...
"Well ya know, she still laughs with me
But she waits just a second too long...."
Or that we all have known people who have lived through...
"How the hell can a person
Go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening
And have nothing to say..."
We stop and think when we hear....
"An old man sleeps with his conscience at night
A young kid sleeps with his dreams
While the mentally ill sit perfectly still
And live through life's in betweens....
These are not just "songs"... They mean something to us...
I have all of John's recordings, I doubt if this one will ever leave my CD rotation...
As I read this I find that it's not really a review of the album.
It's really how I feel about John Prine.
My favorite quote about John comes from Bonnie Raitt: "What makes John's songs so special is that there's no separating who he is from his music - you just love "him"... "He's a true folk singer in the best tradition, cutting right to the heart of things, as pure and simple as rain"
That explains this recording.
If you love John Prine, you must have this recording.
If you've never heard of him... buy this recording.. then you'll love him too...
It's beautiful! It seems so very relaxed. Just like you were sitting in the kitchen with John having a bottle of stout and a half'n or something and just chatting. There's a big fire in the hearth and you're nice and warm and the lighting is low. He reaches down the side of his big old armchair and pulls up a scrapbook. He blows the dust off of it and you lean over and you see that it's called "Souvenirs" And John relaxes back into the chair. For a minute he just looks at it. And he smiles. Then he slowly turns the pages and they start filling your head with vivid sights and sounds and memories and feelings and for a wee while you see the world through his eyes.
Relaxing! That's the word that I would use for the CD. I hope that when he reaches near the end of the book we lean over again and find that there are dozens of blank pages left. ~by Owen Brennan
The mail man (not John) delivered my CD to me yesterday, about a week earlier than promised. And my prine friends it is not a disappointment. Hearing John do these old songs in his older, post-cancer voice is really great. Some are even better than the original, proving that things do improve with age. ~ nutt
I just got my copy in the mail and have played it non-stop (almost) since...rarely do you listen to a new album that immediately feels like an old friend...thanks again...Randy
The arrangements and his "matured" voice sound like they never did before... AMAZING!!!
Did it bring you to tears? In fact yes. I'm at home for six weeks with my newborn son and I'm listening to it at any given time... When I'm feeding him at night (with a bottle of course) and John whispers in my ear and my son is laughing to me, the tears are welling up I guess the reason for the tears are 50% John and 50% my son. I like the recordings very much I hope he's still around in about 30 years and that he decides to re-record them again in 2030. Irony aside: in my house he's already very popular.
~ Wim Defoort
"This morning I received the new album "Souvenirs" in the mail, which will be released in Germany on the 16th of October. I listened to it straight away and I tell you it is really wonderful. It is definitely not just another recording of old songs. To me, most of the tracks sound better than the originals. They have got a very special depth and maturity. (Maybe because of everything John has been through with his illness and surgery ... and all the worries, fears and thoughts that went with it) The album is very moving and I have to admit at some stages it nearly brought me to tears while listening to it. All the well-known old songs seem to have gained a new quality and they come across like they've just been written. The arrangements are beautiful. Above all there's John's wonderful warm rough hewn voice, which is just great and suits the songs perfectly. It sounds better than ever and seems to have become slightly deeper than it used to be (he told me in January that he sings some of his older songs in a lower key now). Then there's John's very own melodic and rhythmic guitar-picking along with an upright bass, second guitar ...the occasional mandolin ... accordion now and then ... pedal-steel, piano. Economically tasteful, it couldn't sound better." ~ H.P. Daniels - Germany
"This is an album we'll listen to for the rest of our lives. How many records these days can you say that about?" ~Bill Flanagan, New York City, June 2000