Last.fm has an interesting profile of John Prine:
The son of William Prine and Verna Hamm, his grandfather had played guitar with Merle Travis and he started playing guitar himself at 14 years old. He was a postman for 5 years and spent a couple of years in the army before starting his musical career in the Chicago area. He emerged in 1971 with a highly acclaimed debut album titled John Prine. He and friend Steve Goodman (another folk singer-songwriter) had been minor stars in the Chicago folk scene before being “discovered” by Kris Kristofferson. The album John Prine included his signature songs “Illegal Smile”, “Sam Stone”, and the environmentalist newgrass standard “Paradise”. The album also included “Hello In There”, a song about aging that was later covered by Joan Baez, Bette Midler, and Eddi Reader, and “Angel From Montgomery”, a song now also associated with Bonnie Raitt, who occasionally brings Prine on-stage with her for live performances of the song. 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. (Continue Reading…)
Martin Chilton of The Telegraph interviewed Prine last month. Chilton related an earlier piece at Huffington Post:
Dylan told the Huffington Post in 2009 that Prine remains one of his favourite writers, saying: “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier junky daddy and Donald And Lydia, where people make love from 10 miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that.”
Above is Angel from Montgomery and below is In Spite of Ourselves.
(Homepage photo: Eric Fromer)