John Prine: In Person and On Stage (Oh Boy)

 |   |  1 min read

John Prine: Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
John Prine: In Person and On Stage (Oh Boy)

The great John Prine falls somewhere between folk and country, but also has a rare downbeat sense of humour and his wry observations have always elevated his albums.

Here on a collection of live tracks -- essentially a greatest hits by a man who has rarely had a hit -- he has some grin-inducing anecdotes at times which are kinda downhome'n'aw-shucks country. But don't be fooled -- when he and his small band crack in with the menacing, electrifying Dylanesque Saddle in the Rain (something akin to Lee Clayton in its coiled tension) this album crackles with energy.

And his amusing story before Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore (written during the Vietnam war era) comes with a loaded point.

There's also a funny story about him being in the movies (well, just two, "I played the same character in both, I was the brother-in-law with low self-esteen, so if you are writing a script and yuou've got that character . . .") introduces with Iris DeMent on In Spite of Ourselves

There's an impressive guest list here: Iris DeMent again on the pointed Unwed Fathers, Josh Ritter on the allegorical and moving Mexican Home, Emmylou Harris on Angel From Montgomery, and Sara Watkins playing fiddle on The Late John Garfield Blues.

By mixing humour with serious matters (sometimes just a leavening line in a song) Prine has always given his catalogue a real human quality, you feel he is giving a lot of himself away and you'd want to share a back porch and fresh peaches with him.

Recommended, especially to those who have somehow missed his impressive, lowkey career. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sigur Ros; Hvarf/Heim (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Sigur Ros; Hvarf/Heim (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

More mysterious loveliness on a double-disc which, in the release schedule of most bands, might have seemed like a stop-gap measure: previously unreleased tracks and rarities, and stripped-back... > Read more

Kiasmos: Kiasmos (Erased Tapes/Southbound)

Kiasmos: Kiasmos (Erased Tapes/Southbound)

One of the most interesting, if not visually engaging, artists at Laneway was electronica boffin Jon Hopkins who added edge and scratchy beats to elevate his sound above the quasi-ambience of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bruce Springsteen; Nebraska/The Ghost of Tom Joad

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bruce Springsteen; Nebraska/The Ghost of Tom Joad

Elsewhere has already made the case for Bruce Springsteen's 1982 Nebraska as an Essential Elsewhere album. It was not only a great album but a turning point in his career: it allowed him to step... > Read more

CHARLES DICKENS' LONDON TODAY (2012): Lowered expectations

CHARLES DICKENS' LONDON TODAY (2012): Lowered expectations

The end of the back garden at Charles Dickens' birthplace (right) in Portsmouth was shaved off in the Seventies for the M275 which aims north to the A3 for London. A shame – although... > Read more