Good Evening Folks: This is going to be an evening with Guitars and Cigar, where we will be performing a John Prine tribute.
John had a huge influence on the way I play and the songs that I write and I was deeply saddened when I heard of his passing this past week from the Corona Virus.
He will be missed by many, but thankfully he left us with several decades of music to remember him by.
I have just recently started playing the Cigar Box Guitar and have been working 12 hour days, with little time to practice, so don’t expect to see the show that you will be seeing in a couple months, right now.
Tonight we are just playing around having fun and thought that I would invite y’all to join me.
If you are a cigar smoker, then I hope you will fire up a stogie and pour yourself a glass of your favorite refreshment and kick back n relax and enjoy the music.
Who Was John Prine
Many people don’t know who John was, but for those of us who do, believe him to be an icon as well as an enigma in the music world.
John had, I guess what some would call a cult following, but it was probably a bit too big to be called a cult.
John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020) was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early 1970s until his death and was known for an often humorous style of original music that has elements of protest and social commentary.
Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, Prine learned to play the guitar at the age of 14. He attended classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. After serving in West Germany with the U.S. Army, he returned to Chicago in the late 1960s, where he worked as a mailman, writing and singing songs first as a hobby, and then becoming a club performer.
A member of Chicago’s folk revival, Prine credited film critic Roger Ebert and singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson with discovering him, resulting in the production of Prine’s eponymous debut album with Atlantic Records in 1971. The acclaim earned by this LP led Prine to focus on his musical career, and he recorded three more albums for Atlantic. He then signed with Asylum Records, where he recorded an additional three albums. In 1981, he co-founded Oh Boy Records, an independent record label with which he would release most of his subsequent albums.
Widely cited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Prine was known for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary and songs that recollect melancholy tales from his life. In 2020, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
But He Was So Much More Than That
Johns fans, were pretty much lifetime fans, most people who listened to his humorous, sometimes ridiculous and at times heart wrenching ballads, found a warm spot in their hearts for this folksy crooner, that spanned generations.
He gave the appearance of being shy, humble and in a sense self deprecating man, who found humor in life’s ironies.
As I said earlier, I loved John Prine and tried to emulate his style to the best of my ability. I never got close, but that’s what I have aspired to in my songwriting career.
He could have you following along with a song, thinking you knew where it was going and then he would write a line, that came out of nowhere and would be profound, or completely off the wall.
A couple of examples of his interesting way of turning a phrase can be found in “Spanish Pipe Dreams” where he says:
“She was a level-headed dancer, on the road to alcohol, and I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal” I don’t know if many folks picked up on that last part, but I am pretty sure that he was talking about a guy who was drafted into the army and was dodging the draft by heading to Canada.
Later in the song, he says: “Well I sat there at that table and I acted real naive, For I knew that topless lady, had something up her sleeve”.
That is classic Prine!
Here Are Some Of His Songs
Angel From Montgomery, Illegal Smile, Spanish Pipe Dreams, Paradise, Sam Stone, Hello In There, Souvenirs, Let’s Talk Dirty In Hawaiian, Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness, Lake Marie, In Spite Of Ourselves, When I Get To Heaven.
This is just a small representation of the creative works of John Prine.
I bet you didn’t know this…. John co wrote “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” with Steve Goodman and while John didn’t want any credit for writing that song, Steve insisted on give him credit for his contribution to the David Allen Coe Hit!
I Could Go On And On
I could say so much more about John Prine and there is so much out there on the net, but in the interest of not overwhelming you with John Prine data, I will close with this:
John was bigger than life and will be missed by his fans, of which I was and will always be one!
I hope you have enjoyed An Evening With Guitars And Cigars and my tribute to John Prine.
I hope that if you are one of those who didn’t know who John was, you will Google, or YouTube his name and have a listen.
You might also want to check us out over at Cigar Pals. We have several new posts and reviews up over there
Please feel free to make comments or suggestions in the space below.
Until next time:
Keep smokin and strummin!