Rest in peace, Mr. Prine. Thanks for all the incredible music.
I wasn’t sure which song to share for this post, there are so so so many great ones. He gets credited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, and I can’t argue with that title. There’s something about his lyrics that are so approachable and yet so evocative. He does so much with so little. Once, when called out for listening to country music on a jukebox, Charlie Parker advised Dizzy Gillespie and some friends to “listen to the stories.” I think about that interaction a lot, and I can’t think of anyone that embodied country music’s storytelling persona better than John Prine. He will be missed.
Stephen L. Betts & Patrick Doyle had an excellent piece in Rolling Stone covering Prine’s extraordinary career, and it’s very much worth a read. Since most of us are still staying home and doing our part to flatten the curve, it’s a good time to put on his music and let his gravelly voice take you to a different time and place. You won’t regret it.