Salt Lake City, UT - Abravanel Hall
JULY 31, 2005 With Support: Kathleen Edwards
By: Dan Nailen
THE BOTTOM LINE: The legendary singer/songwriter deftly mixed songs laced with humor, romance and memorable characters for a winning performance.Salt Lake City,Utah
John Prine performs at Abravanel Hall Sunday evening.
Between his vividly drawn lyrics and between-song banter, it's hard to imagine a more entertaining storyteller than John Prine.
The 58-year-old singer/songwriter is adept at addressing topics both personal and worldly through his words, and Sunday night at Abravanel Hall Prine mixed songs from his new album, "Fair & Square," with three decades' worth of classics from his catalog. In the process, Prine showed that he is one wordsmith whose work only seems to grow stronger as he grows older.
Joined by long-time tour companions Dave Jacques on bass and Jason Wilber on guitars and mandolin, Prine started the show with a burst of his most popular older songs. The sound was a little muddy through the opening "Blow Up Your TV" and "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," but started to improve on the stellar ballad "Six O'Clock News," featuring the first of several exhilarating solos by Wilber. By the time Prine hit "Souvenirs" four songs in, which he dedicated to his aunt who lives in Ogden, the sound was crystal clear and Prine and his two sidemen were truly hitting their collective stride.
Wilber's contributions moved from lead electric guitar solos to slide-guitar atmospherics to vocal harmonies accompanying Prine, and his presence was invaluable on cuts like the new "Glory of True Love" and "Taking a Walk," a song that Prine lost track of the words for, forcing him to backtrack and start over.
Wilber and Jacques left Prine to perform solo for a middle segment of the show as he delivered "Long Monday" and "Crazy as a Loon," but from "Fair & Square," as well as the older "Donald and Lydia" before the band returned during an excellent version of "Sam Stone." ..... With his easy-going stage presence, Prine is the kind of writer and performer who gives folk music a good name. And despite his touches of blues, country and rock 'n' roll, what Prine does is most certainly folk music. Sometimes it's protest music, like the stinging anti-war song "Some Humans Ain't Human" from "Fair & Square," and sometimes it's a simple narrative like "Hello in There," delivered late in Sunday's show.
Either way, it's music a lot of folks can relate to, delivered by a true gentleman.
By: Linda East Brady - Standard-Examiner staff
Thursday, July 28, 2005
To live long and prosper..
John Prine has survived parenthood, cancer and the birth of his won record company
John Prine is an American musical treasure, an entrepreneur and a survivor
He is best known as a singer/songwriter with a gravelly, personable voice and a witty, poignant way with words. Prine has 18 albums to his credit, including eight released on his own label, Oh Boy Records
Earlier this year, Prine released "Fair and Square," his first album of mostly original material in nine years. The delay is somewhat forgivable. Prine has had a few other things to contend with during those years.