Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Take a few moments, reflect, and think about all of those who have sacrificed their lives for this country. And think about all of those overseas, who put their lives on the line day after day – while we get to be with our family and friends, barbecue, and drink beer.

Here, John Prine is interviewed by Bobby Bare, talking about and singing “Sam Stone”. John was 38 at the time, which puts this at 1984.

Here’s Bruce singing “Shut Out the Light” in Paris, 1985.

Clay Pigeons – John Prine on Austin City Limits

I was catching up on some recorded episodes of Austin City Limits this afternoon, and came across a goldmine: a repeat of the John Prine / Amos Lee episode that aired about 2 years ago. It was John’s version of “Clay Pigeons” that really affected me, and led me to the original songwriter, Blaze Foley. I wrote about that day here.

I checked YouTube back then for the Prine ACL version, but no go. And today, after seeing John’s amazing performance again, I checked again, and lo and behold, here it is. I trust there’ll be a few of you who are just as affected as I was.

For good measure, here’s Blaze Foley’s equally brilliant original…

Blaze FoleyClay Pigeons (mp3)

Ickmix 2

ickmix 2

I used to really enjoy creating mixes for friends and – well – especially girlfriends. Inspiration would smack me like a freight train, and I’d dig into my collection and weave together tapestries of musical brilliance (at least I thought so!) and what I thought to be clever proclamations of affection. Well, the girlfriends are no more (my wife would kill me), but I have to get my mix fix in every now and then. So indulge me, my internet friends, and take in my new Ickmix.

It’s a fairly mellow mix. I’m a mellow fellow. I hope you enjoy. If you do, let me know. It may give me a kick in the pants to make more.

Ickmix 2 (mp3 – 63MB – 46:00)

Playlist after the jump:

John Prine – You Got Gold

I’m in the John Prine state of mind.

I guess it was a year ago about this time when I professed my love for The Missing Years album. Another track popped up tonight while I was holding my youngest daughter, getting ready to give her a bath. I immediately stopped in my tracks, and we spent the next four and a half minutes dancing and spinning. What a look of joy on her face. Goosebump moments.

Non-parents have already moved on to the next web site, but you parents know how it is – those spontaneous moments out of nowhere where your child can somehow convince you – just with an expression or a gleam in her eye – that all is right with this world. Escapism in its purest, most innocent (not to mention healthiest) form.

So it’s this song that I’ve absolutely loved since the record came out back in 1991. It’s the joyful, reeling melody, combined with Prine’s witty and beautiful lyrics. I mean look at this verse:

Life is a blessing, it’s a delicatessen
Of all the little favors you do.
All wrapped up together no matter the weather,
Baby you always come through.
It’s a measure of treasure that gives me the pleasure
Of loving you the way I do
And you know I would gladly say I need your love badly
And bring these little things to you.

Who else but John Prine could craft that?

So listen up, and if you have a spare few moments with your kid, give him or her a whirl with this one…

John PrineYou Got Gold (mp3) – from The Missing Years (Boss fans – Bruce and Prine duet on “Take a Look at My Heart”, reason enough to pick up the album – and so do Tom Petty and Bonnie Raitt)

John’s most recent album is a collection of old school country & western standards with bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman. It’s a great ride, and definitely puts me in a great place each time I hear it. Here’s a taste of what you’re in store for….

John Prine & Mac WisemanDon’t Be Ashamed of Your Age (mp3) – from Standard Songs for Average People

John’s Official Site

Friday Night Videos

John Prine, sitting around the kitchen table, sings one of my favorites: “That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round”.

John Mellencamp’s (Cougar Mellencamp at the time) video for “Rain on the Scarecrow”.

Little Village was a great one album supergroup made up of John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner. Here’s the video for “She Runs Hot”.

The Missing Years

The Missing Years

Whether you’re familiar with John Prine or not, you should at least make yourself familiar with The Missing Years. Produced by the late Howie Epstein of the Heartbreakers, and including such special guests as Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, and the Boss himself, the album is full of warm melodies, and funny & insightful lyrics. You can end the weekend just right by listening to this tune…

John Prine: The Sins of Memphisto (mp3)

Buy The Missing Years on eMusic or Amazon.

Bonus: Todd Snider: That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round (mp3)