Typically, my objective on Music Monday is to talk to y’all about a new artist/band that I’ve recently discovered. However, sometimes I simply want to write about my all-time favorite artists and why I love them so much. This is one of those posts.
John Prine has my heart. In the last couple of years, when my songwriting really started to develop, my dad told me I needed to listen to him. The funny thing is, I remember hearing Miranda Lambert’s cover of “That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round” (I’ll link her version here) when I was younger and loving it – little did I know, that was originally written by him! I’ll link his original version here. His lyrics are so quirky and he tells the goofiest stories, and I think that’s what initially attracted me to his music.
Here’s a short background on this dude: He first came onto the scene in late 1960s Chicago, after serving with the US armed forces. He initially started writing songs for fun, but was then noticed by Kris Kristofferson, who helped him produce his first album, John Prine (go listen to this album right now). From there, he embarked on a career as a country/folk singer/songwriter, writing cheeky lyrics and musical commentaries on the realities of life and his own experiences.
Fast forward to the past year of my life – I was learning songs to add to my live sets, and my dad suggested I listen to “Angel From Montgomery”. It was originally released in 1971 on Prine’s self-titled album, and then covered by Carly Simon in 1972, and Bonnie Raitt in 1974. It’s become one of my favorite covers to play live. From there, I gradually discovered classics like “Illegal Smile”, “In Spite Of Ourselves”, and “Sweet Revenge”. There is something so distinct about the way he writes and the words he chooses that his songs have his genius written all over them. Some of his lyrics push boundaries when it comes to subject matter, but I have always admired songwriters that so blatantly state their opinions and beliefs through their art. It’s artists like John Prine that encourage me to stay true to myself as I write my own material. Songwriters like him are the reason that I challenge myself to write what I think and stick to my roots. Two of my favorite female country artists, Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price, sight Prine as a huge influence on their songwriting as well. Kacey even wrote a song called “Burn One With John Prine”, singing about her and Prine’s mutual appreciation for, ahem, cannabis – and obviously honoring him with the song. It isn’t on Spotify but I will link the video where Kacey sings it to him here. He also just did a show with Margo Price and I would have killed to be there. I guess he’s just another artist to add to my “See Them Live” bucket list, along with Miranda Lambert and Bruno Mars, of course.
If you appreciate honesty, humor, and a classic country sound, please go listen to John Prine. I feel like I haven’t even made a dent in his catalogue of music, but I have already been influenced and inspired by him. Are there any artists y’all think I should check out for a future Music Monday?
As always, if you listen to John Prine, let me know in the comments below!
Much love everyone, happy Monday and happy listening.
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