Yesterday, a John Prine CD, that I recently ordered, came in the mail. It’s called Souvenirs. It’s a collection of 15 classic songs that were re-recorded a few years ago. It’s great! If you read the customer reviews, some people complain about John not sounding as good as he did on the original recordings. Well, nobody will sound the same today as they did 30 or 40 years ago. That’s just what comes with aging, but, that said, it’s a great album! The recordings are honest. Nothing’s been auto-tuned or fixed in any other way. It took me back to Lyons, Colorado, where I saw John a couple of weeks ago. It’s very rare to hear an artist that can decently recreate what’s on their albums live, anymore. That being said, John Prine and his band delivered, and I’m not sure any of the new artists today will ever figure out what it is. It’s not the vocals. Don’t get me wrong, John Prine’s not the worst singer ever, but he’s not a great singer, though he has great delivery! It’s not the music. Don’t get me wrong, John and his band are great musicians, but they have a basic, stripped down setup. So, what is it? Friends and neighbors, it’s the songs. Everyone loves to hear John’s lyrics. Nobody’s picky about how well he sings or plays them. Everybody just wants to hear the songs, period. When you listen to what’s coming out of Nashville or Los Angeles now, you won’t hear songs like that. Modern day musical styles have expiration dates. John Prine’s music is timeless. Listen to the lyrics. It doesn’t matter if it’s on an album, or if it’s live in concert. I get the same great feeling every time. Just sitting back and listening to John Prine, with the Rocky Mountains in the background, and the full moon in the sky gave his music the perfect setting, but once I got home and listened to his albums again, I realized I was taken back to that same setting every time. If your music can take someone to a place they love each time they hear it, you’ve got a great song! If it’s layered with so many auto-tuned vocal tracks and digitally synthesized instruments that you can’t understand what the song is or what it’s about, then you’ve got a short term hit. That’s it. John Prine isn’t called a songwriter’s songwriter for nothing.
Check out these songs from John Prine. First, a funny song, then an emotional song. Both are great!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfBdMXhpQnU – Please Don’t Bury Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ85Hep0kD0 – Hello In There
Until next time,