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One of my all-time favorites. Paradise is on the best songs ever written; totally evocative of a young boy's childhood in the country, combined with a strong environmental message. I finally had the privilege of seeing him last September. Even though his illness has taken an understandable toll on his voice, his passion, good humor and the outstanding quality of his writing made it an evening my wife and I will always remember. The "Singing Postman" rocks!!! And so does his band, BTW; fantastic musicianship throughout, all in the service of his great songs. Do not miss him if you get the chance!
New CD April 13th, seeing him (again, always wonderful) in Philly April 14th. Its hard to list "a" favorite, but high on my list is One Red Rose. But I agree about Paradise. And of course countless others that may get mentioned. Traveled several hundred miles to see him first time, and repeated that several others since, but the Philadelphia show is "in my back yard".
We're seeing him in San Diego on May 19th, and then again here at home in Phoenix in December. We've seen him many times over the last >30 years, and never miss an opportunity to do so again. One of the best songwriters of a generation.
Just shows how different tastes are - we saw him a couple of years ago with Iris Dement (my first exposure) and almost had to leave before John came on. To me she has one of the worst voices ever; literally painful to listen to.
I have a bunch of Iris's music and have listened to it quite a bit over the years. Finally got a chance to see her in concert a few years ago and was really disappointed. I do not have any way of knowing but she sounded and acted absolutely sloshed that night. All I do know for certain is this was not anything close to her best recorded efforts.
A buddy of mine and I were riding around in his old rust bucket Chevy Nova II one night back in the mid seventies. Just a couple of teenagers with no place to go and no one to see. John was playing two shows at one of the local colleges. We decided to see if we could get into the second show. They put us in folding chairs behind the last row in the balcony. Through the show I kept thinking to myself what an unlikely star this guy makes. You could say a real diamond in the ruff. I've been a fan ever since.
@rpeluso - I agree with you there! As a general rule, I'm not a "country" kind of guy. Grew up on country but always despised it, especially the 'twangy' kind of singing my parents loved. Shuddddderrrrr!!!
In the many intervening decades, I've come to enjoy - for marital bliss among other reasons - country rock and bluegrass. Still can't take the twang though. Give me a Sharon den Adel, Simone Simons, Tarja Terunen, Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Annie Haslam, Maddy Prior kind of female vocals any time.
That said, we just saw John McEuen a couple of weeks ago, with some of the old NGDB folks - 50 year anniversary tour for the Circle album - absolutely excellent!! Great fun. Good tunes, and he spent a lot of time talking about his and the NGDB's history, and actually taking questions from the audience. A must see if you get a chance! A piece of history, and a marvelous string talent, irrespective of your tastes.
@tubegroover - yeah, he's always put on a great show, but IMO since his throat cancer, and recovery, the sense of sheer joy he exhibits at being able to still perform just takes the show to a totally new level. His voice has suffered significantly - but if was never that *pure* of a voice to begin with - but the fun he has performing is so obvious, and infectious, that you can't help but have a great time.
We were lucky enough to see Randy Newman a few years ago in Scottsdale, just him and a piano, and about 100-150 people, and it was the same kind of vibe. He was talking to the audience, and just having a great time - makes the show something really special. Compare such shows to the singers/groups who basically just phone in the performance, and the enjoyment factor is just orders of magnitude greater.
Been seeing JP since the mid 70’s. That show in Dallas was like Springsteen on stage! The level of energy with a full band was incredible. He was literally climbing on top of the PA system. John is a National Treasure. I have no problem speaking of John in the same breath as Dylan. I’ve read Dylan has said JP is one of his favorite song writers. He rocks with Lake Louise and makes you cry with Sam Stone.
IMO since his throat cancer, and recovery, the sense of sheer joy he exhibits at being able to still perform just takes the show to a totally new level. His voice has suffered significantly - but if was never that *pure* of a voice to begin with - but the fun he has performing is so obvious, and infectious, that you can't help but have a great time.
The level of energy with a full band was incredible. He was literally climbing on top of the PA system. John is a National Treasure. I have no problem speaking of John in the same breath as Dylan.What I was trying to convey in my post, but said much better.
@rpeluso , thanks for sharing . What a talented man . Kinda like mixing John Denver and Woody Guthrie! BTW IRIS is the Bomb ! To those of you that are asking who/what , try what I do . I use Tidal and I am constantly clicking the similar artists tab . I listen to a lot of music , but at 60, I’m finding stuff I never knew . What a thrill . My biggest thrill was discovering Rock and Roll backwards . Started with Beatles, Stones Zepllin, Deep Purple , Rory Gallagher etc as a kid and reverse engineered to Robert Johnson and Ledbetter ! Talk about getting aroused !!! Like is Good , with music it’s Great .
Received the new record last night, playing now, stunned (surprised to be) by the man and his subtle genius. Wish I could be more like him (or the him I perceive him to be), comfortable with who he is and what he thinks. Just listen to The Lonesome Friends of Science or Crazy Bone. His humor and his humanity are there. I love the man, as much as is possible without knowing him at all. Thank you John Prine.
Have seen John (and Iris, as mentioned) many times. John is of course great. Saw him in I think October at the big free yearly bluegrass festival here in San Francisco - of course his voice is very different, but still enjoyable. He wrote so many great songs that if he had croaked in 1980 his legendary status would have been cemented, in my opinion. Iris is I think one of the greatest living songwriters and performers. Last two times I have seen her have left me *floored*. On 'Sing the Delta,' she took her songwriting to a different level.
@sealrock, ah, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, one reason I wished I still lived in San Jose, a 45 minute drive away. I have old friends who go every year. Did you get to see Dann Penn backed by Buddy Miller and the band he put together?
I agree, Iris Dement is an astonishing songwriter and singer, absolutely one of the greatest, living or otherwise. I learned of Iris from Merle Haggard, who recorded her "No Time To Cry", one of the most devastating songs I’ve ever heard. An absolute masterpiece. That there are those who don't "get" her is bewildering to me. I feel very, very sorry for them.