John Prine

John Prine, Opinions on Courtney Barnett & Scott Hutchison

For the last 50 years, John Prine has garnered a multi-generational fan base through his nuanced storytelling as a songwriter and performer. The balance of humor, plain language and reality in his music is what makes him stand out in the genres of folk, country and beyond. Jim and Greg talk to Prine about starting his own independent label, working with Phil Spector and his writing process. Plus, the hosts review the latest album from Courtney Barnett and pay tribute to the late Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit.

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John Prine

John Prine This week, our guest is singer-songwriter John Prine. Born and raised just outside of Chicago, Prine began his career as a mailman and started writing folk songs along his route. He performed them live in the Chicago folk scene and was soon signed to a major label. While he put out great releases in the '70s, record companies often didn‘t know what to do with him - he was a talented songwriter and a gregarious performer, but he just didn’t fit the rock mold at the time. Prine started his own label Oh Boy Records in 1984 and has remained independent since. Over time, Prine has managed to get better at his craft while also having to overcome cancer, which altered his singing and speaking voice, making it deeper and more gravelly. His latest album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is his first in 13 years and is his best performing album of his entire career. Jim and Greg talk with John about his career journey, writing songs like "Sam Stone" and about working with everyone from Steve Goodman to Phil Spector.

reviewTell Me How You Really FeelTell Me How You Really Feel available on iTunes

Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really Feel

Jim thinks that Courtney Barnett is one of the most important discoveries of the past decade. Her well-received debut album, 2015's Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, helped to introduce her clever lyricism and skillful guitar work to the world. Her 2017 album with Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice, followed. And for fans of Barnett, her sophomore solo album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, doesn't disappoint. Greg notes there is“a little bit of humor”and fun. He likes her penchant for writing about“everyday details”and her ability to“boil it down for you in just a few words.”Jim enjoys both the“melodic riffs, and the wonderful squalls of noise”that draw comparisons to Kurt Cobain. But he notes that Courtney's lyricism is much more poetic than Cobain. On this album, she touches on issues like misogyny, with songs like "Nameless, Faceless" which quotes Margaret Atwood, who once said that“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”Both Jim and Greg give the album an enthusiastic Buy It.


Obit: Scott Hutchison

Scott Hutchison

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit died recently at the age of 36 after suffering for years with bouts of depression. He and bandmate/brother Grant Hutchison visited Sound Opinions in 2009, after the release of their 2008 breakthrough album The Midnight Organ Fight. Greg gives his remembrance of the Scottish singer-songwriter who wrote cathartic music that Hutchison called "Anthemic Misery Indie."

Featured Songs

  1. John Prine, Knockin On Your Screen Door, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  2. John Prine, Illegal Smile, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  3. John Prine, Sour Grapes, Diamonds in the Rough, Atlantic, 1972
  4. Steve Goodman, City of New Orleans, Steve Goodman, Buddah, 1971
  5. John Prine, Hello In There, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  6. The New Lost City Ramblers, No Depression in Heaven, Songs from the Depression, Folkways, 1959
  7. The Carter Family, The Wandering Boy, "The Wandering Boy" (single), Victor, 1927
  8. John Prine, Sweet Revenge, Sweet Revenge, Atlantic, 1973
  9. John Prine, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, German Afternoons, Oh Boy Records, 1986
  10. John Prine, If You Don't Want My Love, Bruised Orange, Asylum, 1978
  11. John Prine, God Only Knows, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  12. John Prine, Bad Boy, German Afternoons, Oh Boy Records, 1986
  13. John Prine, All the Best, The Missing Years, Oh Boy Records, 1991
  14. John Prine, Lake Marie, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, Oh Boy Records, 1995
  15. John Prine, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  16. John Prine, Boundless Love, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  17. John Prine, Angel from Montgomery, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  18. John Prine, Sam Stone, John Prine, Atlantic, 1971
  19. John Prine, Clay Pigeons, Fair & Square, Oh Boy Records, 2005
  20. John Prine, Summer's End, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  21. John Prine, When I Get To Heaven, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  22. John Prine, Caravan of Fools, The Tree of Forgiveness, Oh Boy Records, 2018
  23. Courtney Barnett, Nameless Faceless, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Milk!, 2018
  24. Courtney Barnett, City Looks Pretty, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Milk!, 2018
  25. Courtney Barnett, Sunday Roast, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Milk!, 2018
  26. Courtney Barnett, Help Your Self, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Milk!, 2018
  27. Frightened Rabbit, The Modern Leper (Live on Sound Opinions), The Midnight Organ Fight, Fat Cat, 2008
  28. Frightened Rabbit, Poke (Live on Sound Opinions), The Midnight Organ Fight, Fat Cat, 2008
  29. The Black Angels, Telephone, Phosphene Dream, Blue Horizon, 2010
  30. Sonic Youth, Bull In The Heather, Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star, DGC, 1994
  31. Liz Phair, Fuck And Run, Exile In Guyville, Matador, 1993
  32. Versing, Call Me Out, Nirvana, Decency Den, 2017
  33. Algiers, The Underside Of Power, The Underside Of Power, Matador, 2017