Watch Jeff Tweedy, Ashley McBryde, Jim James and More Pay Tribute to John Prine
In the course of his 50-year career, John Prine influenced everyone from Bob Dylan to Bon Iver, Kacey Musgraves, Swamp Dogg, and more.
The influence of Prine, who died last week from complications related to COVID-19, is clear in the latest installment of our In My Room series. We asked some of our favorite artists (and some of Prine’s) to play one of his classics. They didn’t disappoint. Fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy plays “Donald and Lydia,” the 1971 ballad Prine wrote on his mail route about a couple that “made love form ten miles away.” Ashley McBryde performs a mini-set that includes a mournful take on “That’s The Way the World Goes Round” and a deeply moving “Mexican Home,” the song where Prine addressed the death of his father. (McBryde becomes emotional at one point, and needs to stop herself). Todd Snider plays the underrated “It’s a Big Old Goofy World.” Jim James puts his own stamp on songs such as “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” “Spanish Pipedream” and “Paradise.” Margo Price and Jeremy Ivey play a gospel version of “All the Best” in their family home.
Prine made a major impression on these artists. In his memoir, Tweedy said Prine was an early songwriting influence on him, for “writing songs that weren’t that far removed from our own experiences.” In 2017, Ashley McBryde played at a Prine family reunion in Kentucky and drank whiskey with her songwriting hero. Prine signed Todd Snider to his Oh Boy Records label in the Nineties, and they were performing together as recently last year. Jim James once performed on Letterman with Prine, and Price and Ivey were close friends with the Prine family, sometimes having dinner at Prine’s Nashville home.
After Prine’s death, his family asked that, in leiu of flowers, fans donate to one of the following non profits: Thistle Farms, Room in the Inn, or the Nashville Rescue Mission.
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