New Music Old Friends – John Prine and David Wilcox!

Today I listened to two albums from a couple of guys that I have been listening to for a long, long time John Prine and David Wilcox. I listened to the latest releases from each of them, first John Prine’s album Live & On Stage and then David Wilcox’s just released album Reverie

So it’s only fitting that the artist I’ve listened to the longest goes first. I go back with John Prine to his debut self titled album. I feel in love with his music on the first listen and the love affairs last almost 40 years!! Four of those songs are found on this album “Spanish Pipe Dream” opens the album and it’s great to hear an often forgotten Prine song! “Angel From Montgomery” is the next track from the first album on this album it’s a great duet with with Emmylou Harris. “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” follows, a song that’s as appropriate today as it was when it was written, as is the closing track “Paradise” considering that the fight against mountain top mining still rages. Read about it here.

Throughout the rest of the show there’s a mix of old songs given new treatments “The Late John Garfield Blues from Diamonds in the Rough album two features Sara Watkins and for “Mexican Home”, from Sweet Revenge Prine shares the microphone with the immensely-talented Josh Ritter. There are also tracks from later albums like “Unwed Fathers” and “In Spite of Our Selves” (with Iris DeMent) and “The Bottomless Lake” which is given and introduction by Prine where he talks about his family vacations! Also sprinkled throughout the show are tracks from his Grammy Winning album Fair and Square the “Glory of True Love” a track I love “Long Monday”, “She Is My Everything” dedicated to his wife, and “Bear Creek Blues” by A.P. Carter which is proceeded by a story of Prine’s brother David’s ability to play guitar followed by John being taught three chords and given a Carter Family album! All in all it was great to hear these songs given new life and while John’s voice may be a little gruffer (it works) it is still great to have him around!!

The second album was David Wilcox’s new release Reverie. I’ve listened to David since the early 1990s when I first heard “The Nightshift Watchman” I think it was on Mountain Stage. Anyway I’ve loved both his singing, songwriting and guitar playing (he’s number 77 on the on-line list of the 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists) Here’s what some folks say about David’s music:

Fueled by brilliantly articulate guitar, an honestly pretty baritone, and deft lyrics, he combines the best of both pop and modern folk aesthetics. Boston Globe

Factor in a strong acoustic guitar technique that eschews simplistic strumming in favor of expressive finger-picking, and a pleasant voice that sounds like a more insistent, fuller bodied James Taylor, and you have a solid solo- acoustic performer who will make his way even if he doesn’t serve ear candy. Los Angeles Times

There are some great tracks on this album like the opening track “End of the World (again)”, “Ireland”, “Stones of Jerusalem”. David usually tends to not be overally political but “We Call it Freedom” is and it is a great track! If you never heard David’s music you can check it out at his website where his page Musical Medicine ” Musical Medicine arranges songs to fit your mood!

Here’s David with “End of the World”