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One of the USA’s most remarkable songwriters: two time Grammy winner and master storyteller John Prine will return to Australia next March. Prine was recently named Artist of the Year at the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards, held at Nashville’s famous Ryman Auditorium.
The legendary Prine – long considered a “songwriter’s songwriter” – will perform intimate theatre dates with his full band, his first shows in Australia since 1993!
The list of performers who’ve recorded from Prine’s extensive catalogue, or appeared alongside him on his many albums, reads like a who’s who of the greats: Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Iris Dement, Dan Auerbach, Tom Petty, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Bette Midler, and more.
From the release of his eponymous, ground-breaking debut in 1971, for over 40 years now Prine has forged a path through the American musical landscape. In April 2018 the 71-year-old icon released his first new original songs in 13 years: the critically acclaimed The Tree Of Forgiveness (Oh Boy Records/Cooking Vinyl). The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Folk Albums chart, #2 on Top Country, and #5 on the overall Billboard 200 – the highest chart positions of Prine’s career.
Born in 1946 in Maywood, Illinois, Prine was raised in the Midwest. His songs are filled with the tales of blue collar suburbs, where country music, the Grand ‘Ol Opry, good Southern cooking, and annual visits ‘home’ to Kentucky were as naturally part of his family’s lives as Chicago hot dogs and baseball. Long before the awards and accolades, the concerts and many albums, Prine trudged through snow in the cold Chicago winters, delivering mail across his childhood suburb. “I always likened the mail route to a library with no books,” he recalls. “I passed the time each day making up these little ditties.”
Those “ditties” led to countless awards and accolades. Just a few Prine has received in recent times include his 2003 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, an Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting, and being honoured at the Library of Congress by US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. For many, Prine has become not just a well-loved and appreciated songwriter, but a bonafide American treasure.
‘At 71, John Prine is a virtuoso … writing about what it means to be alive.’ – Pitchfork
‘Prine and the late-Leonard Cohen are a rare breed of songwriters who can make you cry and laugh in the same song … a complete night of exquisite storytelling.’ – The Times (Pittsburgh)