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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Bill Leslie: John Prine Tradition

Posted December 27, 2018 10:48 a.m. EST

John Prine

It’s funny how holiday traditions start. Sometimes they just take on a life of their own.

My son Will and I both love the lyrics of John Prine. We started listening to Prine’s music together about 15 years ago on a father-son road trip.

I used to perform Prine’s songs for my wife’s parents when I was courting Cindy many years ago. We all marveled at how the songs could make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Will works in Charlotte and he treated me to tickets to a John Prine concert at Ovens Auditorium in 2013. It was a cold winter night. Prine told the crowd his voice would sound better as the evening wore on and he was right. Cancer and surgery have taken their toll on Prine but he continues to perform before adoring fans.

Prine’s latest album “Tree of Forgiveness” is a nominee for three 2019 Grammy Awards including Best Americana Album.

Will and I began our holiday Prine Time this year like we always do. We listened to the quirky but heartbreaking tune “Christmas in Prison” and then made our way through other classics including “Sam Stone, “ “Paradise,” and “Grandpa Was a Carpenter.”

Will and I concluded that no one we have ever heard comes close to matching the rich creativity of John Prine.  

Bill Leslie:  John Prine Tradition