John Prine - Live from Sessions at West 54th (2001) Review
(More customer reviews)John Prine is one of those rare artists who both define and occupy a niche in pop music. I've been a fan of John since the mid-1970's in Chicago, where you could catch Prine and Steve Goodman on a double bill - or just sitting in on each other's acts - at The Quiet Knight for a two drink minimum. His catchy, eclectic and highly personal songs are always interesting and sometimes extraordinary.
But not until this DVD have you been able to catch the spirit of a John Prine concert. I don't know why it has taken so long, but I'm grateful that it is here at last. It's not quite the same as being there, but it's a treat even so.
I bought the DVD after a concert here in Fairbanks, just last week. Except for not having Iris Dement for the cuts from "In Spite of Ourselves" (John sang both parts himself), this DVD captures the spirit, the goofy sincerity and charm, of John Prine very well. The camera work is quite good, the editing is crisp and smooth, and his band, Jason Wilber and David Jacques, are nearly perfect.
Life hasn't treated John all that well. He's had his woman problems ("All the Best" was written for his ex-wife's wedding), his best friend died, he's had a hip transplant and scary brush with cancer. But it hasn't affected his music or his evident joy in life. He seems to live his life and write his music with the message of "Bruised Orange" in mind: "It don't do no good to get angry, believe me, I know."
John Prine fans: this DVD belongs in your collection. You will savor it for years to come. For those who don't know John, get "Souvenirs," his latest CD release, and this DVD, and see what the fuss is all about.
And thanks, John. It was a great concert. It's a great DVD. Keep up the good work.
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Song list: 1. Blow Up Your TV 2. Six O'Clock News 3. Souvenirs 4. Far from Me 5. All the Best 6. Milwaukee Here I Come (with Iris DeMent) 7. (We're Not) The Jet Set (with Iris DeMent) 8. Let's Invite Them Over Again (with Iris DeMent) 9. When Two Worlds Collide (with Iris DeMent) 10. In Spite of Ourselves (with Iris DeMent) 11. Sam Stone 12. Lake Marie 13. Hello in There