John Prine – New York 1978 – 2CD
1978 This superb live performance from John Prine was broadcast live by King Biscuit on July 11th 1978 from the Bottom Line Club in New York s Greenwich Village, several years into the man s career. His debut album had been released to huge critical acclaim, albeit somewhat modest sales (reaching only 153 on Billboard), in 1971 on the Atlantic label. Featuring such legendary numbers as Hello in There and Angel from Montgomery (versions of both are featured) it was voted into Rolling Stone s All Time Greatest 500 Albums list in 2003. The tour, of which this gig was part, was performed in support of Bruised Orange (1978), Prine s 5th studio album, and the lengthy 30-song set list features no fewer than 6 of the album s 10 cuts, although strangely John omits to perform the marvellous title track.
The remainder of the songs played are a mix from 3 out of 4 previous albums (he doesn t play anything from his sophomore record, 1972 s Diamonds In The Rough) plus a smattering of cuts yet to be released at show-time, but made available on 1979 s Pink Cadillac and post-1980 releases. A few well-chosen covers are additionally played, including a rollicking versions of Treat Me Nice (from the pens of Messrs. Leiber and Stoller of course) and a nice Ballad of a Teenage Queen - made famous by Johnny Cash but composed by Prine s friend Jack Clement.
The line-up for the evenings proceedings includes some fine backing by the group he had already assembled for Pink Cadillac, (John Burns - acoustic and electric guitars, Howard Levy - piano, harmonica, mandolin, Tom Piekarske - bass, Angelo Varias - drums) and it s interesting to hear some of his oldies performed with full band, although he does go back to just acoustic guitar for the likes of Hello In There . A wonderful ambience prevails across the whole 130 minutes that the gig extends, and some of the usual JP between song patter is well placed and timely, charting a seamless show that must surely be among the finest that this maverick songwriter and performer ever performed.
1. Spanish Pipedream - 3:25 2. Often Is a Word I Seldom Use - 3:32 3. Angel from Montgomery - 4:44 4. Fish and Whistle - 3:25 5. Crooked Piece of Time - 4:02 6. Blue Umbrella - 4:23 7. Illegal Smile - 5:51 8. Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone - 5:13 9. The Bottomless Lake - 7:09 10. Sam Stone - 4:52 11. That s the Way That the World Goes Round - 4:00 12. There She Goes - 3:04 13. I Had a Dream Last Night - 3:03 14. Chinatown - 3:26 15. If You Don't Want My Love - 3:36
1. Try to Find Another Man - 3:46 2. Everything s About the Same - 5:12 3. Hello in There - 6:06 4. Grandpa Was a Carpenter - 2:55 5. Ballad of a Teenage Queen - 2:57 6. Paradise - 3:56 7. Please Don't Bury Me - 2:33 8. Sleepy Eyed Boy - 3:36 9. Treat Me Nice - 2:19 10. Onomatopeia - 3:19 11. Sailin Around - 4:48 12. Mexican Home - 8:47 13. How Lucky Can One Man Get - 4:00 14. I m Not That Good at Goodbye - 5:56 15. Saddle in the Rain - 8:06