Day: March 14, 2020

Saturday Soundtrack: John Prine

(UPDATE:  John Prine passed away from COVID-19 on April 7, 2020, just three-and-a-half weeks after I wrote this post suggesting how much we needed his music and his outlook on life. My appreciation can be found here.) This seems like a good weekend to recall the work of the man who wrote the classic line, “To believe in this living is just a hard way to go.” John Prine has been in my life, and in my head, forever. When the singing mailman was discovered in 1970 at The Fifth Peg in Chicago by a young journalist named Roger Ebert, he was already writing and playing such incredible songs as Sam Stone, Hello in There, and Paradise. In fact, those were the first three songs Prine ever played on stage. To hear a 1970-era country singer and songwriter tackling subjects such as the Vietnam War and drug use, old age and loneliness, and environmental degradation and rural depopulation in such a sensitive and thoughtful way was unheard of from the country music industry in nearby …