Q - 9/93, p.1023 Stars
- Good - "...Jokes, philosophy and stories aplenty - what more could you want from American national treasures?..."
2 LPs on 1 CD.
Personnel: John Prine (vocals, acoustic guitar); Steve Goodman, Bonnie Raitt (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jim Rooney (acoustic guitar); David Bromberg, Philip Donnelly (electric guitar); Stuart Duncan (mandolin); Rachel Peer-Prine, Johnny Lee Schell (electric bass); Kenny Malone (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Hank Meuberger; Jim Rooney; Jim Tullio; Richard Adler .
Recording information: KLRU-TV; The Arie Crown Theater, Chicago, IL; The Cannery, Nashville, TN; The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Originally released as a double album, this 1988 outing presents singer/songwriter John Prine in concert before an enthusiastic audience. Throughout most of the 19-track collection, Prine is armed with only his acoustic guitar, raspy vocals, and charming wit, offering up both off-the-cuff tales and some of his finest songs. The Illinois native is joined by Bonnie Raitt on the gorgeous "Angel of Montgomery," and his longtime friend Steve Goodman sits in on the wistful "Souvenirs," but many of LIVE's best moments feature Prine alone, allowing his remarkable storytelling ability to come to the fore. Highlights include the amiably quirky "Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard," the humorous "Illegal Smile" (here a boisterous sing-along), the moving Vietnam War ballad "Sam Stone," and, of course, the thoughtful closer, "Hello in There," which stands as one of Prine's masterpieces. Although the two-disc GREAT DAYS compilation is the best introduction to Prine's studio material, this excellent album showcases the performer's charming persona in a wonderfully unadorned setting.