John Prine has the knack of Song; somebody said his music should be available on prescription to anyone hurting from Life's blows; funny, deft, razor-sharp yet gently, compassionately human and all in three chords or fewer, John Prine has made valid the often pointless and overblown occupation of singer-songwriter.
Although he has produced a huge canon of work, Speed of the Sound Of Loneliness and Souvenirs are maybe his most well-known, well-covered works - one more "hit", therefore, than Richard Thompson - and his early partnership with the late Steve Goodman produced some of the nicest, well-judged second guitar work among a crowded galaxy of showier, Seventies pickers. Goodman's solo song, following this famous version of Souvenirs, shows just how good, how perfect he was on a big dreadnought, always enough, never too much. Eulogised still, even here, by some of our American readers, Goodman, dead and hallowed, will never inspire the discomfort and embarrassment of John Prine's current performances, seen in the second clip, below.
I have heard that Prine is ill, not long for this world, but that's no excuse for this shit and I never understand why people do this stuff beyond the time that they should, this is like Rembrandt taking a Stanley knife to a Rembrandt and proves, if it needed proving, that the Baby Boomers are rich in much, although not in dignity.