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It’s a big old goofy world, and John Prine has its number



I recently had the opportunity to write about one of my favourite John Prine albums for

For me, The Missing Years – Prine’s 10th – is one of the American singer/songwriter’s most consistent records, if not one that’s packed with his better known songs. (Another place to start with Prine is his Great Days anthology, which features many of his classic tunes, including “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and “Angel from Montgomery.”)

I’ve seen Prine a number of times, the most memorable being the first time – a headlining show at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I thought his songs – many of which I’d never heard until that night – were some of the most profound things I’d ever heard.

Hey, I was young and impressionable. And it was a folk festival.

But Prine is profound in his own way. As Bob Dylan said, the singer’s lyrics are “pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.”

I couldn’t have said it better (and didn’t). But here’s what I did say:

And here’s a version of “Hello In There” by Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe:

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