John Prine Beyond Words

John Prine. Oh Boy Records, , $34.98 ISBN 978-0-692-74016-3
Country and folk singer Prine has crafted a minimemoir culled from his song lyrics and photographs that tell the stories behind the songs. A photo of the original typewritten lyrics for “Jesus: The Missing Years,” with Prine’s later edits, appears on the page facing the lyrics, and Prine cannily offers insights into how he wrote the song and his songwriting in general: “I recorded this into a cassette at four in the morning. The next day I typed it off the cassette... I like to write with a typewriter because I type slow—it gives me time to edit.” Regarding what is perhaps his best-known song, “Angel from Montgomery,” Prine says he was led to the opening lines by a series of ideas: “Backroad rambling gambling/ so many chances, nowhere to go.” The photos scattered through the book show him with his family and at various stages of his career from the late 1960s to the present, highlighting moments with his friends such as musicians Steve Goodman, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Waits. Prine’s lavish scrapbook is a keepsake for his fans, as well as an inviting introduction to his music. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
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