Music » Critics' Choices

John Prine

Friday, March 28, at the Lied Center.


John Prine's looking a little more stately these days, with Tennessee Ernie Ford suits and preacher's ties. Still, he's the same stinging, chuckling songwriter he's always been. His revival of "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," plants him firmly in the anti-war camp, and the title is finding its way onto bumper stickers across America. Early in March, he was one of the main attractions at a sold-out "Music for Peace" concert in Nashville, no less. Prine has a gift for laughter, pulling off stunt rhymes like Rice-A-Roni and phony, and he's equally skilled at helping us cry -- God help the callous soul who's made it through "Hello in There" without at least gulping. As a five-year survivor of squamous-cell carcinoma, slowed only slightly by the disease, Prine has earned the right to say what he wants -- and we're lucky he's still out there saying it.

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