While millions of people across the country were given the day off work on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many are participating in the National Day of Service. Rather than thinking of it as a “day off,” the National Day of Service encourages people to make it a “day on” to try and improve their communities. In honor of the “United We Serve” National Day of Service, Oh Boy Records has made a special John Prine tribute available for free for the next 24 hours.
Originally aired via Thriving Roots, this tribute to the late singer-songwriter features an array of artists from the Oh Boy Records label which he started in 1981. The 21-minute program is also punctuated with in-depth conversations with Prine as he discusses the craft of songwriting.
In the opening segment of the program, Prine talks about the journey on which writing a song takes him. Using one of his most popular songs, “Sam Stone”, as an example, Prine explained that sometimes where he ended up with a piece of music wasn’t always necessarily the same point he was chasing in the first place. With that, it leads into Arlo McKinley‘s take on the title track from Prine’s 1980 album, Storm Windows.
The interjecting clips of interviews with Prine aren’t all serious, as in the next brief snippet he tells a joke. This flows into a performance of “Late John Garfield Blues” from Tré Burt. More intimate conversation with Prine follows as he discusses an ultimately-abandoned verse to a song that may never have actually been written.
After that comes Kelsey Waldon‘s take on “Long Monday”, which ultimately cuts back to Prine making a prescient point about how our societal predictions of the future never quite line up with reality. The last cover of the John Prine tribute special comes from Dan and Peggy Reeder who perform “Mexican Home”. The final performance of the tribute, however, belongs to Prine himself with footage of him playing “I Remember Everything”, the last song he completed before his death.
Watch the John Prine tribute from Oh Boy Records in honor of “United We Serve” National Day of Service.
John Prine Tribute – Oh Boy Records – “United We Serve”
[Video: John Prine]