Music

John Prine tonight at Popejoy Hall

John Prine performs “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round”

John Prine came up in the early '70s as an integral force in Chicago's famed Old Town School of Folk Music. Along with Steve Goodman, Prine brought a new face to folk—his brand being more country-inspired. As a songwriter he’s probably best known for "Angel From Montgomery," which Bonnie Raitt recorded in 1974, and which she's said she considers one of her most important songs.

For that matter, Prine has been an influence on a multitude of country and folk heavyweights. He was "discovered" by Kris Kristofferson, who in the '70s said that Prine was so good he might have to "break his thumbs." Bob Dylan also counts him as one of his favorite songwriters, and he was recorded by Johnny Cash.

But to fans, Prine is more than the man behind the mask. His raspy, mournful ballads, impeccable guitar-picking and wry storytelling (see the above video) make his shows an unforgettable experience. He recently put out a CD, “The Singing Mailman Delivers,” that revisits live recordings of such classics as “Sour Grapes” and “Donald and Lydia.” Tonight he'll be playing with Loudon Wainwright at Popejoy Hall.