In last week’s Chain Gang, we saw the glorious afternoon in Glasgow when Billy Bragg, Cara Tivey and Michael Stipe performed a cover of ‘Hello in There’ by the legendary John Prine. The next link in the chain takes us from a cover of John Prine to a song about John Prine. This lovely song was written as a heartfelt tribute to the great man, who had inspired Sam Chase along with so many others, musicians and music fans alike. At live shows, Chase will talk humbly about the proud moment that he had the opportunity to play this song in front of members of John Prine’s family. This performance is full of emotion as Chase shares with us how it felt when he heard Prine had died. Chase delivers his words with a fabulously powerful, gritty voice: “Josh wrote me, ‘Sam what are we supposed to do now?’ // All I thought to write back was, ‘Just make him proud, // Write songs in his name and send them off to the happily ever after.'” As ever, Chase is ably supported by violinist Chandra Johnson and cellist Devon McClive, who add richness to the song.
‘John Prine’ appears on ‘You Call This An Album’ released under the name The Sam Chase & The Untraditional earlier this year. The latest album from the San Francisco troubadour and his band, like previous releases, follows in the footsteps of John Prine, offering lyrically engaging songs that range from bleak narratives to humorous streams of thoughts. If you get the chance to see The Sam Chase Trio perform, they come highly recommended. Their musicianship is mesmerising and Chase is a natural storyteller, whose interaction with the audience makes for a thoroughly entertaining show. Check this out and be thankful for John Prine and his music while also appreciating the fine talents of The Sam Chase Trio.