John Prine is Illinois’ first honorary Poet Laureate

John Prine has been named the first honorary poet laureate of the state of Illinois, nearly three months after the singer-songwriter’s death from complications related to COVID-19. Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the honour earlier this week, saying in a statement: “He leaves behind an unparalleled musical legacy and was beloved by family and millions of fans who hope that in Heaven he finds Paradise waitin’ just as he longed for,” quoting Prine’s “Paradise.” Continue reading “John Prine is Illinois’ first honorary Poet Laureate”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish

At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of trying to narrow the whole history of Americana down to just ten albums. When every writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten.  This week’s tortured soul is Andrew Frolish. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Andrew Frolish”

AMA announces 2020 award nominees

It’s that time of year again folks. The Americana Music Association has revealed the nominees for its 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards which includes Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Our Native Daughters, the late John Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tanya Tucker and Yola among others. Continue reading “AMA announces 2020 award nominees”

Watch the video to John Prine’s final song

John Prine’s family have posted a video of his final recorded song called ‘I Remember Everything’ which follows on from a livestream tribute to the man himself which streamed last night and featured Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves and Bill Murray among others. The new song is produced by Dave Cobb and co-written by Prine and his longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin, with some painfully evocative lyrics: “I remember every town/And every hotel room/And every song I ever sang/With a guitar out of tune”. You can watch both the video and the tribute below.

Continue reading “Watch the video to John Prine’s final song”

John Prine Family announce live streaming tribute

The family of the late John Prine have announced a celebration of the singer-songwriter’s legacy with a live-streamed “Picture Show” tribute. The June 11th show will be produced by the Prine family and his label Oh Boy Records and feature “musicians, actors, and friends remembering our beloved JP.” The list of people participating in the online celebration — which will stream via Prine’s YouTube and Facebook accounts — have not yet been announced. Continue reading “John Prine Family announce live streaming tribute”

Forgotten Artists – Bonnie Koloc

Bonnie Koloc was one of three performers who, during the early 1970s, made up the celebrated ‘Trinity of the Chicago Folk Scene’. The other two were John Prine and Steve Goodman. That in itself should be enough to make you sit up and take notice. However, Bonnie Koloc was far too good to be remembered only by this association; she was an exceptional artist in her own right. Continue reading “Forgotten Artists – Bonnie Koloc”

Mini-Gig: Pete Gow & Joe Bennett “Storm Windows” (John Prine Tribute)

We’re all missing live music at the moment.  We have been trying to fill that void with regular ‘mini-gigs’.  Great artists have been sharing performances recorded at home as they adapt to the same lockdown restrictions as you and me.  Today’s show is a beautiful performance from virtual duo, Pete Gow and Joe Bennett (The Dreaming Spires, Bennett Wilson Poole, Co-Pilgrim and more…), expertly put together while separate from one another.  Continue reading “Mini-Gig: Pete Gow & Joe Bennett “Storm Windows” (John Prine Tribute)”

Something for the (long) weekend: John Prine “Far From Me”

For many of us the weekend is something of an abstract construct at the moment, but still – AUK is taking its usual Easter break until Tuesday. What a sad and terrible week it’s been in lots of different ways, including of course for the world of Americana which has lost one of its best, John Prine. So we leave you this week dear reader with a track from his debut album from 1971 – Prine often said that ‘Far From Me’ was his favourite song he’d ever written, and he re-recorded it for his 2000 ‘Souvenirs’ record. What a song. Apart from our own Mr Villers, if you want some sensible weekend reading on Covid-19 (if you can bear any more) then this article in the LRB is very good although settle in with a mug of cocoa – as with everything in LRB it will take a while. In the meantime, stay safe and look out for your neighbours. See you next week.

Ten great John Prine songs

We’ve lost of one the truly great ones with the passing of John Prine, finally succumbing as he did to complications arising from Covid-19 infection.  When our editor asked who wanted to do a Top 10 John Prine Songs feature my hand shot straight up, “Pick me, pick me” or something to that effect I replied back to him on our staff forum.  Continue reading “Ten great John Prine songs”

The Song Remains: John Prine 1946-2020

The death of John Prine following complications brought on by Covid-19 has not just robbed the Americana world of one of its finest talents, it has robbed music more widely of a true original and an inspiration to so many. Giants such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash have all cited Prine as someone whose work they admired. Continue reading “The Song Remains: John Prine 1946-2020”