Prine gets his DECC crowd swaying
Poor John Prine, with his dictionary-thick discography. It would have been impossible for him to exhaust the requests of a pretty vocal audience during his concert Thursday night at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium. The calls...
Poor John Prine, with his dictionary-thick discography.
It would have been impossible for him to exhaust the requests of a pretty vocal audience during his concert Thursday night at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium. The calls came during the ellipses in his 2-hour set from every pocket of the
almost-capacity crowd, and from every pocket of his
"I know them all," the longtime guitar-playing songwriter dead-panned, strumming at center stage dressed in a dark shirt, dress shoes and a white collared shirt.
His band, Jason Wilber on guitar and Dave Jaques on bass, joined him for most of the show in front of a crowd that was as active and participatory as possible in theater seating.
The audience was on its feet when Prine and his band took the stage, a spare setup that looked like a guitar showroom: Two here, one there, two more over here, and an upright bass. The songwriting legend barely paused, and immediately started playing "Spanish Pipedreams," a whimsical tale with some crusty characters -- sung in his trademark voice, which sounds like a low ooze on a bumpy road.
He had the Baby Boomers singing, clapping, and entire rows swaying and laughing during "Your Flag Decal won't get you into Heaven."
"That last song I wrote about 40 years ago," Prine said. "I was about 3."
He alternated between silly, sad and sweet, sometimes within the same song, and every 15 minutes or so told a quick story -- which is one of his fortes, and one of the many reasons he still plays to sellout crowds.
During "Dear Abby," Prine said during the instrumental:
"Around this point of the song, I start running out of ideas," for fictitious Q&A's with Abby the advice columnist. "So I go with the songwriter's last resort: Tell the truth. Fortunately, it rhymed."
Pietra Brown opened the show, sharing the stage with guitar player Bo Ramsey. Brown, the daughter of folk hero Greg Brown, has a sound like Sheryl Crow without the pop, Lucinda Williams without the regrets. She played a six-song, half-hour long set, the kind of music perfect for a rainy night including "Wishes Falling Through the Rain," and "Other Way Around" from her recent album "One and All."
She also gave a little shout-out to Charlie Parr, Wednesday night Brewhouse stage regular.