Totally Biased Fan Review: The Tree of Forgiveness – John Prine


John Prine has survived two bouts of serious cancer and the surgery that followed. He is looking a bit worse for wear now and at 71, he is showing his age. This is not always a bad thing.  As a young fella, he was never a young fella, he had a 100 year old mind in that young head.

This man has lived a life and a half. It shows in his songs. He doesn’t pull punches and his voice is like that of my favourite songwriter, Kris Kristofferson, you can tell that he has lived those songs. That’s what makes them real….you could probably say the same for James Taylor and Bob Dylan. They are in an elite group of artists who tell it like it is and they tell it their way.

Our own John Prine like artist, Bill Chambers, is following in the footsteps of this legend. I don’t use that word lightly. Many people do.

John Prine can be funny, sarcastic, caustic and shoot straight from the heart to a heart. He plays with words like tiles on a scrabble board. The gravel in his voice mirrors the gravel on the rough roads that he has travelled.

A 50 year career is dotted with some gems, many that have become classics, like Angel From Montgomery, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, In Spite of Ourselves, The Late John Garfield Blues and many more.

One of the best things that he did was to encourage Iris DeMent. I will be forever grateful for that.

This album possesses probably some future classics. Great to hear Brandi Carlile on here. John has a dig or two at critics and the media. He puts a smile on your face, even when he is talking about tough subjects.

There are catchy songs, like the opening track which has a deeper meaning than the upbeat rhythm may suggest.  There are love songs, songs which mention all of the ingredients of good country songs, love, loss, mortality, immortality, mistakes, every day life, and there’s a bit about growing older and a few alcohol influenced songs.

John Prine is a songwriters’ songwriter. This is a gem. All of the songs are different, yet they are a bit like a chain of children dancing across a prairie holding hands, they are all linked somehow.

An absolute treat. Thanks for the first album since 2005 with all John Prine originals.


1.Knockin’ on Your Screen Door


I Have Met My Love Today (Ft. Brandi Carlile)


Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone)


Summer’s End


Caravan of Fools


The Lonesome Friends of Science


No Ordinary Blue


Boundless Love


God Only Knows


When I Get to Heaven


Playlist if I was on radio for 10 June

Listen to the Words (Theme Song) – Luke O’Shea

A Town Called Lonely – Rose Zita Falko

A Break in The Clouds – Cathy Dobson

Stranger – Brendan Smoother

Last of The Riverboats – Brendan Smoother and the Bobkats

Hold Me Close – Sami

Wayside Chapel – The Heggarties

The Last of The Cassette Men – John Flanagan Trio

From My Window To The Farthest Star – Connie Kis Andersen

I Hope That I’m Wrong – Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes

Gig Previews and Reviews

Georgia – Andrew Swift

Queen of Boomtown – Gretta Ziller

Broken – Jodie Crosby

Pour Me the Bottle – Anthony Taylor

Above the Blue – Col Finley

I Just Wanna Be Happy – Susan Lily

You Can’t Hide From a Broken Heart – Sally-Anne Whitten

Spiral – Rick Hart

Top Ten

New Albums

I’m Gonna Love Her All The Time – Montgomery Church

Cinderella – Kristy James

In the Morning – Tori Forsyth

Red head at Heart – Melissa Robertson

Lake House – Brad Cox

The Harvest and the Seed – Kasey Chambers and Emmylou Harris

Tear it Down – Imogen Clark

The Roses Fall – Allan Caswell and The Weeping Willows

My Rifle, My Pony and Me – Jen Mize and Mark Sholtez

My Voice – Melinda Schneider

Tapping – Michael Waugh

My Whiskey Lullaby – Kate Hindle

Tears on a Page – Matt Scullion

I Can Almost Smell the Smoke – Kristy Cox