Three cuts here are cowritten with Pat McLaughlin, a songwriter I actually have seen, once, late one night in Nashville, prowling the stage like a lion on acid. I think I have every Pat McLaughlin album ever released, possibly multiple copies. My husband and I have spent many hours (yes, while driving) trying to figure out why we like him so much, and how lyrics that seemed so "tossed off" can pack such a punch. I'd had only a vague awareness that McLaughlin had cowritten some of his brilliantly bizarre rock tunes with Prine, so it was a bit of a thrill to find three of my favorites delivered up here. They're calmer with Prine driving the bus, but just as great. My favorite is "Morning Train" at once sexy and inscrutable:
| Constantinople |
Is one big, long word.
Got three more letters
You put me on a morning train. . . .
So no, I've never seen John Prine, and unless someone has an extra ticket for me, I probably won't get to see him when he comes to the Michigan Theater on Friday, June 3, 'cause the last time he came to town, the show sold out way in advance.
But that's okay. Me and John, we go way back.
[Originally published in June, 2005.]