Review #149: John Prine, John Prine

Karla Clifton
2 min readAug 11, 2021

#149: John Prine, John Prine

This is embarrassing but the only time I’ve ever encountered John Prine’s name was when I was watching Mr. Robot. One of the FBI agents loves John Prine.

According to the RS blurb, he was a USPS mailman before releasing this as his debut, which is just astonishing. Everybody flag down your mailman tomorrow, hand him a guitar and demand that he shows you what he’s got.

My relationship with country music is currently undergoing a metamorphosis. I listened to that Lucinda Williams album and something clicked for me. I think I’ve always been so distracted and off-put by the twang of country music that I completely missed the point, which is that these are songs about real problems that real people have.

John Prine died in April 2020 of COVID-19 complications, which is just a real bummer.


“Illegal Smile” — Don’t you HATE it when all your friends turn out to be insurance salesmen? I also thought the final pair of lines are gorgeous: Hot dog bun/My sister’s a nun.

“Spanish Pipedream” — When John Prine tells me to Eat a lot of peaches, all I can think of is the song “Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States of America.

“Hello In There” — I love fingerstyle guitar.

“Sam Stone” — Woof, a very dark song about veterans. There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes/Jesus Christ died for nothin’ I suppose.

“Paradise” — Have you heard that joke about what happens when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife back, you get your truck back, you get your house back, you get your dog back… I now know that that joke is about John Prine.

“Pretty Good” — Ooh, an electric guitar! Actually, all them gods are just about the same.

“Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” — I can think of some people who need to hear this, but they probably won’t get it.

“Angel From Montgomery” —Such great lyrics all throughout this album. How the hell can a person/Go to work in the morning/Then come home in the evening/And have nothing to say?

“Quiet Man” —And Don’t pin your blues on me.

“Donald and Lydia” — I liked this one okay, very vignette-y.

“Flashback Blues” — I love when the closing song on an album is sort of cheeky.


“Far From Me” — Okay, I’m bored.

“Six O’Clock News” — Okay, I’m REALLY bored.


No — that FBI agent from Mr. Robot had the right idea.

Review #148: channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean

Review #150: Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen