FIRST ALBUM OF NEW SONGS IN 13 YEARS, THE TREE OF FORGIVENESS, OUT APRIL 13
EXTENSIVE TOUR DATES CONFIRMED, INCLUDING SOLD OUT SHOW AT RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
John Prine’s new song “God Only Knows,” is premiering today. Listen/share HERE.
Written by Prine and Phil Spector and with Jason Isbell on slide guitar/background vocals and Amanda Shires on fiddle/background vocals, “God Only Knows” is the third track unveiled from Prine’s The Tree of Forgiveness—his first album featuring new material in over 13 years. Out April 13 on his own independent label, Oh Boy Records, the album is now available for pre-order, which includes an immediate download of “God Only Knows” as well as “Summer’s End” and “Knockin’ On Your Screen Door.”
In celebration of the release, Prine recently performed two new songs—“Caravan of Fools” and “Summer’s End”— as well as two beloved classics, “All the Best” (The Missing Years) and “Souvenirs” (Diamonds in the Rough) at NPR’s Tiny Desk. Of the performance, NPR Music’s Bob Boilen declares, “An American treasure came to the Tiny Desk and even premiered a new song,” and continues, “John Prine is a truly legendary songwriter. For more than 45 years the 71-year-old artist has written some of the most powerful lyrics in the American music canon…Prine’s new songs are equally powerful…” Watch the full performance HERE.
Recent acclaim for Prine and The Tree of Forgiveness…
“An American treasure”—GQ Style
“America’s Greatest Living Songwriter”—Men’s Journal
“…the kind of song Mr. Prine has been writing since his career began: a handful of folky chords, a melody that sounds like it’s always been around, a grainy and understated vocal and lyrics that summon complex emotions in a rigorous minimum of syllables.”—The New York Times
“…classic Prine, full of wry observations that accrue weight as they pile up.”—NPR Music
“Prine’s heart is all human. It beats in every song on The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album of original material since 2005’s Fair and Square, and the most personal record of his 47-year recording career.”—The Tennessean
“…it leaves no doubt that he’s lost none of his gift for a lyric that is at once spare and devastating. Forgiveness is central to this rippling acoustic tune, but what exactly it’s regarding is left unsaid. It’s that cryptic quality that makes the fragile, beautiful ballad so transient and powerful…” —Rolling Stone
“…his ability to convey the most complex of emotions and stories in the simplest fashion has been praised far and wide.”—Nashville Scene
“…showcases the album’s beautifully simplistic writing that reads like poetry, relying mostly on end rhyme to tie in the artist’s message of longing to return to a place where he can feel at home.”—Paste
“…a delicately fingerpicked folk-rock song imbued with Prine’s wistful humor.”—SPIN
In celebration of the album, Prine will embark on an extensive tour that will span throughout 2018, including a sold out co-headline concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall with Sturgill Simpson (solo) on album release day as well as newly announced shows at L.A.’s Ace Theatre, Boston’s Wang Theatre, Austin’s Bass Hall and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (two nights). All tickets are now on-sale. See below for complete details. Every concert ticket sold will include a copy The Tree of Forgiveness (CD only) upon its release.
Recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the album includes ten new songs written by Prine along with co-writers Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cook, Dan Auerbach, Keith Sykes and Phil Spector. Along with Prine (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Cobb (acoustic guitar, mellotron, claps, kazoo) and Prine’s longtime band, the album features special guests Brandi Carlile (harmony vocals on tracks 2, 4, 10), Jason Isbell (electric guitar on track 7, slide guitar and background vocals on track 9, 10) and Amanda Shires (fiddle and background vocals on track 9, background vocals on track 10).
The landmark album and tour follow a noteworthy 2017, which included an “Artist of the Year” award at the Americana Music Honors & Awards and a Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy Award for his “Chicago Voices” performance with Renée Fleming. Last year also saw the release of Prine’s debut book, John Prine Beyond Words, which includes a selection of favorites songs, photographs and stories from Prine’s beloved catalogue. More info is available here.
A two-time Grammy-winner, Prine is among the English language’s premier phrase-turners. Almost 50 years years into a remarkable career that has drawn effusive praise from Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and others who would know, Prine is a smiling, shuffling force for good. He is a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and a PEN New England Lyrics Award recipient whose classic debut album, simply titled John Prine, is recognized as part of the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame and whose songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band and many others.
Following the 2015 death of his friend and business partner Al Bunetta, Prine is now President and sole owner of Oh Boy Records. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Fiona, and enjoys spending time with their three sons, a daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.
April 13—New York, NY—Radio City Music Hall (co-headline with Sturgill Simpson (solo)) (SOLD OUT)
April 25—Milwaukee, WI—Riverside Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
April 27—Chicago, IL—Chicago Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
April 28—Champaign, IL—Virginia Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
May 11—Beaver Dam, KY—Beaver Dam Amphitheater* (with Tyler Childers)
May 12—Indianapolis, IN—Clowes Hall (with Tyler Childers)
May 18—Los Angeles, CA—Ace Theatre (with Sam Outlaw)
May 23—Folsom, CA—Harris Center (with Ramblin Jack)
May 24—San Francisco, CA—The Warfield (with Sam Outlaw)
June 2—Norfolk, VA—Chrysler Hall (with Margo Price)