“Diamonds In The Rough” by John Prine - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Stripped-back with a distinctive sense of ye-olde-tymey, John channels Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family and Luke the Drifter on his second LP; that it’s a John Prine record is never doubted for a second though, as his doleful melodramas unfold accompanied by his trademark dry humour. Accompanying John on vocals, guitar and dobro are: Steve Goodman (guitar, harmony vocals); David Bromberg (guitar); Steve Burgh (bass, drums) and his brother Dave Prine (dobro, mandolin). Greatness oozes from the beautifully picked “Souvenirs”, a poignant song lamenting the loss of precious memories. “The Late John Garfield Blues” is another typically great Prine offering, undoubtedly in the slipstream of Dylan’s modernist interpretations of 30s and 40s folk music, evocative of a time and period without necessarily being specifically about John Garfield. “The song is not so much about the actor, and more about a feeling” said Prine. See? Told you. Disillusionment with America during the Vietnam War era fuels the album’s highlight, “The Great Compromise”, where his dis-loyal girlfriend and some meat-head in a foreign sports car are used to depict his disgust at his fellow Americans. He would later remark: “I really love America. I just don't know how to get there anymore.” The album ends with its sole cover-version, “Diamonds In The Rough”, a song which had been recorded by The Carter Family way back in 1929. It’s delivered A Capella, and serves as a fantastic closing statement for the whole set – he’s a no-frills, down-to-earth folkie, organic and heartfelt.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:43] 6.3.png John Prine - Everybody (John Prine) Country
A2 [02:52] 6.4.png John Prine - The Torch Singer (John Prine) Country
A3 [03:32] 8.3.png John Prine - Souvenirs (John Prine) Folk
A4 [03:02] 7.6.png John Prine - The Late John Garfield Blues (John Prine) Folk
A5 [02:00] 6.7.png John Prine - Sour Grapes (John Prine) Folk
A6 [04:41] 7.9.png John Prine - Billy The Bum (John Prine) Folk
A7 [01:47] 6.5.png John Prine - The Frying Pan (John Prine) Country
B1 [02:08] 6.7.png John Prine - Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You (John Prine) Country
B2 [02:06] 7.2.png John Prine - Take The Star Out Of The Window (John Prine) Folk
B3 [04:57] 8.9.png John Prine - The Great Compromise (John Prine) Folk
B4 [03:10] 6.9.png John Prine - Clocks And Spoons (John Prine) Folk
B5 [03:03] 7.1.png John Prine - Rocky Mountain Time (John Prine) Folk
B6 [01:49] 8.0.png John Prine - Diamonds In The Rough (C. W. Byron, L. L. Pickett) Folk

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved