'Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine': Stars pay homage to the great musician, leave fans in tears
Stars like Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Bill Murray, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick turned up to pay tribute to one of the great American folk singer-songwriters
A host of stars turned up online on Thursday night, June 11, to pay their respects to one of the greatest American singer-songwriters of our generation, John Prine, on a special live stream stay-at-home concert titled 'Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine'. The online show was organized by Prine's widow, Fiona Whelan Prine, in collaboration with his music label, Oh Boy Records and was broadcast live on streaming channels like Twitch, besides Prine's official Facebook and YouTube channels.
Among the many stars who made an appearance on the two-hour special feature were Bonnie Raitt, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Dan Auerbach, Sturgill Simpson, Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray, Margo Price, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Kurt Vile and Prine's sons, Jack Prine and Tommy Prine.
Other stars who paid homage to the iconic folk artiste included Courtney Marie Andrews, Brené Brown, producer Dave Cobb, Peter Cooper, Iris DeMent, John Dickerson, Mitchell Drosin, David Ferguson, Vince Gill, Jeremy Ivey, Jim James, Pat McLaughlin, the Secret Sisters, Todd Snider, Billy Bob Thornton, Kelsey Waldon, Sara Watkins, Jody Whelan, John Paul White, and Rita Wilson. Prine’s band, which consisted of Kenneth Blevins, David Jacques, Fats Kaplin and Jason Wilber were also involved in the special production.
The country/folk-rock couple Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, who were good friends of Prine's, kicked off the show with the emotive 'Hello In There' and 'Clocks and Spoons' from the Ryman Auditorium, Prine's favorite venue. And there were plenty of gorgeous music performances throughout. Kacey was on hand to play '(Burn One With) John Prine', saying the reason behind the song was because Prine was such a big influence on her own songwriting.
The Black Keys star Dan Auerbach played a shimmering version of 'Caravan Of Fools, while Prine's band members and special guest Sara Watkins sang a haunting version of 'Far From Me'. The legendary Americana star Bonnie Raitt sang one of Prine's most enduring hits, 'Angel From Montgomery' from her home, accompanied by her acoustic guitar and her trademark bluesy voice.
Murray related a story of how he inadvertently caught a Prine show at the Grande Ole Opry before introducing Americana star Sturgill Simpson, who played a heartfelt version 'Speed of the Sound of Loneliness'. Other celebrities like Bacon and Sedgwick also made a special appearance to play a lovely rendition of 'In Spite of Ourselves'.
Kurt Vile, Jim James, John Paul White, Pat Maclaughlin & Courtney Marie Andrews sang a fantastic version of 'Crazy As A Loon' while country music star Eric Church was seen playing 'She Is My Everything' from the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville.
Needless to say, it was a moving evening of celebration and reminiscing, as we looked back at clips of Prine's performances and clips where he related stories about his life and his many amazing songs. It was also heartwarming to see plenty of donations being made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness throughout the show.
At the end of the show, his widow, Fiona, introduced his last song on his last record, 'When I Get To Heaven', which she said was a wonderful source of comfort for her, knowing that he was up there with the simple pleasures and loves of his life.
One fan and grassroots activist said, "Thank you Prine family and Oh Boy Records. We are so grateful and honored to be included in this beautiful celebration of his amazing life." Another of Prine's fans revealed, "John Prine was a poet and a prophet - his music saved me and moved me."
Plenty more fans also paid tribute to the legendary Prine on social media, with one saying "The John Prine live tribute was poignant and a real roller coaster of a ride that beyond captured my relationship and admiration to his music, writing, and soul. Thank you for putting your heart out on the line."
Admitting to crying, a fan said: "The John Prine tribute tonight made me tear up more than a few times", while another revealed, "Watching John Prine tribute on YouTube. It’s beautiful, sad, wonderful, and inspiring. I miss him." Another emotional fan concluded, "The John Prine Tribute nailed it. We paid homage to a great musician, a truly gifted poet and writer; a great man, and a glimpse into what our world truly needs."