John Prine is one of the most masterful songwriters in the country and folk tradition, and last night he was recognized for that fact. The PEN Song Lyric Award for Literary Excellence is given to artists who have had an important impact on the American Musical Canon. The award has recently been given to luminaries such as Chuck Berry, Leonard Cohen, and Randy Newman.
This wasn’t the only exciting piece of news for Prine fans: the singer-songwriter announced that he would be playing his self-titled 1971 debut at Americanafest, which will take place on September 22 at the Station Inn in Nashville. Prine’s debut essentially defined him as an artist, and is likely the most influential release of his career. The album came out at a time when America had been devastated by the Vietnam War, and its most famous songs reflect that. “Sam Stone” — probably Prine’s best known song — focused on a former soldier who had become addicted to morphine, while “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” was essentially an attack on “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers that just happened to come three decades too soon.
Prine is still putting out new music, however, and his latest album, For Better or Worse will be released on Friday, 9/30. That following weekend, he will play two shows at the historical Ryman Theater in Nashville, in celebration of both the new album, and Prine’s 70th birthday, which will be on October 10. Below, you can find a list of Prine’s upcoming tour dates, along with info on opening acts.
9/22 – Nashville, TN @ Station Inn
9/30 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium !
10/01 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium *
11/04 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre ^
11/05 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre ^
11/11 – Davenport, IA @ Adler Theatre $
11/12 – Des Moines, IA @ Civic Center of Greater Des Moines $
11/18 – Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace Theater #
11/19 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theatre at Old National Centre #
12/02 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theatre &
12/03 – Mobile, AL @ Saenger Theatre &
12/14 – Monterey, CA @ Golden State Theatre
12/16 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
12/17 – Fresno, CA @ Saroyan Theatre
! w/ Amanda Shires
* w/ Holly Williams
^ w/ Billy Prine
$ w/ Patty Griffin
# w/ Margo Price
& w/ Shovels & Rope