Happy Birthday to the late great John Prine
On April 7th of 2020, in those first confusing days of the pandemic, I got a message from my friend that @john_prine, one of my all-time musical heroes, had passed from Covid complications. The message came as I was walking my almost-3-year-old daughter up to her room to put her to bed. She had picked out a book about a crab who molts for the first time, and in all his softness and vulnerability, he ventures out to explore the open ocean. I knew that that's where John was, exploring that great undiscovered sea. Seeing it all and telling it like it is. Like no one else can.
As soon as I got downstairs, I turned on my microphones, and recorded this cover of "Clay Pigeons". It was an odd choice given that the song was written by the great, tragic songwriter Blaze Foley. But I had listened to John's version of the song so, so many times, and I just felt compelled to sing it. In all its words of loneliness and longing, the song did what the best folk music does, it connected Blaze, John, me, my daughter, and that molting crab in one single continuum of love and loss. ...