Classic concert: John Prine Sessions at West 54th (full concert)


John Prine  Sessions at West 54th (full concert)

This is a great concert and a rare treat as there are very few Prine concerts on the web. The only problem is that it is too short! John Prine is the type of singer that makes you listen to his lyrics. He infuses humour in his, sad but entertaining lyrics. Each time you hear him, you hear something different. Bob Dylan had this mix of humour and seriousness on his first album and Townes Van Zandt and Warren Zevon made a real art out of it. John Prine fits fine in their company.

The crowning moments for me are the duets with singer Iris Dement, who with great pride joins him in some “questionable lyrics” as he puts it. And the wonderful song , Lake Marie, I never get tired of that song. Prine tells the story wonderfully on this concert.



“Sessions at West 54th gave Prine a chance to work his charm on a television audience (and in 2002, a VHS and DVD audience). The appearance coincided with the successful release of In Spite of Ourselves, and a number of that album’s songs appear on this set. Prine begins his performance by reaching back to the very beginning of his career for “Blow Up Your T.V.” and “Six O’Clock News.” He’s accompanied by guitarist Jason Wilber and bassist David Jacques, players who provide a simple and warm setting for these songs. Iris Dement joins Prine in the middle of the session for a number of duets, including fine versions of “In Spite of Ourselves” and “Let’s Invite Them Over Again.” Other classics, including “Sam Stone” and “Hello in There,” fill out the disc. Watching Live from Sessions at West 54th is a lot like getting a good seat to a Prine show in a small venue.”
– Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. (allmusic)

Sessions at West 54th
was an American television program that featured music performances, and was in some ways a pop music variation on the theme set by the long-lived Austin City Limits, though the featured musicians represented a number of musical genres. It was called Sessions at West 54th because it was taped at Sony Music Studios on West 54th Street in Manhattan. It was produced for public television syndicator American Program Service (APS) (now American Public Television, Boston) and was carried on many public television stations. It first aired in most places on July 5, 1997, when it was included in the Saturday late-night lineup of stations covering 85% of the country. After the program ended, an edited for commercial television version also aired on the commercial Trio cable television network.

It was first hosted by radio disc jockey Chris Douridas of KCRW in Santa Monica, California, while former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne took over hosting duties during the second season and John Hiatt was the host during the third, and final, season.

Set list:

01. Intro
02. Spanish Pipedream
03. Six O’Clock News
04. Souvenirs
05. Far From Me
06. All the Best
07. Milwaukee Here I Come (with Iris Dement)
08.(We’re Not) The Jet Set (with Iris Dement)
09. Let’s invite Them Over Again (with Iris Dement)
10. When the two worlds Collide (with Iris Dement)
11. In Spite of Ourselves (with Iris Dement)
12. Sam Stone
13. Lake Marie
14. Hello in THere
15. Filler: So Sad to Watch Good Love Go Bad
16. Lake Marie
17. Spanish Pipedream
18. Streets of Baltimore


– Hallgeir

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