Out to dinner this evening, I was surprised and pleased to encounter a salt-cured Kentucky ham on offer. I leapt at the nearly forgotten taste. On arriving home I was pleased to note that American Routes is devoting this weeks’ number to the Kentucky-and-Chicago bred songwriter John Prine, whom I think of as an Austin-school player.

I first came to appreciate the man’s work while working at the Runcible Spoon, around 1986. A tape of vaguely irritating country-styled nineteen-seventies singer-songwriter folk morphed under constant listening into a shimmering masterwork of mordant wit. The handwritten name on the tape was ‘John Prine.

The song that really caught my ear, I learned years later, is called “Sam Stone,” and appeared on the first record that the singer released.

One thought on “Kentucky and Prine

  1. John Prine’s first album is a masterpiece. I used to confuse my punk orientated type friends by playing Prine’s first album and Kate and Anna McCarrigle’s album. The only place I have ever seen dry cured ham on the west coast was a chinese butcher shop on Clement Street in SF. I think I would have brought about 500 pounds of the stuff with me, for a personal supply, if I’d known how hard it would be to find a decent ham in Cali.

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