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Bob (rsdean) posted a tribute song to John Prine shortly after his passing.
I thought that was a really nice idea. So I thought I would follow his lead.

Prine's first album ("John Prine" - 1971) was my "songwriting bible".
My buddy and I used to get to rummage through the basement of our local easy-listening radio station (very small town in upstate New York).
They put all the promotional records they got and didn't play down there.
We found Prine's debut a few weeks before it was released.
(We also found Jimmy Buffet's first and Springsteen's first and second, Jackson Browne's first)
After hearing it, I ran out and bought my own copy as soon as it was in the store ($3.12 - the regular price for records then)
I wore that record out. It taught me much of what I know about songwriting.
We played many of the songs in bars in the summers (as a duo). Long before most folks had heard of Prine.
When I moved to Nashville to work at writing "commercial" Country, I had to stop listening to Prine...
Otherwise, half of what I wrote came out sounding like a Prine song (Which certainly didn't fit the need at the time).
It was hard at first, but I eventually locked all those songs out.
I did not listen to any John Prine records for the next 25 years.

In the past few years, I have gone back to playing my favorites occasionally when I sit down with a guitar.
"Far From Me"..."Hello In There"..."Angel From Montgomery"..."Paradise"...
John's passing broke my heart.
I have, since, been lsitening to his entire catalog - one record per day.
Many of the later ones I haven't heard before...
If you don't know John Prine (I can't imagine many would not), you owe it to yourself to listen to his debut.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Prine_(album)
It is a songwriting masterpiece.

So this is about all of that.


If you are familiar with Prine's records, you should recognize many of the production elements from those early records.


A tribute to my biggest "song writing hero/mentor"...



LET IT BLEED

I kept it bottled up for years
held it back like unshed tears
so no one would know
what's inside me
thinkin' now what a big a mistake
you get so filled up the dam's bound to break
how could i deny
the man who baptized me
   
   sometimes you've got to let it go
   the volcano is bound to blow
   let the devils out
   let the angels shout
   it's a primal need
   throw off the chain
   unlock the locks
   open up pandora's box
   open up that vein
   let it bleed

i left him back some time ago
to find what i thought he didn't know
looking to win the fight
he hadn't fought
now he's gone it breaks my heart
the man who showed me how to start
to find the words to tell the world
just what i thought
   
   sometimes you've got to let it go
   the volcano is bound to blow
   let the devils out
   let the angels shout
   it's a primal need
   throw off the chain
   unlock the locks
   open up pandora's box
   open up that vein
   let it bleed
   
   open up the pain
   let it bleed



The BAND:
RealTracks in style: 521:Bass, Electric, Pop Syncopated Ev 136
RealTracks in style: ~~407:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Ev 165
RealTracks in style: ~406:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 136
RealTracks in song: 1667:Pedal Steel, Soloist CountryPaul Ev 065
RealTracks in song: 3099:Organ, Rhythm AmericanaSlow16thsMike Ev16 060
RealTracks in song: 3198:Guitar, Acoustic, Soloist PopBalladBrent Ev 065
RealDrums in Song: NashvilleBrushesCountryPopEv16



"The sky is black and still now
On the hill where the angels sing"

- John Prine "Far From Me"


Your passing saddens me.


fj

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Floyd,

This song / presentation is stunningly beautiful... So moving and with a great history behind it.

A simply amazing piece of work and my new favorite from you.

Bob

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floyd, this is wonderful!

Certainly one of your best and my new favorite from you.

Listening through a second time while typing this ... production wise you had me right from the opening with just the acoustic, and then the way you start bringing in the instruments, holding off bringing in the drums until the very end ... very effective.

But it doesn't matter how good the production is if the song doesn't have good bones, and this certainly does! Great writing and vocal.

Thanks for the backstory too, enjoyed reading that.

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You certainly found yourself up to the task, Floyd. Thanks
for the personal testimony and the look into the character of
one greatly admired on this forum, Mr. Floyd Jane.
I was fortunate to attend this 2011 concert at the Fox in Butte,
restored in modern times into a class music hall.
https://mtstandard.com/entertainment/tgif/john-prine-to-play-at-mother-lode/article_5384d9ac-7d3d-11e0-b1fe-001cc4c03286.html
Don't know if he played there again. Some of my friends there
have been similarly influenced and do pretty fair covers, even today. (That's an understatement)
https://youtu.be/spuYiWdzMNE
I'm sure they will enjoy hearing "Let it Bleed."

Last edited by edshaw; 04/14/20 06:53 AM.

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I have only just heard of John Prine upon his passing (I'm an eighties child). But your song is more than just a tribute to him - it's, to me at least, a masterpiece standing in its own right. You are such an extraordinary songwriter ... often head and heels above most I know, so well done ... superb job once more. You have this talent to tell a story, calmly and heartbreakingly so. This is no exception ... phenomenal from every aspect. It's a bravo from me.

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Very John Prine-like dude.

Great!

Loved it!

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I went into this expecting it to be a nice tribute. It was that; but so much more. It's "Leader of the Band" if John Prine wrote it.

Tribute hardly sums it up. A dedication of the impact of one's man's life on another's life even would fall short. That someone gives you THAT much inspiration in song writing and you turn around and use that gift to honor him is incredible.

Yeah, all the usual "high bars" exceeded once again. If you would like me to elaborate on that; I will gladly. I just have a feeling others will as well.

Amazing song. Chills and tears...no lie.

Thank you for bringing us into a piece of your story!

Last edited by HearToLearn; 04/14/20 08:29 AM.

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Hi Floyd ...

A flashback to better days. And yes, John Prine's contributions to songwriting have few equals. He reminded me of Tom T. Hall in one way ... his songs always said something worthy of the listen: good stories and lesson on life. In another way, I can contrast him with Harlan Howard: very prolific, just gets to the heart of the story and offers stories about the common man that so many can relate to.

This is one of my very favorites from you.The lyric says so much without over-complicating things. The gradual build of the backing tracks ... waiting until the last quarter of the song to introduce the drums. I love songs that start out teasingly soft and, increment by increment add just enough new backing, at the perfect places, to build the tension and interest. In other words, also something new to anticipate and when it arrives, you just gotta say, "Wow, this gets better and better - can't wait to hear the rest of it."

Other than my time with Di, this is the best three minutes I've enjoyed in quite some time. Many thanks for that.

Wishing you and yours the very best. Please stay safe.

Alan

PS: Di and I were tested for COVID 19. Both came back negative.

Last edited by Al-David; 04/14/20 09:00 AM.

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Just to say that I'm delighted that both yourself, Alan, and your wife's COVID 19 results came back negative. Brilliant news.

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Floyd,
What a wonderful tribute! Stunningly good lyrics (especially the chorus) and fine flowing melody.
I enjoyed reading your backstory and will take the hint; there`s some JP nuggets there I surely missed.

Robert

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floyd

Wonderful! A really touching tribute an importantly a superb song.

A masterclass in writing production and delivery.

Peter

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Hi Floyd,

This is an outstanding song and a fine tribute to your "mentor"...
I'm almost embarrassed to say I've never heard any of his songs until his passing.
Please don't take this the wrong way, as it's meant to be compliment...
Your song sounds like it could have come from one of the "Every Which Way But Loose" movie sound tracks.
Really cool vibe brother...

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Originally Posted By: rsdean
Floyd,

This song / presentation is stunningly beautiful... So moving and with a great history behind it.

A simply amazing piece of work and my new favorite from you.

Bob



Thanks, Bob. These are nice things to hear from you (being the "word man" that you are).

This idea came to me 2 days ago. I had the song written in 20 minutes. This style of writing is so ingrained in me they happen fast. And with the magic of BIAB, the next day, I was done!

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Hi Floyd
I love John Prine's songs. They make me smile and they make me cry, sometimes at the same time. I completely agree with David when he says this is 'very John Prine-like.' In my book, there is simply no higher praise.
Well done, a great tribute.
Regards,
Leon

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Sung with heart and yes, you used some of his touch stones.
Really nice arrangement and a vocal that has just the right amount of bruise.
Excellent.


Cheers
rayc
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Originally Posted By: BlueAttitude
floyd, this is wonderful!

Certainly one of your best and my new favorite from you.

Listening through a second time while typing this ... production wise you had me right from the opening with just the acoustic, and then the way you start bringing in the instruments, holding off bringing in the drums until the very end ... very effective.

But it doesn't matter how good the production is if the song doesn't have good bones, and this certainly does! Great writing and vocal.

Thanks for the backstory too, enjoyed reading that.


I certainly appreciate all of that, Dave.

The production ('cause I know you are a meticulous production guy...) is built to reflect Prine's sound - especially from the first record.
There was a lot of "just acoustic guitar".
There was a lot of acoustic guitar + bass - and it often did that 3 note walk-up to start (I had to build that from snippets of the RT)...
Steve Goodman often threw in some acoustic leads.
There were a number of songs that were acoustic + bass + organ.
There were places where a simple pedal steel played along for much of the song.
And there was limited use of drums - a lot more in later records - so I waited until the final chorus to let that drummer do his thing - and kept that rather subtle...

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Hello Floyd,

I wrote Bob I didn't know John Prine, but I learned some of him on the internet. The other thing is I'm a bit familiair with your songs and I always like them. Can't tell if this one is your best or not, but it is certainly a very good song! That counts for all your songs until now...
I was only amazed of one tiny thing: At the time you sing "i left him back some time ago, to find what i thought he didn't know" there was also a mandoline coming in. But only for this line or even less. And it didn't come back. So a very short performance of that instrument. How come? I'm pretty sure you had an idea with that. I guessed that mr Prine did these kind of things too, but that wasn't the case as far as I could hear from several videos on YouTube. So tell me what were your considerations?

Thanks for the song,
Hans


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https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130
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WOW!!! A great song about a great songwriter BY another great songwriter!! Lots of greatness in there!! I love the honest simplicity and raw beauty of the lyrics.......done in true John Prine style! A wonderful tribute!! Floyd, I hope you live at least several months longer than me so you can write me such a wonderful tribute, although I'm not saying I'm deserving of that kind of admiration. LOVE IT!!! Take care. Greg

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This reminded me of a famous Red Smith quote: "Writing is easy, all you gotta do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." I really appreciated this as a huge JP fan, I worked in a record store and still remember the record number (Atlantic 8296) of that iconic first album. Love the way you brought instruments in gradually on this mix, I've gotta try that for myself. Thanks for a great one here.


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Originally Posted By: edshaw
You certainly found yourself up to the task, Floyd. Thanks
for the personal testimony and the look into the character of
one greatly admired on this forum, Mr. Floyd Jane.
I was fortunate to attend this 2011 concert at the Fox in Butte,
restored in modern times into a class music hall.
https://mtstandard.com/entertainment/tgif/john-prine-to-play-at-mother-lode/article_5384d9ac-7d3d-11e0-b1fe-001cc4c03286.html
Don't know if he played there again. Some of my friends there
have been similarly influenced and do pretty fair covers, even today. (That's an understatement)
https://youtu.be/spuYiWdzMNE
I'm sure they will enjoy hearing "Let it Bleed."


Ed - thanks for the listen and the comments...

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