meta-scriptJohn Prine Talks 'My Kentucky Home, Goodnight' & Why He Wants To Benefit Coal Miners |

John Prine

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John Prine Talks 'My Kentucky Home, Goodnight' & Why He Wants To Benefit Coal Miners

The GRAMMY-winning Americana figure opens up about his brand-new 7", how mining affected Muhlenberg County and why the Bluegrass State runs in his blood

GRAMMYs/May 14, 2019 - 10:28 pm

GRAMMY-winning country/folk hero John Prine is widely known for his 1970 song, "Paradise," a wistful ode to a now-extinct Kentucky town that was ravaged by the strip mining industry. Almost 50 years later, he’s revived the song to benefit the very same coal miners and their families in Appalachia.

This version of "Paradise" rounds out Prine’s new 7" single My Kentucky Home, Goodnight, which arrived on May 11. The A-side is a cover of Stephen Foster's Civil War-era classic, on the reverse, a new version of "Paradise” with folk/bluegrass artist Tyler Childers. Sales will benefit the Appalachian Citizens' Law Center, which provides legal representation to miners and their families.

While "Paradise" is full of warnings about the ruinous effects of mining on small-town America, Prine remains sympathetic to the miners themselves. Not only did they put their bodies on the line, but many have fallen into financial hardship as the coal industry increasingly turns to dust.

"Those miners were the hardest-working people," he tells The Recording Academy. "I'll always respect what they did to provide for their families." These two modest recordings connect Prine meaningfully with his past — and help extend a hand to a struggling American region.

Read on for an interview with Prine about the new 7", how mining affected Muhlenberg County and why the Bluegrass State runs in his blood.

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On "Paradise," you evoked youthful summers in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. What made you want to evoke the state again with "My Kentucky Home, Goodnight"?

I love this Stephen Foster song and I love Kentucky. I guess it runs in my blood. My dad had a great affection for his home state and passed that love to me and my brothers. I still have a lot of family there and try to get to the annual family reunion as often as I can.

"My Kentucky Home, Goodnight" traditionally kicks off the Kentucky Derby. Do you have memories of attending the Derby as a kid?

We never attended the Derby. I’m not sure if my family could have afforded to take everyone. My cousin Jackie always had a famous Derby party, but I was always on the road. One of these days, I definitely want to go. I always make a small bet with my brothers on Derby day just for the fun of it.

Your father, Bill, actually grew up in Paradise. Can you talk about him a little bit?

He was a larger-than-life character. He worked hard to provide for us and enjoyed his beer and country music. I think he might have believed that one day he would take us back to live in Kentucky. He would take us there on vacation every year and those car trips are still some of my best memories of growing up.

Proceeds from the single benefit Appalachian coal miners and their families. What makes you connect with their plight?

When you grow up knowing that your parents' home place no longer exists because of mining, it’s a hard reality to shake. A lot of families are affected by the declining industry now and others are left with black lung. Those miners were the hardest-working people and I’ll always respect what they did to provide for their families.

A brand-new version of "Paradise" rounds out Side B. Why do you think folks connect with that song so strongly?

It’s one of my songs that I really didn’t think would make it to the 21st century, like "Flag Decal." I guess the world really has not changed all that much. People are connected to wherever they call home and where their parents were born, and we still have environmental issues and industries that no longer provide good jobs for working-class people.

Why did you connect with Tyler Childers for this version of "Paradise"?

Tyler has opened a bunch of shows for us and we traveled together to New Zealand and Australia earlier this year. I think he is one of the finest young writers out there and he is a great fella to hang out with. He gets what country music is all about. Writing about the people and places you know best and the feelings that come from growing up in rural America.

You've got a lot on your plate these days — this new single, an international tour. What keeps you so busy and motivated?

I love that my audience has expanded. My fans from the 1970s are still with me and now they bring their kids and grandchildren. It gives me new energy to play my songs for a new audience. When we traveled to Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of the year, I got to play for fans that had waited 25 years to see me live. That was an amazing experience and has really given me motivation to write new songs and keep performing.

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Toby Keith performing in 2021
Toby Keith performs at the 2021 iHeartCountry Festival in Austin, Texas.

Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images


Remembering Toby Keith: 5 Essential Songs From The Patriotic Cowboy And Country Music Icon

After a two-year battle with stomach cancer, country star Toby Keith passed away on Feb. 5 at the age of 62. Revisit his influence with five of his seminal tracks, including his debut hit "Should've Been a Cowboy."

GRAMMYs/Feb 7, 2024 - 04:39 pm

We may have known about Toby Keith's stomach cancer diagnosis for nearly two years, but that didn't keep the news of his Feb. 5 death from hitting hard. The oftentimes outspoken country music star enjoyed a three-decade career as one of the genre's beloved hitmakers, courtesy of unabashed hits like "Who's Your Daddy?," "Made In America" and "I Wanna Talk About Me."

Occasionally his in-your-face persona clashed with folks, particularly when it came to his political views in recent years. But for the most part, it was Keith's blue-collar upbringing and work ethic that shined through and resonated with his legion of listeners. 

It wasn't until his thirties that the future Songwriters Hall of Famer landed his first record deal in 1993, following years grinding away as a rodeo hand, in oil fields and as a semi-professional football player to make ends meet. The Oklahoma-born crooner would go on to record 20 No.1 hits, sell over 40 million records across 26 albums, and gross nearly $400 million touring — cementing himself as one of country music's most successful artists in the process.

As we look back on Keith's life and legacy, here are five essential cuts from the seven-time GRAMMY nominee, whose memory will live on in the hearts of country music artists and fans alike.

"Should've Been A Cowboy" (1993)

Few artists strike gold with their maiden release, but Keith did just that when his song "Should've Been A Cowboy" launched in February 1993. The upbeat track received widespread acclaim, eventually reaching No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart a few months later.

"Should've Been A Cowboy" takes on a distinctly traditional tone as Keith romanticizes cowboy culture by referencing classic westerns like Gunsmoke with nods to Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty in addition to six-shooters, cattle drives and Texas Rangers abound. The tune also reinforces the notion that cowboys just have more fun, whether its "stealin' the young girls' hearts, just like Gene [Autry] and Roy [Rogers]" or "runnin' wild through the hills chasin' Jesse James." 

By the looks of Keith's career, he certainly had his fair share of fun, and it may not have come if it weren't for "Should've Been A Cowboy."

"How Do You Like Me Now?!" (1999)

After a successful '90s run (which included two more No. 1s in "Who's That Man" and "Me Too"), Keith kicked off the 2000s with his fourth No. 1 hit, "How Do You Like Me Now?!" In signature Toby Keith fashion, he confronts his haters by asking the titular, rhetorical question, posed to his high school's valedictorian — who was also his crush. "I couldn't make you love me but I always dreamed about livin' in your radio," he sings on the brazen chorus.

The song is a stern reminder to never let anyone keep you from chasing your dreams; it's also a lesson of standing strong on your convictions. Its message also proved fitting for Keith's career: After Mercury Records Nashville rejected the song (and its namesake album) in the late '90s, Keith got out of his deal with them in favor of signing with DreamWorks Records, with whom he released the project a year later. Not only did the single go on to spend five weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, but it became the singer's first major crossover hit.

"Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" (2002)

Keith was never afraid to share his opinion in public or in song, especially when it came to displaying his patriotism and appreciation for those who protect the United States. While the Okie approached this from a softer side on 2003's "American Soldier," his most renowned musings on the subject without a doubt came a year earlier with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)."

On the angsty ballad — which was written in the wake of his father's March 2001 death and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — Keith channels a universal feeling of American hurt and pride. "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" inspired an equal outpouring of support and outrage that, for better or worse depending on where you stand, helped cement the song into the annals of country music lore.

"I Love This Bar" (2003)

We've all got our favorite watering hole full of its own quirks and characters, from winners to losers, chain-smokers and boozers. Keith taps into that feel-good, hometown hang feeling with "I Love This Bar," a lighthearted tale from 2003's Shock'n Y'all that makes dingy dive bars feel like the prime party destination.

The midtempo track — Keith's 12th No. 1 — further plays into country music drinking tropes as Keith proclaims, "I like my girlfriend, I like to take her out to dinner, I like a movie now and then" before making a hard pivot, adding "but I love this bar." 

All joking aside, the song, and all of the unique individuals described within it, have a harmony to them inside those hallowed walls. It's a kinship that seems more and more difficult to find in today's world, and a sentiment best captured at the song's conclusion: "come as you are."

"As Good As I Once Was" (2005)

Your best days may be behind you, but that doesn't mean you can't still live your best life and thrive in the present — even if you don't get over hangovers as quickly as you used to.

That youthful wisdom is distilled into every lyric of "As Good As I Once Was," a reminiscent story in which a then-44-year-old Keith recounts his prime as a lover, drinker and fighter humbly. That being said, his pride is still quick to take charge with convictions like "I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bullet proof."

Lasting six weeks at No. 1, "As Good As I Once Was" was the biggest of the 15 chart-toppers Keith tallied in the 2000s. And though he scored one more in the following decade (along with several other hits, including the playful drinking song "Red Solo Cup"), "As Good As I Once Was" will live on as one of Keith's quintessential messages of fun-loving confidence: "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once, as I ever was."

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Tyler Childers performing in 2023
Tyler Childers performs at the Railbird Music Festival in June 2023.

Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage


Tyler Childers' Road To 'Rustin' In The Rain': How The Country Singer's Untraditional Moves Have Made Him A Beloved Star

With his sixth album, 'Rustin In The Rain,' Tyler Childers continues a trajectory of standing up for his beliefs and staying true to his roots.

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2023 - 08:26 pm

Tyler Childers has made a career out of doing things differently. The Lawrence County, Kentucky native first built a grassroots following with his left-of-center country style, becoming a cult figure respected for his traditionally informed take on the genre and his unabashed authenticity. Now, he's one of country music's favorite outsider voices — and he continues to move the needle with his Elvis-inspired sixth album, Rustin' in the Rain.

While Childers first gained acclaim with his second studio album, 2017's Purgatory, his 2011 debut, Bottles & Bibles, hinted at what was to come. That record was raw and stripped-down, with spare production putting the spotlight firmly on his narrative-driven lyrics and his now-beloved soulful drawl. In the years between its release and Purgatory's, Childers further honed his songwriting and his singing by touring relentlessly with his band, the Food Stamps, which also helped build the fan base that would rabidly support Purgatory.

Childers was one of the first of a new generation of country artists to reject the traditional machinations of Nashville's Music Row in favor of building grassroots support for making music on their own terms. He did so following in the footsteps of another Kentuckian, Sturgill Simpson, who also famously avoids media, shares little about his personal life, and can be unpredictable with the timing and scope of his projects.

It's fitting, then, that Simpson (alongside David Ferguson) would produce Purgatory, with his own critical clout and cult success functioning like a stamp of approval for the then-relatively unknown new artist. Purgatory tied together Childers' many influences, which span bluegrass, gospel, blues and outlaw country. The LP opens with the hardscrabble old-time of opener "I Swear (to God)," whose Biblical allusions ("workin' on a building outta hand-hewn brimstone") won't be the last we hear from Childers in his work.

To Childers' seeming dismay, Purgatory resonated more with Americana audiences than the country music industry — even despite his unabashedly country sound and heavily narrative songwriting, much of which nods to traditional country themes like labor, poverty and faith. That conflict came to a head when he won Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Honors and Awards, where he reluctantly accepted the award and told the audience, "As a man who identifies as a country music singer, I feel Americana ain't no part of nothing and is a distraction from the issues that we're facing on a bigger level as country music singers. It kind of feels like purgatory."

That purgatory is faced by many country artists who don't fit the genre's mold, which traditionally prioritizes straight, white, cisgender men or artists who hew closely to the Music Row formula du jour. And though Childers may fit the demographic, he decidedly doesn't adhere to the genre's clichés: Nowhere in his discography will you hear lyrics about back roads or pickup trucks, or the pop-heavy country fusion popular on current country radio.

Growing in notoriety on the strength of Purgatory, Childers returned with 2019's Country Squire. Another Simpson/Ferguson-produced joint, the album earned the singer his first No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as well as his first Grammy nomination — in the Country Field, no less, as "All Your'n" received a nod for Best Country Solo Performance in 2020. Country Squire wasn't a far cry, sonically or thematically, from Purgatory, but it did establish Childers' staying power and laid sturdier groundwork for the more experimental projects he would later release.

Childers was only able to tour Country Squire for a few months before the pandemic shut down the music industry. Like many artists, the unexpected break led him into an introspective period, which birthed his 2020 record, Long Violent History, a political statement framed as a fiddle album. Written and recorded in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, Long Violent History is the most potent of Childers' early political statements, a middle finger to the establishment as well as a heartfelt rebuke of part of the singer's own complex Southern culture.

Childers caps Long Violent History with its title track, a biting rebuke of racial violence that seeks to bridge the empathy gap between white working Southerners and their Black neighbors. In one of the song's most affecting verses, Childers sings, "How many boys could they haul off this mountain, shoot full of holes, cuffed, and laid in the streets/ 'Til we come in to town in a stark ravin' anger, Looking for answers and armed to the teeth."

Long Violent History punctured any notion that Childers was an artist afraid to make a statement. And on its follow-up, the triple gospel album, 2022's Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?, Childers once again bucked the conservatism typically associated with country music. That's especially heard on lead single "Angel Band," on which Childers sings of his interpretation of heaven ("There's Hindus, Jews and Muslims/ And Baptists of all kinds") and the assertion that Jesus "ain't a blue-eyed man."

The structure of that LP is also unorthodox, as Childers recorded three versions — "Hallelujah," stripped down and live in the studio; "Jubilee," more fleshed-out production; and "Joyful Noise," remixed and including samples — of each of the record's eight tracks. In addition to the project's retro sonic palette, Childers again nods to his traditional country influences with a cover of Hank Williams' "Old Country Church," and even revisits his own material with an updated version of "Purgatory."

Rather than returning with a more typical full-length LP, Childers followed Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? with the rowdy and rollicking Rustin' in the Rain, which sits at a tight but potent seven tracks. Sonically, the album sounds almost vintage, as Childers has explained that he wrote and chose tracks as though he would be pitching material to Elvis. Even so, the music still connects back to earlier Childers releases: opener "Rustin' in the Rain," with its jaunty piano and soulful vocal, wouldn't sound out of place on Purgatory; "Luke 2:8-10" continues Childers' tradition of incorporating Biblical imagery into his music; and "Percheron Mules" is the latest in a long line of Childers tunes that celebrate rural living.

And in signature Childers fashion, Rustin' in the Rain features another major statement piece — this time with a lead single, titled "In Your Love." The track's accompanying video allows Childers space to advocate for LGBQTIA+ rights, as he tapped friend and queer Southern author Silas House to co-write a deeply tender video treatment telling the story of two men meeting in a coal mine and falling hopelessly in love. The clip is sweet and intense, with the kind of sweeping love story made for the movies and — in country music, especially — typically reserved for the depiction of straight couples.

The track was inspired by Childers' cousin, who was his "first tough critic." "[I was] just thinking about him not having a music video on CMT that spoke to him," Childers told NPR's Ann Powers upon the song's release. Throughout the interview, he stressed the need for making a statement — as he's done since the start of his career. "Even if you have the privilege of walking through this world unfazed, it's more important than ever to stand with and for and up for things, to be vocal," he added.

Although Childers has yet to break through on country radio, "In Your Love" proved to be one of his most effective statements to date. The song scored Childers his first top 10 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, also landing him on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in his career. And with a headlining arena tour — his first full arena trek — set for 2024, Childers is clearly continuing to grow his audience by simply staying true to himself.

Whether or not he becomes a commercial darling, Childers has cemented his status as one of country music's more interesting, boundary-pushing artists. That seems to suit him just fine, as he continues to show new sides of his artistry without pandering to the sounds of the day. Like he declared on Purgatory, he's creating his own lane: "right now, I am focused on the universal sound."

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Swamp Dogg
Swamp Dogg

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images


Living Legends: Seven Decades Into His Career, Swamp Dogg Wants To Give Audiences "Every Last Drop"

Swamp Dogg has been an antimatter hero of American music since his 1970 debut and is riding a wave of popular resurgence. Ahead of a summer tour, he discusses his live show, Chuck Berry, John Prine, and more.

GRAMMYs/Jul 27, 2023 - 06:06 pm

Living Legends is a series that spotlights icons in music who are still going strong today. This week, spoke with Swamp Dogg, the eccentric soul and R&B titan still actively writing, recording and performing more than half a century after his debut album.

Swamp Dogg is about to play a major concert in New York City, and he has a few commitments to keep.

There will be no medleys. He won't talk down to the audience. When he hits a bad note — which he calls a "guaranteed" prospect — he'll pause, reassess and fix it.

"When they leave, they're not thinking much about the bad note, because we all talked about it in this conversation," the artist born Jerry Williams, Jr. tells "I do have a conversation with my audience, and it's good."

That gig, at Knockdown Center in Queens on July 28, should serve as a reminder that Swamp Dogg has been in a strange, wonderful dialogue with the planet from the jump. This dates back to when he made his first recording, "HTD Blues (Hardsick Troublesome Downout Blues)," in 1954 — an awfully pessimistic dispatch from a 12-year-old.

His 1970 debut under the moniker, Total Destruction To Your Mind, is a fantastic slice of left-field psychedelic soul — filled with fried, occasionally conspiratorial, frequently profound insights that framed him as something of a modern prophet. ("Why wasn't I born with orange skin/ And green hair/ Like the rest of the people in the world?" remains an excellent question.)

In the ensuing decades, Swamp Dogg (he spelled with a double g before Snoop Dogg was born) has released numerous albums; naturally, his career has ebbed and flowed.

But at 81, he's found indie stars like Justin Vernon and Jenny Lewis in his corner, and released inspired late-period albums like 2020's Sorry You Couldn't Make It and 2022's I Need a Job… So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune.

Ahead of the Knockdown Center show, read on for an interview with Swamp Dogg about his live philosophy, upcoming music, profound relationship with John Prine, and decidedly so-so relationship with… the state of Rhode Island.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

What can people expect from your upcoming Knockdown Center gig?

To be honest with you, I don't know, other than I always try to give the last drop of whatever I'm doing. I don't do medleys and that bulls—. They can expect to get it all, and I usually try to get in as many songs as I can without trying to get the audience out of the way.

You feed off the energy of the crowd like a consummate performer should. You're not rushing through it or phoning it in.

Right. Plus, usually, I talk to my audience. Not just to hear myself talk. I get the audience involved. Not a lot of mundane s—. I talk to them like we live together. If you had somebody else in your house, the way you would talk.

When you launched your career all those decades ago, which performers galvanized you to give your all?

It's funny: one of the artists that inspired me the most — and kind of encouraged me, without knowing me, to give everything — was Chuck Berry. Chuck didn't have to do anything but be Chuck, and, damn: that's all you wanted.

Chuck did his singular thing as long as he could possibly do it. Every performance was pure, uncut Chuck. I see that quality in you as well.

Right. If I'm doing a song and we hit a bad note — sometimes a note that's haunting, it's so f—ing bad — I'll stop my band, and talk to my band. I'll take three or four minutes and give the audience what I want.

What can you tell me about the musicians who will accompany you at Knockdown Center?

I've got some great musicians right now, for the gigs I'm doing over the next six weeks. They've been with me for a while.

My keyboard man plays loop stuff. He plays just about every instrument there is. He'll cover for me, because I will hit a bad note. I guarantee I'll hit a bad note. But I'll make up for it. And it's not going to be bad notes all night long. [Laughs]

Human error is how I look at it. But I work real hard to make sure that my audience is happy. I'll stay out on stage as long as the house itself is fine with what I'm doing.

And you have some shows after Knockdown Center on the books, too.

I know we're playing in Rhode Island and some other things coming up. I don't know anybody who ever played in Rhode Island. Nobody ever says, "Hey, let's go to Rhode Island!" It's like, f— Rhode Island.

Don't get me wrong; that doesn't mean Rhode Island is a bad place. It's just musically, you never hear of anybody going there. 

I'm looking forward to it, because how many chances do you get to go to Rhode Island? But there are more memorable states for sure. You don't hear it on quiz shows. I guess if you did, it would be [the result of] the most complicated f—ing question you ever heard.

Swamp Dogg

*Swamp Dogg. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images*

What are you working on lately? Can we expect new music coming up?

I've got an album that's finished. It's a country album, and it's great. It's just that I've got to get the liner notes together, because it's got a lot of s— in it as far as information.

I'm not using a drummer at all, but you're not going to miss it. Because if you listen back to the old, old stuff, they didn't have a set of drums. So, I left the drums; I'm trying to go back to the beginning.

On a different note, it was bittersweet to hear John Prine on Sorry You Couldn't Make It. That had to be one of his final recordings. What was it like working with him?

He was a very real person. He and I had planned to go to Ireland together, because he had a house in Ireland. We were going [to go] there for about a week and just write our asses off.

I miss him. I'd known him since sometime in the '60s. We had a lot of stuff we wanted to track lyric-wise, but I guess music-wise also. Good guy, filled with talent.

Which Prine song means the most to you?

"Sam Stone."

Yeah, I know you covered it.

I do it every show. There's a different ending every time I do it, because it's one of those songs that gives me a chance to talk to my audience about how things are, what's going on, what I feel we could do for the country, and to make people more comfortable.

Like giving away clothes. Some people forget that if you put a bunch of clothes away a few years, and moths haven't eaten the s— [out of them], you could give it to these people. And don't be ashamed of the money you can't give — just be happy about what you can give.

I see all the problems that we have, that are unnecessary. That's what makes me really get into "Sam Stone." Usually, 90 percent of the time, I am with Sam Stone.

It's like a preacher on Sunday morning. He preaches and it is basically the same s—, but delivered in a different way. So, that's what I'm doing.

What did you think when Johnny Cash covered "Sam Stone" and controversially changed the lyric "Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose" to "Daddy must have hurt a lot back then, I suppose"? Some say that carved out the meaning of the song.

I've never heard it. I like Johnny Cash. But there are about 10 country artists that I like better.

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