Last month, Austin City Limits opened up its archives to the public. Music fans stuck on lockdown could readily (and freely) access performances from Tom Waits, Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, and The Raconteurs. Now, a very special episode has just been added to the rotation: John Prine’s appearance from 2018.
The release of this full episode comes as the world continues to mourn the loss of The Singing Mailman, who passed away last week from complications of the coronavirus. The 12-song, hour-long feature came in support of The Tree of Forgiveness, which Prine had issued earlier that year and will now be known as his last proper studio album. It was also his first time back on the long-running TV series since 2005.
In addition to The Tree tracks like “Knockin’ on Your Screen Door” and “Summer’s End”, the folk icon dropped in classics such as “Lake Marie”, “Everything is Cool”, and a solo rendition of “Illegal Smile”. Prine also performed his timeless “Angel from Montgomery”, dedicating it to Bonnie Raitt, whose own 1974 version propelled both artists into the spotlight.
“I didn’t realize I’ve been here eight times,” Prine said during the filming of the episode, per the Austin Chronicle. “I guess I’ll just keep doing it until I get it right.” Fans may not be able to see Prine on ACL a ninth time, but as this episode proved, his legacy will live on forever through his powerful music.
Watch Prine’s full Austin City Limits episode below via PBS.
This past weekend, Consequence of Sound livestreamed a tribute event honoring Prine. Aptly titled “Angel from Maywood”, it featured performances from Warren Haynes, Grace Potter, Norah Jones, The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, The Head and the Heart, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Kevin Morby, and Sara and Sean Watkins of Watkins Family Hour. Head to our Instagram page for those videos.
— Austin City Limits (@acltv) April 8, 2020