John Prine

John Prine Live from Sessions at West 54th [DVD]

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John Prine won over critics in the early '70s with a string of successful singer/songwriter albums, and won over audiences with his charismatic stage presence. Although live albums have long been available for fans, 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. Even without the visuals, however, this DVD sounds great and will make a fine addition to a fan's album collection.