John Prine

Live on Tour

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AllMusic Review by

Prine's second live album -- which also boasts three new studio tracks -- finds the singer/songwriter in fine form. Not surprisingly, the concert segment relies heavily on material from 1991's Grammy-winning The Missing Years, including rollicking versions of "Picture Show" and "Daddy's Little Pumpkin," plus an affecting "You Got Gold" and the frequently hilarious "Jesus the Missing Years." Also here: a nine-minute reading of "Lake Marie" that improves on the version that highlighted 1995's Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings; the previously unrecorded "Space Monkey," about a Russian primate who spent 40 years you-know-where and came back to earth after the demise of the Soviet Union; and "Illegal Smile," the ode to marijuana that dates from Prine's 1971 debut LP. The studio tracks tacked onto the end of this album are nothing to write home about, but overall, Live on Tour is a solid collection. Featuring everything from tender folk ballads to rockers packed with Prine's trademark wacky witticisms, it would be a perfect starting point for anyone who has had the misfortune to have not yet encountered this one-of-a-kind artist.

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