• Best Americana Album: The Tree of Forgiveness
• Best American Roots Song: Knockin' On Your Screen Door
• Best American Roots Song: Summer's End
Americana Music Association Award:
Artist of The Year (2018)
First New Record Of Original Material In Over A Decade!
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!
Features Special Guests Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires!
The highly-anticipated album The Tree of Forgiveness is John Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny ("Knockin' on Your Screen Door") or heartbreaking ("Summers End"). Perfectly aligned with his quirkiest songs, "The Lonesome Friends of Science" makes its point through the characters he calls "those bastards in the white lab coats who experiment with mountain goats," as well as the discredited planet Pluto and the towering Vulcan statue in Birmingham, Alabama.
Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile (harmony vocals on tracks 2, 4 & 10), Jason Isbell (electric guitar on track 7, slide guitar & background vocals on tracks 9 & 10), and Amanda Shires (fiddle and background vocals on track 9, background vocals on track 10) to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spector called "God Only Knows." Another incomplete song, "I Have Met My Love Today," now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact. As he's done for years, Prine found inspiration in writing sessions with close friends like Roger Cook, Pat McLaughlin and Keith Sykes. "Egg and Daughter Nite, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone)" is a lighthearted look at a bygone era, while "Caravan of Fools" (written with McLaughlin and The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach) is a contemporary meditation on the weaknesses of powerful people. The poignant "No Ordinary Blue" wraps up a trilogy that encompasses 1991's "You Got Gold" and 2005's "Long Monday."
Prine won his first Grammy for the 1991 album The Missing Years, and he joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted his 1971 self-titled debut album in 2014. Two years later he accepted the PEN New England's Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award. At the age of 70, he was named Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association in 2017. Naturally, The Tree of Forgiveness is rooted in that same observant songwriting that he's crafted throughout his career. "I kept saying when I was doing this album, it's going to be my last one," Prine admits with a grin. "But if things go really good with it, I can't see why I wouldn't do something else."
"The songwriter's first album of new music in 13 years is wise and economical. At 71, John Prine is a virtuoso at understatement, finding the joy in the mundane, and writing about what it means to be alive... Prine may be reflecting on the past and the future an awful lot, but this is not one of those albums where an old man ponders death. It can't be, because Prine has always done that, and he doesn't do it any more or less than usual. It's just a new album by John Prine, a humble but respectable one. If there hadn't been a 13 year absence of new John Prine songs, you couldn't even call it a return to form, because his form has never left him." - Pitchfork
"With producer Dave Cobb overseeing the sessions, The Tree of Forgiveness strikes a welcome balance between an informal guitar pull and a late-night meeting around the campfire where the volume may be low but the investment in the material is high. The Tree of Forgiveness never sounds forced, but Cobb and his crew have drawn out Prine in a way that uses his age as an asset, not a drawback. And while you can't ignore Prine's septuagenarian status on these recordings, the closer, 'When I Get to Heaven,' suggests he's given mortality plenty of thought and is totally at ease with it. The Tree of Forgiveness is autumnal John Prine, but it's also a potent reminder that his remarkable skills as a songwriter and his rough-hewn excellence as a singer haven't failed him yet." - AllMusic
Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Limited time digital download
1. Knockin' On Your Screen Door
2. I Have Met My Love Today (feat. Brandi Carlile)
3. Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone)
4. Summer's End (feat. Brandi Carlile)
5. Caravan Of Fools
6. The Lonesome Friends Of Science
7. No Ordinary Blue (feat. Jason Isbell on electric guitar)
8. Boundless Love
9. God Only Knows (feat. Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires)
10. When I Get To Heaven (feat. Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires)