Last Updated on June 27, 2021
John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness
Release Date: April 13, 2018
‘The Tree of Forgiveness’ is vintage John Prine. At 71, this is the singer-songwriter’s first new record of original material since 2005’s ‘Fair & Square’. The album was released April 13, 2018 and produced by Dave Cobb. Almost all of the tracks are co-writes, mostly with Nashville singer-songwriter Pat McLaughlin who also guests on the album. But there are also collaborations with Dan Auerbach and Phil Spector. Other guests on this terrific album include Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.
John Prine is a master storyteller, the album evokes 1978’s ‘Bruised Orange’. During the making of ‘Bruised Orange’, Prine was introduced to Phil Spector by L.A. Times writer Robert Hillburn and wrote “If You Don’t Want My Love” with the producer at his house. So he’s known Spector for 40 years. With mortality being a theme, the album cover and title, I hope this is not Prine’s last album.
The album opens with “Knockin’ On Your Screen Door” and closes with “When I get To Heaven” where John sings:
Then as God is my witness / I’m getting back into show business
I’m gonna open up a nightclub called / ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’
And forgive everybody / Ever done me any harm
I might invite a few choice critics / Those syphilitic parasitics
Buy ’em a pint of Smithwicks / And smother them with my charm