In early 2014 John Prine returned to the road following successful surgery for lung cancer. But while the operation appears to have had at least some effect on the Illinois-born singer-songwriter's volume and range, according to a Chicago Tribune review, his knack for crafting sharply observed songs remains undiminished.

In early 2014 John Prine returned to the road following successful surgery for lung cancer. But while the operation appears to have had at least some effect on the Illinois-born singer-songwriter’s volume and range, according to a Chicago Tribune review, his knack for crafting sharply observed songs remains undiminished.

The legendary Prine, whose work has rightly been lauded by a who’s who of modern songwriters, including Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle, among countless others, has developed a beautifully minimalist style, stringing together common words to craft deeply probing, heartfelt and emotionally complex songs. It’s as though the musician adopted a famed Thomas Jefferson expression as his songwriting maxim: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

Leo Kottke opens the show.

Jim Shea photo