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Hear John Prine’s New ‘God Only Knows’ With Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires

Americana couple provide harmonies on the song off Prine’s upcoming ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’

Two weeks away from the release of John Prine’s new LP The Tree of Forgiveness, the songwriter has shared another track from the upcoming record and it’s one on which he gets some high-profile help. “God Only Knows” is a gentle, introspective tune featuring harmony vocals from Americana music’s power couple, husband and wife Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.

Along with sharing the stage with Prine numerous times, Isbell and Shires have previously covered him in performance, interpreting the singer-songwriter’s “Clocks and Spoons” from his 1972 LP Diamonds in the Rough on a recent episode of Austin City Limits. Here, they harmonize on the chorus, repeating the title phrase several times before spotlighting Isbell’s distinctive blues-inflected slide guitar solo and Shires’ stellar fiddle work. The couple also aid Prine similarly on the new album’s closing cut, “When I Get to Heaven.” Like Isbell’s and Shires’ most recent solo efforts, The Tree of Forgiveness was produced by Dave Cobb and recorded at Nashville‘s historic RCA Studio A.

Of special note here is the song’s bridge, which Prine technically didn’t write, as it is lifted verbatim from the popular children’s bedtime prayer which begins, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” Its origins date to the 17th century when it appeared in the New England Primer, the first reading primer printed as an educational tool for children in the American colonies in the late 1600s.

The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine’s first album of all-new solo material in 13 years, will be available April 13th on the legendary performer’s own Oh Boy Records. 

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