John Prine opened his four-song set for NPR’s Music’s Tiny Desk Concert with the ominous “Caravan of Fools,” a tune from his upcoming LP The Tree of Forgiveness. Backed by a three-piece band, Prine wryly noted of the tune co-written with Pat McLaughlin and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, that “any likeness to the current administration is purely accidental.”
Prine prefaced his next song, “Summer’s End,” also penned with McLaughlin, explaining that the pair usually write together on Tuesdays in
Hailed by Tiny Desk Concerts host Bob Boilen as “an American treasure,” Prine then reached back into his extensive catalog for performances of “All the Best,” a tun he joked came “from the school of Kiss-Off 101,” and was featured on the classic, Grammy-winning 1991 LP The Missing Years. He then closed with “Souvenirs,” a highlight of his second album, Diamonds in the Rough, and one which Prine told Bluerailroad magazine was penned in an even smaller space than Boilen’s tiny desk: inside his 1965 Chevelle on the way to play Chicago’s Fifth Peg club, where he got his start as a musician while delivering mail during the day.
The Tree of Forgiveness will be released on Prine’s Oh Boy Records on April 13th.