Todd Snider has said that he wouldn’t have a career without John Prine. In his early days as an open-mic singer, Snider studied Prine’s songwriting constantly, and he met his hero and worked for him as a runner while Prine was recording 1991’s The Missing Years. Prine soon signed Snider to his label, Oh Boy Records, and took him on the road. The two performed together as recently as last year. “He created the job that I have,” says Snider.
Snider has been staging livestream solo concerts from his East Nashville practice space every Sunday morning, a format one fan compared to church. This week’s was deeply moving: More than half of Snider’s song requests were for covers of Prine, who is currently in a Nashville ICU suffering from COVID-19. Last Friday, Prine’s wife Fiona said, “He is very ill, and yet I remain hopeful that he can continue to fight this.”
Snider played two of his favorite Prine deep cuts, both from 1978: “Crooked Piece of Time” and “Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow).” Prine shared the story of writing “Bruised Orange,” and other classics, in a recent Rolling Stone feature.
“I want to send a quick love-you to the Prine’s,” Snider said. “Fight on John. Fight on brother.” .
Snider will be broadcasting again this Sunday at PurpleBuildingLive.com. Watch his earlier performances here.