John Prine – Diamonds in the RoughAtlantic, 1972
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
John Prine’s sophomore LP is pretty much just as good as his debut. This time around he rolls in some bluegrassy elements (mandolins and dobros pepper the landscape) and retains the witty social commentary that separates him from the rest of the songwriters who rushed to fill the space paved by Bob Dylan breaking it big. On Diamonds in the Rough Prine delivers another excellent anti-Vietnam tune with “The Great Compromise” and one of his best sad-bastard ballads in the lovely (if forlorn) “Souveniers.” In between there’s plenty of the country fried shit-kicking that tends to populate Prine’s albums (the one’s I’ve heard anyway). The way Prine manages to have fun and still delivers songs that shake your right down to your soul makes it kind of depressing that he’s not treated like a national treasure.