'Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows,' Various Artists

Hear all your favorite indie and folk stars cover John Prine before you check out the real stuff.

click to enlarge Broken Hearts
Broken Hearts

If you don’t know about John Prine, you’re seriously missing out on some great music. A bunch of great bands have pulled together a tribute CD to turn you onto (in contributor Justin Vernon’s words) the “humble, heart-broke and beautifully playful” music of John Prine.

His 1971 debut John Prine is one of the great opening statements from a singer-songwriter. Four of the 12 tracks here are from that record, including the Avett Brothers’ take on “Spanish Pipedream” and Justin Townes Earle’s version of “Far From Me” — one of the most aching, evocative songs of just-missed love. There are two great ones from his 1991 comeback record, The Missing Years — My Morning Jacket’s “All the Best” and Drive-By Truckers’ “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin.” Both come dangerously close to improving on the originals. You’ll find Josh Ritter, Lambchop and Conor Oberst here, too.

Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows is a great introduction to Prine, but pretty soon you’ll be looking for the real stuff.

DOWNLOAD: “Spanish Pipedream”

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About The Author

Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Ted S. McGregor, Jr. grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep high school and the University of the Washington. While studying for his Master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, he completed a professional project on starting a weekly newspaper in Spokane. In 1993, he turned that project into reality...