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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prine Diamonds
From the first clear ringing guitar notes of "Souvenirs", I knew that John Prine had made this recording for ME.
ME, and all the people worldwide who love John Prine, sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, singing the songs that make us think, remember, shake our heads in wonder, sing along and smile.
We can remember Steve Goodman as we listen to...
Published on November 10, 2000 by Richard L Weintraut

versus
1 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What an awful album
Even as a die hard John Prine fan, I've been disappointed with his efforts over the last 10 years. When Souvenirs came out, I thought it was redundant. Anybody can re-record their own stuff. I was afraid I'd think it a pale comparison of the original recordings. Boy was I right! I bought this album finally, to finish off my collection and what a stinker it is. Most of the...
Published on February 3, 2007 by K. Brown


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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prine Diamonds, November 10, 2000
By 
Richard L Weintraut (WINSLOW, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
From the first clear ringing guitar notes of "Souvenirs", I knew that John Prine had made this recording for ME.
ME, and all the people worldwide who love John Prine, sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, singing the songs that make us think, remember, shake our heads in wonder, sing along and smile.
We can remember Steve Goodman as we listen to "Souvenirs".
We remember that sometime in our life, deep down inside, we've all felt like Donald or Lydia.
We remember loved ones as we listen to "Grandpa Was A Carpenter".
And we sing along and smile to "Fish & Whistle and "Please Don't Bury Me".
And most of all we shake our heads in wonder while we listen to these fifteen great songs.
We wonder how someone whom we've never met can sit down and "write our feelings"...
How does he know that we once had a relationship where...
"Well ya know, she still laughs with me But she waits just a second too long...."
Or that we all have known people who have lived through...
"How the hell can a person Go to work in the morning And come home in the evening And have nothing to say..."
We stop and think when we hear....
"An old man sleeps with his conscience at night A young kid sleeps with his dreams While the mentally ill sit perfectly still And live through life's in betweens....
These are not just "songs"... They mean something to us...
I have all of John's recordings, I doubt if this one will ever leave my CD rotation...
As I read this I find that it's not really a review of the album.
It's really how I feel about John Prine.
My favorite quote about John comes from Bonnie Raitt...
"What makes John's songs so special is that there's no separating who he is from his music - you just love "him"...
"He's a true folk singer in the best tradition, cutting right to the heart of things, as pure and simple as rain"
That explains this recording.
If you love John Prine, you must have this recording.
If you've never heard of him... buy this recording.. then you'll love him too...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is REAL music!, December 6, 2001
By 
Miles D. Moore (Alexandria, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
There's a whole herd of singer-songwriters out there--Steve Forbert, Robbie Fulks, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt--who have more talent individually than every combined member of every band on the Top 40, but who couldn't sell a CD if they parachuted naked with Madonna and Britney Spears onto the roof of Caesar's Palace. (Steve Earle and John Hiatt do a little better in the sales department, but not much.) Of this brilliant but unfortunate group, none is better than John Prine, and "Souvenirs" is a latter-day collection of some of his best songs. It takes chutzpah to write, "These songs are beautiful," at the beginning of your own liner notes, but in Prine's case he is only acknowledging the obvious. Songs like "Fish and Whistle," "Angel from Montgomery" and "Christmas in Prison" have the gritty, poignant inevitability we associate with the classic folk songwriters--Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie. Prine's blunt, tuneless voice--rather like Dylan's, but with a little more country and whiskey in it--is the perfect expressive instrument for these wonderful songs.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deja-nirs, November 2, 2000
By 
Anton R Dotson (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
John Prine's newest disc is a collection of re-recordings of songs he has previously recorded/released over the last 30 years. His songs songs have worn well travelled paths in my musical landscape, the lyrics automatically spill forward as a song plays, comfortable and familiar. That familiarity can be a mixed blessing in this case. The new recordings are very similarly arranged compared to the originals, but not exactly so, throwing off my car karaoke timing,just enough; familiar but different. That's a nerdy fan's problem. Mr. Prine has assembled a wonderfully recorded batch of wonderful songs. His voice now has a more fragile and fleeting quality, almost like he's singing about feelings he remembers having, rather than narrating as present emotion. "Angel from Montgomery" and "Blue Umbrella" are great cuts that push this feeling home, not as raw as the originals, but with a melancholy that conveys the original feeling. "Fish and Whistle" is more relaxed sounding than the original; "Souvenirs" is less bitter. It's great fun to compare these versions to the originals sonically and emotionally. Deep down, Mr. Prine's voice sneeks in more retrospective acceptance or contentment on these versions. I feel like he is singing from some place that does have a happy (or graceful)ending, that's the greatest feeling of all on this disc. All John Prine fans must purchase, savor, and compare. Any other interested party should consider this a terrific 'Introduction to John Prine': purchase, listen, learn, then explore the originals as well. It is not very often that we get a chance to see how such an essential artist reapproaches so many hallmark songs and bends them ever so slightly, I should age so gracefully. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction or a wonderful review, November 7, 2000
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
Listening to these pristine recordings, reveling in the near-reference quality sonics, somthing occurred to me: John Prine is one of the greatest songwriters. Ever. On par with Dylan, Van Zandt... whoever. This set stongly makes this case. Sure, it took him 30 years to assemble this batch of songs, and one could regard it as a mere "Best Of", but hearing all of Prine's best material in a coherent package really brings home the point that Prine has few equals. His compostions combine humor with heartbreak to great effect. I dare you to listen to "Hello in There" and not get a lump in your throat. His delivery and phrasing, tempered by wisdom, his voice tempered by a bout with cancer, bring these haunting tales to life with all the nuance and absurdity that is the human experience. The arrangements are simple and sympathetic, allowing the songs to do the work. And great work they do. For those unfamillar with Prine, this a great introduction to his weird worldview. For veterans, think of this as the Prine disc you'll pull out and play for newbies, but also listen to more than a few times yourself. It's a good a record, and a great sort of thesis statement arguing for Prine's place alongside the great songwriters of the last half-century.
*Note that the listing on this website incorrectly lists the track order. The title track is the 1st song, not "Fish and Whistle"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, April 18, 2005
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
Here's a CD both for Prine fans and for the uninitiated. For fans you get fifteen of his finest songs recorded anew in quiet, almost acoustic arrangements that only enhance the intimate stories he tells of misfit lovers, forgotten seniors and broken war vets. For people who've been missing out on Prine all these thirty odd years, Souvenirs is a perfect introduction and incentive to dive more fully into a great observer and teller of human stories. Best: Souvenirs, Angel from Montgomery, Donald and Lydia, and Grandpa Was a Carpenter. But on this CD the best is only slightly better than the excellent rest.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prine Lite, December 25, 2004
By 
Rick Tharp "the_rxrick" (Plattsburg, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
John Prine's albums are usually "warts and all" affairs, and that's one of his charms. But Souvenirs is different, this is an older, wiser, more mellow Prine singing here. He's smoothed out the rough edges, making his material more accessible.

This CD would be a great introduction to John's music for those who are not that familiar with his work. It features many of his best songs, with simple arrangements, performed in a laid back style. I think all Prine fans should buy Souvenirs for their friends, then they might understand why we love this man's music so much.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorites Revisited, November 6, 2000
By 
Kevin B. Ashby (Hartford, KY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
Having listened to John Prine's work for some 26 years I feel compelled to reflect on this title. His singing style is more relaxed these days, and this is demonstrated through the renditions presented in this release. The songs are timeless and provoke the feeling that they fit him better now than when originally recorded. He seems to have grown into them, and he wears them well. "Hello In There" is much better than the original with simple yet effective accompaniment. Even though I have all of the songs on other recordings, this was a worthwhile investment.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio paradise, November 1, 2004
By 
Sam Stone (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
I don't recall ever hearing more beautiful acoustic guitar picking than on the title track. Wonderful, revealing new versions of his most beautiful songs. I found the new renditions moving and eye-opening, particularly on Souvenirs and Six O'Clock News, but they're all gems. An essential addition to any John Prine collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift from John, December 31, 2000
By 
Unclebob53703. (madison, wisconsin United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
When i first heard about this album I had a brief moment of dread. Take a bunch of songs I love and give them the "guest star remake" treatment--you know, "Sam Stone" as a duet with Sting.
No such worries anymore. These are the real songs, plain as can be, plainly and sparely arranged and played by regular guys--no bells and whistles. Very few songwriters write songs that could withstand such treatment. Prine's songs shine like burnished gold, but then he's always been good at leaving things out. Who else could sum up an entire relationship with, "Well ya know she still laughs with me/But she waits just a second too long."
These are fifteen of the man's best, which is to say fifteen of the best songs ever written by anyone. Every home should have more than one John Prine album, but this would be an excellent start. For long time fans who love the songs, it is a rare and generous gift from one of the great singer/songsriters of all time.
Thanks, John.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mellow Prine, April 21, 2003
By 
Jacko Penhale (Knoxville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
If you are a John Prine fan, you will have to have this one.
It's all of John's best songs recorded in a bit slower beat, with better production and instrumentation than the original recordings. Usually, I don't care for re-recorded former songs, but this is a definite exception. If you've heard the originals, you will love these. They reveal John's growth
as a performer. These songs deserved this touch up.
Thanks John.
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Souvenirs
Souvenirs by John Prine (Audio CD - 2000)
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