Plus Dan Bejar and the Riverwest Femfest Halloween Ball.

Working a day job as a mailman while moonlighting as a folk singer, Maywood, Ill. native John Prine was given his first review by film critic Roger Ebert for his performance at a Chicago bar in 1970. “He’s closer to Hank Willilams than to Roger Williams, closer to Dylan than to Ochs,” Ebert wrote of the then-24-year-old in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The praise wouldn’t stop there. “His music sounds as if it has been around forever, or as if it just came chugging up our of the dirt of a freeway strip one day to remind people that under the light and bitterness, Middle America still has a heart, a conscience and a memory,” William Kloman wrote for the New York Times in 1972. While Prine never received the widespread fame of contemporaries and was unfairly forced to live in the shadow of Bob Dylan, his evocative, everyman songwriting style undoubtedly influenced his peers. Kris Kristofferson is credited with discovering the singer and getting him a deal for Atlantic Records. Many consider “Sam Stone,” released on 1971’s self-titled debut, one of the best songs of that folk generation.

 

Now 70, Prine has survived two bouts of cancer, which has slowed his output and makes every show and every release something special. On his latest album and first recording in five years, For Better, or Worse, he teams up with a female singer on every song to cover old country tunes. The guest list is a who’s-who of country singers, including Lee Ann Womack, Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert and Hank Williams’ granddaughter Holly Williams. Prine’s now-gruff, traveled voice set next to these vibrant female singers evokes timeless country traditions, making these new versions feel eternal.

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John Prine headlines the Pabst Theater with opener Billy Prine on Saturday, November 5. Doors open at 7 p.m.

 

 Video of the Week

Directed by Damien Blue (who also co-directed “Remember” with Cody LaPlant), the music video for IshDARR’s “Locals” finds the rapper celebrating the neighborhood corner store. It’s the first visual of his impressive sophomore release, Broken Hearts & Bankrolls.

 

 

This Week in Live Music

Monday, October 31: Riverwest Femfest Halloween Ball featuring Hodari, Gauss, Holy Shit!, New Boyz Club and DJ Zucchini at Company Brewing, 9 p.m. ($5) – (735 E. Center St., CompanyBrewing.com)

Tuesday, November 1: Dan Bejar with Liam Hayes at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($20) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)

Also: Dream Theater at The Riverside Theater, 7:30 p.m. ($31.25-$66.25) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)

And: The Ferdy Mayne with Cabin Essence, Thompson Springs and Faithless Followers at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($8) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Wednesday, November 2: Yellowcard with Like Torches and Dryjacket at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($24-$29) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)

Also: Waldemar with Coyote at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Thursday, November 3: Kansas at The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m. ($49.50-$59.50) – (144 E. Wells St., PabstTheater.org)

Also: Good Charlotte with The Story So Far, Four Year Strong and Big Jesus at The Rave, 7 p.m. ($29.50-$34.50) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)

And: For KING & COUNTRY with Jordan Feliz at The Riverside Theater, 7 p.m. ($20-$35) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)

And: SIMS with Air Credits at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($15) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

And: The Staves at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($15) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)

Friday, November 4: Keith Urban with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris at BMO Harris Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m. ($46.50-$72) – (1001 N. 4th St., BradleyCenter.com)

Also: The Jayhawks with Uke at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($35) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)

And: Eric Johnson Solo at The Backroom at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($29.50) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)

Saturday, November 5: John Prine with Billy Prine at The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m. ($59.75-$99.75) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)

Also: Brett Newski (album release) with The Kickback and Detlef Schrempf at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($8 advance; $10 door) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

And: The Naked And Famous with XYLØ, The Chain Gang of 1974 at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($25-$30) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)

And: Benjamin Francis Leftwich with Brolly at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($15) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)

Sunday, November 6: Holy Wave with Moss Folk and Calliope at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($8) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Also: The Wood Brothers with Dylan LeBlanc at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($22.50 advance; $25 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)

And: Jake Shimabukuro at The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m. ($25.50-$35.50) – (144 E. Wells St., PabstTheater.org)

And: Danilo Pérez with John Patitucci and Brian Blade at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. ($35) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)

 

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