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I only recently discovered a version of John Prine's "Sam Stone" recorded by Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams. That Prine's song about a Vietnam vet's tragic decline works so well in the soul setting that Williams placed it in--something hinted at by Bonnie Raitt's more familiar cover of Prine's "Angel from Montgomery"--is a testament to Prine's way with words and melodies. Prine has been at it for 30-some years now, a musical journey that's seen him progress from being the latest name on the "New Dylan" list to becoming a bona fide folk-rock icon. Plus, he's the only musician that my mother and I have ever been able to bond over. (It all started with my putting "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" on a mix tape I made for her.) Opening for Prine is sweet-voiced Nanci Griffith, a gifted writer and interpreter, with "Love at the Five and Dime" one of her signature compositions and Prine's "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" just one tune from her deep bag of covers. 462-2025 or

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