Jewly Hight

For much of the post-Dylan age, and particularly in such self-consciously cerebral genres as indie rock, contemporary folk and Americana, artists have been more likely to command critical respect for cultivating their songwriting voices than for interpreting songs from others' pens. But John Prine, who was once pegged as a new Dylan, seems to be having a fine time toying with that modern musical hierarchy.

Courtesy of the artist

"It's not the end of the world" is a thing people say to place inconveniences in perspective, a reminder that a rush-hour fender bender doesn't belong to the same category of catastrophe as nuclear or biblical apocalypse.

Courtesy of the artist

The great novelist Flannery O'Conner once wrote that, "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures." This was her way of explaining why she populated her fiction with grotesquely flawed characters, exaggerating their ugliest impulses in the funhouse mirror of writerly vision.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Pages