From Montgomery to Paradise, the hint of an illegal smile on his lips, John Prine has probed and dissected the essence of America's character over the past 40 years with a wry humor and sharp insight rivaling Mark Twain's. His first, early-'70s albums were revelations, populated with indelible working-class characters grappling with quiet desperation and worse, etched in folkie tales laced with dusty country, while Prine sang with a downhome twang reflecting his parents' Kentucky roots. Prine wrote those early classics while delivering mail in the Chicago burbs, then first recorded them in an impromptu Chicago studio session and live at a Chi Town club. Prine's Oh Boy label released both last year on The Singing Mailman Delivers, the title adopted from an old Roger Ebert review, and showing that his raw but riveting performances were already delivering the goods. At the zoo, Prine will be backed by bassist Dave Jacques and guitarist Jason Wilber. Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show will open. $67. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley; 80.745.3000.
Fri., June 29, 7:30 p.m., 2012
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