John Prine : The Singing Mailman Delivers

John Prine has probably never been given his full due by the music press, or maybe that coverage has just been sporadic. But anyone familiar with the low-key troubadour knows that his poignant songwriting is as good as it gets.

One of Bob Dylan’s and Kris Kristofferson’s favorite artists, Prine’s voice emerged from the Chicago area more than four decades ago. While delivering mail by day as a postal carrier and singing at open mics by night, he was first officially recorded in 1970. The rest is folk and Americana music history.  Having recently uncovered some of his recordings from that era (while cleaning out his garage), Prine decided to release this welcome trove of formative material dubbed The Singing Mailman Delivers.

The two discs here include early studio recordings of many of his best-known songs as well as a live performance from November of 1970. From iconic deliveries of “Paradise,” “Illegal Smile,” “The Great Society Conflict Veteran’s Blues,” and “Angel from Montgomery,” to “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” “Spanish Pipedream,” and a fun Hank William’s medley of “Hey Good Lookin’” >Jambalaya,” this is John Prine at his early best.

The Singing Mailman Delivers is out now on Oh Boy Records.