Almost time for my bootheels to be wanderin’, as Bob Dylan sings. The first readings for John Prine: In Spite of Himself have been scheduled in central North Carolina:
- 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham.
- 7 p.m. Friday, April 10, at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro – presented with the help of my co-conspirators at 1808: Greensboro’s Magazine.
Readings will be a new experience for me, and I’m still working out the details. At this point my plan is to talk about researching and writing the book, read a few passages, answer questions, and have some musician friends join me. Additional public appearances are in the works.
But wait – there’s more! Mike Smith, curator of Greensboro’s At Home Folk Art Gallery, has invited me to appear on his radio show on WQFS at Guilford College at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 10. Mike has asked me to talk about my book, share some of my favorite Prine songs, and be the butt of his many jokes.
Looking ahead to spring, the good folks at Greensboro’s Doodad Farm, Laurel and Dean Driver, have kindly agreed to host A Tribute to John Prine to benefit Voices Together at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17. The show will feature some of North Carolina’s finest singers and songwriters, including John Howie Jr., Molly McGinn, Caleb Caudle, Chip Robinson, and many others. There won’t be much room for me to get a word in edgewise with nearly two dozen performers singing nearly three dozen Prine songs, but I will speak briefly about my book and introduce a song or two by reading passages about them.
The singers will perform songs spanning Prine’s storied career, from “Sam Stone” and “Angel from Montgomery” to “Unwed Fathers” and “In Spite of Ourselves.” As usual for Doodad Farm events there will be no ticket sales, but guests who have the means are asked to make a donation of $10 to $15 or more. All proceeds will go to Voices Together, a Durham-based non-profit that uses music to help people with developmental disabilities increase communication and social / emotional skills.
“Bring a chair, a cooler, your kids, and friendly dogs out to the farm,” Dean Driver says. “Goats will be provided.”