Once an artist uses our platform to connect with an audience, we grandfather them into the NoiseTrade community for life and keep our antennae tuned to let you know about whatever future projects they’re working on. This week’s heads up: NT Alumni John Prine’s The Tree of Forgiveness netted three nominations for next month’s Grammy Awards and his moving music video for “Summer’s End” is still making waves after its late September release.
With the 2019 Grammy Awards looming just over the horizon (February 10, to be exact), it’s a nice time to revisit one of 2018’s most celebrated albums, John Prine’s The Tree of Forgiveness. The legendary singer-songwriter has been charming audiences with his wisdom and wit for almost a half-century and The Tree of Forgiveness – his first album of new material in over 13 years – has been praised by fans and journalists alike as one of the most profound and beautiful entries in his endlessly brilliant catalog. The album generated three Grammy Award nominations, including Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song for both “Summer’s End” and “Knockin’ On Your Screen Door.”
Back in September, Prine released an arrestingly moving music video for “Summer’s End” that weaves a heartbreaking narrative threaded around the U.S. opioid crisis and interspersed with clips of Prine playing the song alongside a chair the remains empty for most of the video. While the song’s lyrical imagery is one of nostalgia-tinged metaphoric transitions (“Summer’s end is around the bend, just flying. The swimming suits are on the line, just drying.”), the accompanying visuals give the song’s themes an additional layer of weight and meaning. Directed byKerrin Sheldon and Elaine McMillion Sheldon, the “Summer’s End” music video also includes a closing shot that reads “Dedicated to Max” (referencing the late son of former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry who passed away due to a combination of drugs that included opioids) and the 24/7 national helpline number to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
No matter how the chips fall at next month’s Grammy Awards, all of the accolades for The Tree of Forgiveness are well-earned and completely understood upon listening to the 10-track masterpiece produced by Dave Cobb and featuring guest appearances from Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires.