John Prine performing at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Prine, 2019 (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

R.I.P. John Prine, 1946-2020


This one hurts. This one hurts a lot. John Prine was a treasure. From his extraordinary self-titled debut album to Tree of Forgiveness, his last, he was a superb songwriter. He was a terrific live act, too: WC saw him live 10-12 times, from the very start of his career at Chicago’s Quiet Knight, to a…

Losing Some Other Stars


Not every great musician is famous. Not every musician WC likes is a rock star. As we start the New Year, let’s remember the musicians who entertained us, even if they aren’t as famous as they might have deserved. Ray Sawyer was for many years the lead vocalist in Dr. Hook (nee Dr. Hook &…

“The Immigrants”


WC’s buddy Ray Funk, a highly respected music scholar and writer (and another unsuccessfully retired lawyer), pointed WC to a timely, powerful Gaby Moreno cover of David Rudder’s 1998 song, “The Immigrants.” Here are the lyrics. An acoustic version of Moreno’s cover is below the lyrics. WC likes both the metaphors and the very clever…

The Grandfather of the Blues: Buddy Guy


Most (maybe all) of his contemporaries are dead. Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Albert King; all gone. Seven-time Grammy winner Buddy Guy is still standing. He’s 81 years old and can still rock the house down, make his guitar weep and make you laugh out loud. He’s the living spirit of…

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen, 1935-2016


In the late 1960s, Judy Collins, for whatever reason, came to Fairbanks, Alaska and did a performance at Patty Gym at the University of Alaska, the largest venue in Fairbanks at the time. The first song was her hit cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” After singing it, accompanying herself on the piano, she said, “I love Leonard…