Anyone familiar with John Prine probably hasn’t been surprised by the amazing amount of tributes being done by musicians of all kinds. He was a songwriter’s songwriter and he inspired a lot of folks. Our first round up included 13 different artists playing 15 songs, hits and deep cuts alike. In that list of songs, “Angel from Montgomery” was done four different times. It’s worth checking them all out but if you’re short on time, you should definitely give First Aid Kit a listen.
Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg have made numerous appearances on the Cover Me pages and their harmonies have always set them apart. The sound quality of the lo-fi quarantine song can vary, but First Aid Kit are able to put their vocals front and center even with what appears to be a very minimal setup. In just over two minutes, they cruise through the first couple verses of one of Prine’s most endearing tunes. It works well as a tribute song because it’s got the perfect amount of sweet sadness without being crushingly depressing. There’s hopefulness here, even though a strict reading of the lyrics doesn’t reveal it, but First Aid Kit find it in their retelling. It may be the reason they left the third, and maybe most bleak, verse out altogether.
There’s no opening tribute about what Prine meant to First Aid Kit. No frills here at all. Not even the full song. And while it’s touching to hear the relationship that other artists have to these songs, or to John himself, his music speaks for itself, loudly. Prine’s songs showed that he did “believe in this living” and if you’ve got two minutes, you can listen in and be reminded of that.