John Prine is one of those songwriters that makes songwriting seem easy; his words never forced and his wit never ending. Couple that with the simplicity with which he writes and I think most musicians would find his songs easily adaptable and ripe to be covered.
On Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, we have a collection of some of Prine’s most well known numbers, including a stellar, if not completely fresh version of his biggest hit, “Angel From Montgomery” (Old Crow Medicine Show), as well as a few songs even some John Prine fans probably were not aware of. “Wedding Day in Funeralville” (Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band) and “Unwed Fathers” (Deer Tick) are two relatively unknown Prine gems that shine bright on this collection.
Other standouts include “All The Best,” (My Morning Jacket) which sounds as if Prine wrote it for Jim James and the comical “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian” (Those Darlins), which is given a more appropriate surf vibe here than Prine’s original country vibe.
All in all, there’s not really a dud in the lot and because Prine’s songs lend themselves to being covered so seamlessly, this is one of the few tribute albums that manages to surpass expectations. A pleasant, easy-going listen which is sure to please both longtime fans of Prine as well as those who give this a listen based solely upon the name recognition of some of today’s more respected musicians that were selected here.