Brandi Carlile opens it with John Prine’s last song while Sturgill Simpson closes it with one of his first.
And from the former’s faithful, folksy “I Remember Everything” to the latter’s bluegrass in “Paradise,” Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine Vol. 2 is held together by the late, titular honoree.
A master of couplets and sage turns of phrases, Prine’s personality emanates through Nathaniel Rateliff’s raucous and soundalike “Pretty Good,” Amanda Shires’ disco “Saddle in the Rain,” Tyler Childers’ honky-tonk weeper “Yes, I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You” and others.
Bonnie Raitt does “Angel from Montgomery” yet again, and the warbly twangs of Valerie June (“Summer’s End”) and Iris DeMent (“One Red Rose”) are love-’em-or-loathe-’em propositions, so results may vary on those.
But John Paul White’s wispy “Sam Stone” and Emmylou Harris’ breathtakingly fragile “Hello in There” will break almost any heart, while Margo Price and Jason Isbell add some fun with “Sweet Revenge” and “Souvenirs,” respectively.
But what really makes Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows 2work is the songs. And the man who wrote them all.