The loss of Prine to Covid-19 was heartbreaking. At 82, he was one of American music’s most treasured songwriters, still making wonderful records like his most recent one, 2018’s Tree of Forgiveness. Prine had already begun working on a new album, and this is the first song he recorded for it, an almost impossibly poignant acoustic reflection on a life happily lived, from tiny details (a blade of grass, an old guitar) to transcendent moments (“the way you turned and smiled on me/On the night that we first met”), fully aware that experience and loss go hand in hand and that “sometimes a little tenderness was the best that I could do.” It’s one last bit of wisdom, before he headed out the door. —J.D.
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