Music: Illegal Smile to Celebrate John Prine in Greystones

by James Hendicott
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John Prine, a multiple Grammy Award winner, is widely thought of as one of the greatest country and folk music stars of our time, particular in the US.

His death in his 70s, early in the Covid outbreak in April 0f 2020, from the virus, left behind a string of musicians heralding both his influence and the town to earth way he connected with his audience, a “man of the people.” 

While Prine’s primary influence was, naturally, in his US homeland, Illegal Smile are flying the flag in Ireland, and widely seen as the foremost act exploring his music this side of the Atlantic. Having toured Prine’s work since the Covid restrictions lifted, Illegal Smile attempt to recreate the heart and feel of his performances, rather than directly recreate exactly what Prine did in his prime. 

Prine was particularly noted for the poetic nature of his music, and his way of addressing the everyday in a deep and soulful way, with songs that spoke to the human condition. He once said “If you listen to people talk when people actually talk, they talk in melodies. If they get angry, their voice rises, and it’s more of a staccato thing. When they ask for something, they’re real sweet. It’s all music.” 

The debut appearance of Illegal Smile at The Hot Spot in Greystones is part of an extensive touring schedule for this year and next year, and will see the act perform two and a half hours of Prine hits including Sam Stone, Hello in There, Angel from Montgomery and Lake Marie. 

Tickets are available now for the show, which takes place on March 10, 2023.

Picture: Illegal smile ireland

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