Last night, the legendary John Prine hosted his annual Station Inn Christmas party featuring his friends and cohorts — his Whole Damn Family — and among the performers was fellow Nashville treasure Del McCoury. But, as occasionally happens here in Music City, the bluegrass/outlaw country/songwriter-to-rock 'n' roll/pop/alternative gap was bridged when The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach joined in on the celebration. Cream/Scene contributor Lance Conzett happened to be in attendance. He snapped the above cell-phone pic and was kind enough to provide a little synopsis of last night's events. It went down like this:
Basically, last night John Prine threw his annual Christmas party at Station Inn for colleagues, employees and friends that was semi-open-to-the-public. It was sorta like Bob Nastanovich's wedding reception at The 5 Spot, where you could buy a ticket if you found out about it until they sold out, but most of the crowd was invited and probably 95 percent of the place was booked up with reserved seating. I knew about it because a friend of mine works in the Butcher Shoppe and does some stuff for Prine's label.
The show started around 9 p.m. with Prine and a crew of local producers, session dudes and whatnot ("The Whole Damn Family") playing covers and originals. I remember "Ramblin Fever" being one of them early on. Dan Auerbach came onstage after they took a break to play "Goin' Home" off his solo record, with some people including one of Del McCoury's sons (Ronnie?) on mandolin and a guy whose name I can't remember on violin (but was assured that he was legit). Not that everybody was talking through the earlier set, but damn did it get noticeably quieter for that performance. There's a video of it here.
Del came up after that to do a cover of the Bill Monroe song "Can't Hear Me Calling," which they did for a recent Monroe tribute record and that was it for Dan. Prine came up again solo to play a few songs — "Christmas in Prison" and "That's the Way the World Goes Round" were the ones I remember. Mickey Clark came on stage to play "Don't Piss On My Boots and Tell Me It's Raining" and Jeannie C. Riley did her big hit, "Harper Valley PTA."
Also, there were a couple of Christmas songs toward the end. It was a really fun night, glad I made it out there. First time seeing John Prine live too, which was pretty fucking incredible.