I grew up listening to “Angel from Montgomery” by John Prine, and as it is a widely covered song, I have thoughts on who has done the song justice over the years.
John Prine originally wrote the song that appeared on this 1971 self-titled album. He wrote the song after he wrote: “Hello In There.” “Hello In There” was a song Prine wrote about seniors. After the success of this song, his friend suggested writing another piece about this topic, and “Angel from Montgomery” was born.
The song is a classic on many playlists today, and many artists have taken to it. The song not only has meaningful lyrics that a crowd will know, but the composition is not too complicated, making it easy for any band to pick up and play without much practice.
Here are my five favorite covers of the song.
5. Tedeschi Trucks Band
I mean, Susan would make the list on her own, but when you add Derek shredding into the mix and even those flute licks from Kofi Burbridge, it’s no doubt why this band is a must-see.
4. John Mayer
I have always loved this version Mayer did on his 2014 European tour, as well as the 2013 Born & Raised Tour.
It seems very fitting that he is on this list now that Mayer has been a hot topic of conversation in country music. He is a muse for many country artists, and it’s fitting to see him pay tribute to a great like Prine.
3. Emmylou Harris
Emmylou and John Prine performed this together at Nashville’s City Winery in 2017. I love this performance because Emmylou is humbly an incredible vocalist.
The two also have a long-standing friendship, and it warms my heart to see them on stage together.
2. Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker another female vocal powerhouse. Her 1978 version of the song features Prine on backup vocals.
Tucker also featured the song on her album, TNT.
1. Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band was a childhood staple for me. They have covered and produced the song for themselves throughout the years, but one of the first times they debuted, was in 1996 at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, North Carolina.
And of course… the man himself, John Prine.
Prine is one of my favorite artists and without the original, there would not be any of these other phenomenal covers.
“Angel from Montgomery” is one of the most recognizable Prine songs and shows off his story-telling abilities. John Prine left a lasting mark on the singer-songwriter industry and will never be forgotten.