Throughout his storied career, John Prine has played plenty of Hank Williams songs. So much so that family members and friends point out to him that they sound like John Prine songs. That’s true of “Just Waitin’,” the final track on Prine’s latest, For Better, Or Worse, a collection of duets with some of Nashville’s elite female voices, including Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, and Iris DeMent.
But “Just Waitin’” is just Prine, reciting the song as Williams did under his alias, Luke the Drifter, on the 1954 spoken-word album of the same name. “It shows how much Hank Williams influenced my writing,” Prine says. “I love recitations, I would love to do an album of Luke the Drifter stuff. It’s getting easier for me to talk than sing anyway!”
For the accompanying video for “Just Waitin’,” Prine was approached by filmmaker Molly Secours, who wanted to pair Prine’s interpretation with images from renowned Nashville photographer Jack Spencer (click here for Garden & Gun’s 2010 profile of Spencer). Secours manipulated Spencer’s portraits to make them eerie and stark, yet with longing traces of warmth. The pairing of two artists who transcend time makes for a powerful statement.
“When I heard John sing ‘Just Waitin,’ I immediately wanted John and Jack to meet,” Secours says, “and this song seemed like the best introduction. Both of these guys are timeless artists.” If you’re ready for some truly moving pictures, click below for the premiere of “Just Waitin’.”