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One thing that I can hold on to

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JOHN PRINE
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $36.50-$46.50.

Few singer/songwriters toe the line between whimsy and poignancy like John Prine. Reared in the late-'60s Chicago folk scene, Prine caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who was key to helping him land a record contract. With a quick succession of albums in the early '70s, the country-folk crooner struggled on the charts, but on the strength of songs like “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone” and “Grandpa Was a Carpenter,” he became much beloved among his fellow performers. Bette Midler, the Everly Brothers and other artists covered his songs, and Bob Dylan appeared anonymously at one of his early shows, backing him on harmonica. In the years that have followed, Prine's refused to be pigeonholed, recording a decidedly non-folk album with Stax guitarist Steve Cropper, forming his own record label and putting out an album of duets featuring Prine's favorite “girl singers.” In 1998, Prine was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He underwent surgery and treatment. Ten years later, at 61, he's still trucking along as ever before. Last year he released “Standard Songs for Average People” with bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman. His voice has a bit of a sandpaper edge to it now, but don't expect that to do anything but add weight to his deep catalog. The groove-folk collective Kane Welch Kaplan opens.

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