After several episodes featuring far too much Elvis Costello and not enough of his guests, this episode seems to find just the right balance. I was still left wanting more (of John Prine, especially), but at least I didn't feel like telling Elvis to STFU.
The music was great, and I was so glad to hear Prine singing "Lake Marie." The story of how he wrote the song illustrates how songwriting can be as intensive as writing a novel. Ray Lamotagne's voice is always incredible, and the version of "Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame)", with Elvis burning the axe, stood out even more thanks to the primarily acoustic surroundings. Fitting that they end with a Townes Van Zandt song ("Loretta"), as all the artists featured owe a bit to the Texas legend. Next week, it's Bruce Springsteen, part 1 of 2.
Playlist: Spectacle - Episode 2.05 (John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Ray Lamontagne)
1. "I'm Ahead If I Can Quit While I'm Behind" - Jim Ford: Elvis performs as introduction
2. "Lake Marie" - John Prine
3. "Natural Forces" - Lyle Lovett
4. "Jolene" - Ray Lamontagne
5. "Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame)" - Ray Lamontagne: performed with Costello
6. "Loretta" - Townes Van Zandt: Prine, Lamontagne and Lovett on guitar/trade vocals
Previously: Elvis Costello interviewed by Mary Louise Parker