Gimme Shelter In Place: Strangefolk, Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino Perform ‘Angel From Montgomery’

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Gimme Shelter In Place is JamBase’s new daily archival video series launched for fans who right now can’t go see live music. Canceled concerts and music festivals due to social distancing and sheltering in place in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to tours around the globe. We know nothing can truly replace seeing live music in person, but we hope the Gimme Shelter In Place live videos provide a taste of those memorable experiences.

John Prine, one of the all-time great songwriters, sadly died this week at the age of 73 due to complications from COVID-19. Prine was revered by fans and fellow musicians alike, his influence amplified by the flood of tributes that started when news of his hospitalization broke. Prine’s legacy lives on through the incredible songbook he crafted that has inspired (and will continue to inspire) others to tell the truths of life in a song.

Among Prine’s best-known and most covered songs is “Angel From Montgomery,” which appeared on his 1971 self-titled debut album. The song, written from the perspective of an old woman, was famously performed by Prine — who at the time was still employed as a mailman — at an open mic night in Chicago in 1970. Propelled by Bonnie Raitt’s recording on her 1974 album Streetlights, “Angel From Montgomery” has since been covered countless times on stages ranging from sold-out arenas to the same type of backroom amateur open mic where it debuted.

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Last summer, a special private concert was held at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, Califonia that was part of JamBase's 20th anniversary celebration. The marathon show featured sets by Clangin’ & Bangin’, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Holly Bowling, a variation of Tea Leaf Green, Strangefolk‘s Reid Genauer and Jon Trafton, Jennifer Hartswick & Friends, Nathan Moore & Friends and The Slip.

Genauer and Trafton’s Strangefolk duo set preceded the Hartswick-led all-star collaboration that featured her frequent cohorts, trombonist Natalie Cressman and guitarist Nick Cassarino, plus the Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein, Turkuaz drummer Michelangelo Carubba and Star Kitchen keyboardist Rob Marscher. The transition between the two sets featured Genauer, Trafton, Hartswick and Cassarino coming together to cover “Angel From Montgomery.” Reid and Jennifer shared vocal duties while John and Nick linked up to push the performance to a dramatic climax.

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In honor of John Prine and in thanks for the songs he gave us, we are sharing video footage of “Angel From Montgomery” from JB20. Watch the performance at Sweetwater and all of the Gimme Shelter In Place videos in the playlist below:

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