Watch Roger Waters & Lucius Cover The John Prine Classic “Hello In There”
Since the great songwriter John Prine died in April — and even since before Prine’s death, when the news came out that he was suffering from COVID-19 — other musicians have been showing their appreciation by covering his songs. Among Prine’s many songs, “Hello In There” has taken on a special weight. Prine wrote the song from the perspective of an old man who’s longing for any kind of connection, and he included it on his self-titled debut album in 1971. Jason Isbell coincidentally released his “Hello In There” cover just before the news of Prine’s diagnosis came out. Joan Baez, who’d released her cover of “Hello In There” in 1975, shared a video of herself singing “Hello In There” before Prine’s death. And now Roger Waters has covered it too.
The former Pink Floyd legend Waters took part in the virtual version of the Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. Waters has long been a great admirer of Prine. Waters covered Prine’s song “Paradise” shortly after Prine’s death, and Waters also covered “Hello In There” at the Newport Folk Festival in 2015. As part of the virtual festival, Waters shared a video of himself in his studio, playing an acoustic version of “Hello In There.” He had help.
On his “Hello In There,” Prine shared lead-vocal duties with Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, the two leaders of the Brooklyn band Lucius. Lucius performed with Waters at Newport in 2015, and they sang backup on a number of songs from the 2017 Waters album Is This the Life We Really Want? For the Newport stream Waters is in one location a Wolfe and Laessig are in another. Waters ends it by chuckling softly and saying, “Oh, fuck, I miss him.” Watch it below, and listen to Prine’s original.
Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Barnett also played the virtual Newport Folk Festival, covering Gillian Welch’s “Everything Is Free.”