Amid its standard onslaught of holiday fare, Eckerd Hall manages to squeeze in a set by John Prine, one of the most respected singer/songwriters of the last three decades.
His literate, clever and emotionally potent tunes and ragged voice have enchanted a cult of fans since he released his self-titled debut album in 1971. The maverick artist started his own Oh Boy label in the '80s, and he has released a steady stream of quality albums.
But it's on stage where Prine really shines. No matter what size the venue, he turns it into a living room with his dry, witty stage patter and material that ranges from funny to tragic. He may not sing "O Come All Ye Faithful" (then again, he just might), but Prine can be counted on to serve up a life-affirming concert. The opener is R.B. Morris, an artist cut from a similar cloth.
John Prine w/R.B. Morris, 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 15 @ Ruth Eckerd Hall, $60, $40 and $36. www.rutheckerdhall.com.