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The Legacy of John Prine through the eyes of Bruce Rits Gilbert Written by Samantha Skelton

Bruce Rits Gilbert’s world shifted when his long-time music hero John Prine passed in 2020. Instead of mulling on the loss, Bruce felt inspired by his legacy and hopes to share that with the world in his book John Prine One Song at a Time.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background? I was a lawyer for most of my professional career, but a few years ago, shortly before I retired as a lawyer, I made a bold move: I decided to move from the air guitar to the real guitar. I finally learned to play the guitar, in large part because of the inspiration of John Prine. Through his mostly three-chord songs, I realized that I could write songs. And I was lucky enough to meet a few young musicians who have helped me write and record music.

Has music always played a significant role in your life?

I’m a fan like most folks, but maybe I’m a more avid music fan than many. It started when I was growing up in the era of the Beatles. I would convince my folks to give me a few bucks to buy their albums. I was lucky enough to see the Beatles live in 1964 in my hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Music became an even bigger part of my life over the last few years when I started actually making music.