When I was doing my research, this article was a great help. There were some particular passages that stood out:
Jim James (lead singer of My Morning Jacket): … John is a master at helping us see everyday things in life in greater detail, and I really believe he’s helped us appreciate life, savor its details, and help us find beauty in everyday things that are easily overlooked.
Iris Dement: When you’re walking around with John, he puts you on a pedestal. And it’s a sincere thing. And I’ll get choked up saying that because it’s just true. Because he’s just got a loving heart. He likes people, and he likes to see people do well, and he likes to see the light shine on them, and for them to be seen at their best. When you’re with John, whether you’re eating dinner with John or whether you’re on stage with John, you just feel that he wants to see your boat float.
Sara Watkins: John takes the time to go through the details. There’s an attention to the details, with all of his proper nouns. All of his characters have names, and there are so many details: Donald and Lydia, and Sam Stone, and so many, like “The Late John Garfield Blues:” “Windblown scarves in top-down cars all share one western trait.” He’s just painting this beautiful picture, almost like a postcard picture that you turn over quite slowly, and they tell this story. You trust him as a listener. You trust that he’s going to tell you something that’s worth hearing.
Fiona Prine: …when John buys gifts, it doesn’t matter whether the gift is five cents or $5,000, if he sees something that is just perfect for my mother, he’ll always get it. It’s the same thing for me. It’s about a personal connection. He’ll get something, and the person receiving the gift will go, “Oh, my god. He knows me. He really knows me.” I’ve seen him do that over and over again. And like I said, it doesn’t matter what it costs, it’s whether the gift reflects what he knows to be true about the person he loves. To me, that just says everything about him, his generosity of heart and spirit.