This will be the last time it is relevant to refer to Tommy Prine as the son of John as anything but an interesting footnote, if that time hasn’t already passed. After winning Saving Country Music’s 2022 Song for the Year for his debut single “Ships in the Harbor,” and recently receiving a ringing endorsement for the song by the CMA’s reigning Entertainer of the Year Luke Combs, it’s time for Tommy Prine to step out of the shadow of his famous father.
That is exactly what Tommy Prine will do when he releases his debut album This Far South on June 23rd through his own Nameless Knight Records distributed by Thirty Tigers. Interesting, Tommy chose to not release the album under his dad’s label Oh Boy Records (which incidentally, is also distributed by Thirty Tigers). If only symbolic, it shows Tommy’s effort to want to be his own man.
Tommy is the youngest son of John Prine with his wife and widow Fiona Whelan Prine. John Prine died in 2020 at the age of 73 due to COVID-19. Tommy learned how to fingerpick from his father, first picking up a guitar at the age of 10. But it wasn’t his father’s music that directly inspired Tommy to get into singer/songwriter stuff at the age of 17. It was Jason Isbell’s opus Southeastern.
Tommy did go out on the road with his dad, helping to sell merch, and upon occasion, taking the stage to sing a song. It was performing with his father at the 30A Songwriters Fest a few years ago where Tommy caught the bug, and wanted to become a performer. For the last two years, Tommy has been touring and paying dues in anticipated of this debut album release.
This Far South was produced by dour country artist Ruston Kelly with Gena Johnson, who Prine considers not just producers, but collaborators. With an already career-defining track out there in “Ships in the Harbor” and another early single “Turning Stones” finding traction, Tommy releases the title track of the album as part of the announcement.
“There were several years where I felt without purpose…spent all my time partying and just existing,” Prine explains. “I found myself at a fork in the road and chose the better path, and in that moment, I swore I would never be ‘this far south’ again.”
Interestingly, “Ships in the Harbor” and “Turning Stones” did not make the track list of the new album, perhaps because they’ve already taken on a life of their own.
Tommy Prine continues to perform live to refine his songs and chops, including playing a Tuesday night residency at The Basement in Nashville this March, and opening two shows for Tyler Childers in the UK in April. He’s also been booked as a performer at MerleFest in April, and the Long Road Fest in the UK in August.
This Far South is now available for pre-save/pre-order.
2. Crashing Again
3. This Far South
4. Reach The Sun
5. By The Way
6. Mirror and a Kitchen Sink
8. Some Things
9. Letter to my Brother
10. Cash Carter Hill
11. I Love You, Always