Tommy Prine at The Long Road Festival 2023 by Kendall Wilson
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Tommy Prine Pays Tribute To His Father John Prine At The Long Road Festival 2023

August 27, 2023 10:06 pm GMT

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You'd think the son of John Prine would be used to being around musical royalty, but it seems there's always room to impress.

When Tommy Prine's friend, fellow musician and co-producer of his debut album This Far South, Ruston Kelly, was going through a hard time, he told Tommy that he'd spent time at the home of Mother Maybelle Carter, courtesy of John Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny and June.

"I said it was the coolest shit ever", Tommy told the Saturday afternoon crowd at Buddy's Bar at the Long Road Festival. A few days later, Ruston invited Tommy up to the house with him, where he wrote several tracks for the album including 'Cash Carter Hill'.

"For an older man's sorrow is a younger man's thrill / find your own trail up on cash carter hill" he sings to the crowd in the superb solo acoustic set.

The shadow of his late father inevitably lingers, with a visibly emotional Tommy reminding the crowd "Whilst I recognise that the world lost one of the greatest to ever do it, on that day I lost my dad". He goes on to recount the impact of this shattering loss on tearjerkers such as 'By The Way' and 'Ships In The Harbour'.

It's not entirely morose. Tommy knows how to have a laugh with himself and the crowd, a wry smile spreading and his eye catching as he launches into singalong track 'Mirror And A Kitchen Sink', the Lord of the Rings ode 'Gandalf' and 'Observations'.

"Just keep in mind that this song is about a dog, not a person. This will make sense in about a minute and a half," he tells the crowd, before heading into the number which laments "I'm sorry I suggested we keep Maggie in the basement".

Was Tommy's music career fate? In his blood it may have been, but it was actually Ruston who convinced him to pursue music. "Three years later and here I am with all of you", Tommy says.

Whether through blood, destiny or the gentle encouragement of a friend, we can all be grateful that the world landed us the skilfully wielded words and guitar of Tommy Prine.

Tommy Prine - Setlist

Taken from his performance at The Long Road festival in Leicestershire, UK on Saturday 26th August.

For more on The Long Road festival, see below:

Written by Holly Smith
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