As the sun set on the final day of Pilgrimage Festival 2023, Tommy Prine entered the fray; ready to gift us with the final session of a thoroughly exciting and gratifying weekend in Franklin, Tennessee.
There's not many better to sit, listen and ponder with than Tommy. An inventive, markedly watchful and emotionally resilient songwriter, Prine has this magical ability to transcend universes and make time stand still, all from sitting and observing a stranger playing chess. Where his debut album, This Far South, swirls in the heavy dynamism of its atmospheric production, Prine's live performance is an altogether different beast; an exposed and raw proposition that further displays Prine's way with a word.
"This first song is called 'Long Way Down'; it's the newest one that I wrote just about last week, so I hope it goes well and I hope you all like it" Tommy gently prefaces as he introduces his performance. There was no need for Prine to fear, as he delivers an observant and imaginative number that showcases the acutely introspective nature of his songwriting.
"If you were in the cosmos / i'd spend a thousand nights / diving into wormholes / hoping you're on the other side". While at face value it's a rather sombre and heavy song, Prines' adventurous curiosity offers hope and comfort in the fact tomorrows another day.
"I've always found myself to be someone that has a good disposition, meaning that I feel like whenever anything bad happened in life I had a voice inside my head that said get back up; pick yourself up and you'll keep going".
"But I'm sure, as everyone knows, sometimes something bad happens and that voice is nowhere to be found. I wrote this song kind of about that theme".
That song is 'Caught In The Wake'; a frank and vulnerable rumination on being lost and feeling like no one can save you in testing times. Prine's lyricism once again pierces through, his vivid and exhaustive way with a narrative not only engulfs you in the world of his song, but naturally makes you look inwards into where you're are and where you're lighthouse is, particularly if you feel like you are constantly floating.
Closing with fan favorite 'Gandalf', Prine looks back on his young life when he was trying to find himself, looking how far he's come and how he's finally found everything he wanted. It's a colourful and beautiful examination of the self, and how through battling life's hurdles you can become the person you want to be.
This is Tommy Prine for the Holler Pilgrimage Sessions Presented by George Dickel, performing his songs 'Long Way Down', 'Caught In The Wake' and 'Gandalf'.
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. CASCADE HOLLOW DISTILLING CO., TULLAHOMA, TN.