Tommy Prine's 2023 debut album, This Far South, is not only a long-awaited introduction but also a testimony to Prine's 20's and the loss, love, and growth that has defined them. Co-produced by close friend and kindred musical spirit, Ruston Kelly, and beloved Nashville engineer and producer, Gena Johnson, the album is rich and dynamic from cathartic jams to nostalgic storytelling.
The son of late songwriting legend, John Prine, Tommy Prine grew up in Nashville surrounded by music, art and writing. As a child, he thought all parents were musicians, as his father "going to work" meant performing shows for adoring fans and writing songs. Tommy learned to play guitar by watching his father play, copying the ways his fingers moved and inadvertently developing his own singular style. Summers in Ireland lent their own inspiration, as did 10 straight years camping at Bonnaroo. Prine's musical tastes grew to become decidedly eclectic, spanning John Mayer, Outkast, Bon Iver, the Strokes and more.
It wasn't until Prine reached his mid-20s, though, that he considered a career of his own in music and began to share with others the songs he wrote in private. His songs were quickly met with excitement and enthusiasm, which sonically brings together a colorful patchwork of musical influences and lyrically explores existential questions and emotional experiences.
The album's title track, "This Far South,'' marks a turning point in Prine's life as he found himself struggling to escape a dark, aimless period. He ultimately found the courage to act on choices that would see him to the other, brighter, side. "There were several years where I felt without purpose, spent all my time partying, and just existing. 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."