Billy Prine

By Ron Wynn

NASHVIILE, TN — While the entire music world mourned the recent passing of legendary singer/songwriter John Prine, the death hit his brother Billy even harder. Billy had only recently completed his first recording since 2013, a six-song EP titled “A Place I Used To Know (Memphis International)” It includes two of John’s tunes Billy had often performed in concert, but never put on any album. The EP, which was produced by guitarist Michael Dinallo, will be released Friday.

“The release kind of lifts my spirits,” Billy Prine told the Tribune last week. “I’d been talking about doing those songs for so long, and it was good to finally get them done. Also, I think we’ve got a great band and Michael really got the best out of them and me.” “Billy and I bonded a long time ago over our mutual love for the blues,” Dinallo added. “This is some of his finest singing and playing, and it’s really a wonderful tribute to John.”

In addition to both Dinallo and Billy Prine on acoustic and electric guitars, the lineup includes bassist Dave Jacques, organist/keyboardist Jim Gambino, Tim Carter on banjo, mandolin, harmonica and harmony vocals and drummer Tom Hambridge. The harmony vocal corps also includes Juliet Simmons Dinallo, Keith Sykes and Amber Casares.

The two tunes of his brother Billy performs are “If You Don’t Want My Love,” one John co-wrote with Phil Spector, and “Paradise.” Dinallo and Prine co-wrote the title tune, while Vic McAlpin & Glenn Douglas contributed “I Mean I’m Mean” and Dinallo penned the finale “Misery Train.”

Billy Prine and Dinallo also co-host the podcast “Prinetime” on the American Songwriter Podcast Network. The magazine also will soon publish (if they haven’t already) an extensive new interview with Billy containing lots of previously unpublished personal information and details about their relationship and his life.

“One thing I want to stress is I hope people take this coronavirus/COVID-19 seriously,” Prine concluded. “It took a real toll on John. Once things get better we’re going to do some dates. I think people will really enjoy hearing these songs and I love playing them.”