John Prine will be remembered with a veritable festival of back-to-back concerts in Nashville in October, coinciding with the release of a new tribute album, all timed to the late singer-songwriter’s 75th birthday, his family announced Tuesday.
Dubbed “You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine,” the week-long celebration in his adopted hometown will take place Oct. 3-10, the last day of which is the date he would have turned 75.
Four shows have been announced and go on sale this week, with more related events expected to be announced later.
The two biggest shows, on successive nights at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, will take place Oct. 6-7. Following those, more intimate shows are scheduled for the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Oct. 8, and the city’s biggest rock nightclub, the Basement East, on Oct. 9.
Arriving amid the week of Nashville tribute shows will be the album “Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2,” due on Oct. 8. A rundown of songs on the project has not been released, but two preview tracks are already out — Brandi Carlile’s version of his final song, “I Remember Everything,” and Sturgill Simpson’s rendition of the classic “Paradise.”
Tickets for the October concerts can be purchased here, with a pre-sale beginning Wednesday followed by a general sale of tickets Thursday.
Proceeds from the tributes are earmarked for the Hello in There Foundation, a newly formed 501c3, named by the family after one of his most famous and touching songs. Formed to “to identify and collaborate with individuals and communities where people are marginalized, discriminated against or, for any reason, are otherwise forgotten,” the Hello in There Foundation has announced the nonprofits Thistle Farms and Room in the Inn as its first beneficiaries.
The week-long Prine celebration, then yet to be announced, was discussed in Variety‘s recent interview with his widow, Fiona Whelan Prine, and son, Jody Whelan, on April 7, the first anniversary of Prine’s death from complications of COVID-19.
At the time, Whelan — who runs Prine’s now 40-year-old independent label — said, “Oh Boy Records in 2010 released a tribute volume called ‘Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows’ that was at the time up-and-comers in that kind of folk/roots/Americana world. Some of them have gone on to become much bigger, but it was Conor Oberst and the Avett (Brother)s and Justin Vernon from Bon Iver and Old Crow Medicine Show and Drive-by Truckers. For years we were planning on releasing a second volume, and it was just one of those projects that always got put on the back burner. But we’re releasing Volume 2 in the fall. And whereas that first volume was sort of a younger generation that admired John’s work but maybe hadn’t played shows with him, this next one will be folks that were kind of closer to his circle.”
As for the tribute week in Nashville, Whelan said last month, “There will be an in-person aspect, with the caveat that we want to make sure that it’s safe, and some of it’s going to be online, to have accessible to as many people as possible. We’re going to have a fun tribute record, but we also also take a week to… all come together to celebrate him.”