A conversation with Nashville Bluesman Billy Prine, the younger brother of the late great John Prine, and Billy's music producer Michael Dinallo!
Billy Prine formed and led his first bar band in Chicago at the tender age of twelve. Chicago in the 1960’s and early 1970’s was wide open, just as FM radio was evolving, with all types of music, but especially the blues from the famed Chess Records and country music with the National Barn Dance, which was a precursor to the Grand Ole Opry. Growing up in such a rich musical city allowed Billy to develop his unique style of American roots music and absorb a myriad of influences firsthand by seeing Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, The Rolling Stones and Chicago’s innumerable blues legends such as Howlin’ Wolf, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, and many more.
As any true child of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Billy headed west ~ "go west young man" ~ to California. Playing in bands in California for several years before heading back east again with his thumb out in the wind catching rides back to Chicago. This unto itself is another education, which took him through the Heartland and even as far south as New Orleans. But the call of family is strong and Billy served as his brother John Prine’s tour manager in the late 70s, which included hanging at Sam Phillips recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee in 1979 while John was recording his Pink Cadillac album with Knox and Jerry Phillips producing. Jerry and Knox’s father – the iconic Sam Phillips – stepped in to produce two tracks for the first time in years at the recording console.
Billy's new EP "A Place I Used To Know" produced by Michael Dinallois is available on Memphis International Records, Spotify, Apple Music and all other streaming platforms! The album includes two songs written by his late brother, the legendary John Prine.
Michael Dinallois, Billy's producer, also has an array of other recent projects as well, most notably a tribute album to country music icon Charlie Rich called “Feel Like Going Home,” a set of songs that he produced and which finds both he and his wife Juliet performing on.
“We both love to be busy,” Michael said, “It’s kind of turned into this thing where this is what the Dinallo family does. We go out and play shows, and it’s great to have our 8 year old daughter with us because she’s getting to see the world. That’s all part of the homeschooling thing. She’s kind of grown up in the business, because she’s never known it any other way.”
Learn more about Billy Prine online at https://www.billyprine.com
Learn more about Michael Dinallo online at http://www.michaeldinallo.com and at http://www.blackroserecords.net/michael-dinallo
Also check out Billy and Michael's podcast Prine Time which will feature various tracks from the EP and is sure to knock your socks off! Available at http://prinetimepodcast.com
Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at