Bob Davoli has a new album out, Hello Out There, which is entirely a tribute album to John Prine. Hello Out There is due out on April 8 via Gutbrain Records. The record was produced by Bob Davoli; engineered and mixed by Eric Kilburn of Wellspring Sound; and mastered by Toby Mountain of Northeastern Digital.
We had a chance to sit down with Bob Davoli and catch some of his thoughts on John Prine and the importance of continuing to pay tribute to the man. Enjoy the conversation.
AH: This is a record entirely dedicated to honoring John Prine. Tell us the story of John Prine’s influence on you — how did it begin?
BD: When I heard his first CD, Hello In There, in 1971, I immediately fell in love with his plain-spoken and poignant narrative about the human condition. His imagery and ability to tell a life story in three or four minutes was unparalleled!
AH: Did you have the chance to meet John?
BD: I have never met John Prine, but I feel that I have known him for almost fifty years.
AH: Which of his songs make you laugh the most?
BD: In “Spite of Ourselves” and “Dear Abby.”
AH: Which of his songs do you wish everybody in the world could sit down and listen to?
BD: “Sam Stone”, “Hello in There” and “Lake Marie.”
AH: What was your experience recording the album — working with musicians, working in the studio?
BD: I was very fortunate to be backed by great session players: Kevin Barry on guitars, Kathleen Parks on fiddle and vocals and Jesse Williams on bass.
AH: Were the song arrangements pretty well formed in your mind when you went into the studio, or did they develop as you are in process of recording?
BD: They were pretty well formed in this case as I was paying homage to John, so on almost all of the tunes, I played them note for note.
AH: Can you give the readers some record recommendations of albums that you’re really into lately?
BD: Chris Stapleton Traveller and Joy Williams Front Porch.
AH: What act would you tour with this year if you could?
BD: Wow, that’s a tough question as there are so many musician that I love. I guess if I had to choose it would be Joy Williams or Mary Gauthier as I feel that we all write from the same emotional space.
AH: When is the album releasing?
BD: Hello Out There will be available on Friday, April 8, the day after April 7 which marks the second anniversary of John Prine’s passing.
Learn more about Bob Davoli and the album here: https://bobdavoli.com/home
Sample his version of “Sam Stone” here:
And listen to “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”: