Watch: Sturgill Simpson Reflects on Meeting John Prine, How He Honors Legend’s Memory

by Charles Craighill

Earlier this week, country-Americana singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson appeared on the Stephen Colbert Show. In the episode, he performed his song “Breakers Roar,” and spoke with Colbert. In their conversation, they discussed contracting coronavirus and reflected on his relationship with John Prine. Watch the full interview below.

“I recorded a record called “A Sailors Guide to the Earth” with a guy named David Fergeson,” Simpson said on meeting John Prine. “He used to own the studio with John.” Sturgill Simpson also recorded his newest album, “Cuttin’ Grass” at Butcher Shop Studios, which John Prine co-owned.

“I was in there mixing [A Sailor’s Guide] one day, and I guess I was pretty in the zone, I had my head down on the board. So I took a break, hit the space bar or whatever, and turned around. John Prine was sitting there in a chair with these plaid pants. I had no idea how long he was sitting there,” Sturgill continued. He went on to quote Prine saying “That’s pretty good, want to go grab some meatloaf?”

The Relationship of Sturgill Simpson and John Prine

The relationship between Sturgill Simpson and John Prine goes much farther than just his first record. They would get lunch every time Sturgill and ride around in Prine’s car anytime he was in town. In fact, Prine ended up bequeathing his Porsche 911 to Simpson in his final Will.

“For myself along with many others, [Prine] was a mentor. He was very giving with his time and wisdom, and we were all grateful to get to know him.”

Prine and Simpson have played together on multiple occasions. One of the few documented times they performed together, however, occurred at the GRAMMY Museum on August 1, 2016. The performance was intimate, with only an exclusive audience for the GRAMMY Pro Songwriter Week.