John Prine’s influence on the singer/songwriters of the world will live on for decades, with numerous artists already covering his material and releasing tributes to him since his death in 2020. On Saturday, July 17, in celebration of Record Store Day, an eclectic group of artists from Nashville, Athens, Portland, Chicago and beyond will be releasing Kiss My Ass Goodbye, a double-LP vinyl album collection of John Prine covers from Nashville’s Devil’s Tower Records and Portland-based Groove Family Records.
Jeff Mix is a multi-talented Las Vegas recording artist and leader of the band The Songhearts, as well as the writer of the critically-acclaimed 2017 movie Lost Vegas Hiway, which starred Mix with singer Jack Ingram (The Marfa Tapes with Miranda Lambert) and the late Hal Ketchum. Kiss My Ass Goodbye features The Songhearts’ uptempo, minor-key version of Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.” Recently returned to Vegas after some time living in Nashville, Mix explained how he got involved in the project and why he chose to cover this song the way he does.
“Devil’s Tower Records is my friend Jack Evan Johnson, who is from Boulder City, Nevada,” Mix said of the owner of the Nashville-based alternative music label. “We were talking and he told me he was doing this and asked if I wanted to be part of it. He said he knew I’d be more traditional [than some of the other artists], but at that point I didn’t know what I was gonna record. So I started going through all the Prine songs and nothing was really hitting me. I was just about to tell him I didn’t think I was gonna do it, when I thought of a friend of mine who had converted a song over from major chords to minor. So when I converted ‘Speed of the Sound’ over to minor chords and it worked, I was really excited.”
In addition to Mix, the album also features contributions from Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell guitarist Will Kimbrough with singer/songwriter Garrison Starr, Nashville indie act Heaven Honey, Music City honky-tonker Mick Mullin, and several others. “This album is not an attempt to tell anyone anything they didn’t already know about John Prine,” Jack Evan Johnson said in a press release. “If anything, it’s an attempt to say what we all would like to say to John Prine given another chance, which is simply, ‘Thank you.’”
Besides guitarist/vocalist Mix, “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” features Mix’s wife, Lee Ann, on bass, and drummer Rob Whited, the drum tech for the Killers. Grammy winner Eddie Spear (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile) did the final mix of the song. And in adding an air of credibility to the whole project, Kiss My Ass Goodbye was mastered by Pete Lyman, who also won a Grammy for mastering John Prine’s final album, Tree of Forgiveness.
Some of the artists involved in the project will be performing live this Saturday, July 17 at The Groove in East Nashville, and proceeds from sales of the album will benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission. For now, the album will be available on vinyl only and isn’t going to be a digital product yet. To hear Jeff Mix and The Songhearts’ “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” go to