I was in Grapevine in 2010, watching the legendary singer/songwriter Guthrie Kennard make his sonic magic, when I met a young artist named Stefan Prigmore – an amazingly talented folk singer that I’ve followed ever since.
This week I saw a notification for a going away party for Prigmore — he’s leaving to tour Europe soon — and I made the journey down to his music compound, down near Keene, to find out what all of this was about.
When I arrived, Prigmore was sitting around under a tree with a bunch of long-haired musicians, a few dogs and an adorable baby goat on a leash. He showed me around the place — the goat, chicken coop, the garden and even some quail.
The goat he seemed to truly love most of all. One of his friends, who had the goat, called and made him an offer he couldn’t pass up:
“If I give him the lyrics and the chords to one of my songs, I can come get her,” Prigmore said.
Having moved out of Fairmount a year or two ago, Prigmore seemed as enamored by the country life as he is by music. Sometimes the two collide, an incident at the feed store recently may inspire another tune.
“I was thinking today about how I should write a song about how the feed store down here is just as corrupt as the judicial system,” Prigmore said.
Musical inspiration can come from anywhere.
Having done the local music hero thing for a lot of years now, it’s time for Prigmore to expand his influence. Musician Dan Payne invited Prigmore tour with him, and while he doesn’t want to leave his father (who is in poor health), his girl and his goat — he believes he has to take the shot.
“It’s six weeks long,” Prigmore said. “We’re going to Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, U.K., Hungary, Romania, Netherlands, Norway and Finland. It’s 39 dates out for 42 days over there.”
Even with the excitement of the upcoming tour, Prigmore still takes the time to express his love for Funkytown and its music scene.
“We all know Fort Worth is great for music,” he said. “I go out of town, and people say, ‘Oh, you’re from Fort Worth, tell me about it.’ It’s a thing, and people are talking about it outside of Fort Worth. It’s crazy.”
His music is available from his website, www.stefanprigmore.com. Check out this man's work, and check out one of his shows when he comes back.
Elmore on Earth
While I was out there, I got to take a minute to talk to Ryan Elmore (formerly of Igneous Grimm) about the new project he was recording in the small home studio set up among the chickens and goats.
The band is tentatively called Earthchild Imperius, and its members will be Elmore, Zach Stevens, Ben Hance and Riley Pennock. It’s a staggeringly ambitious prog-rock album that is in the final stages of mastering.
“It started like four years ago as a result of me and Ben doing, like, this random weird little recording, and songs that didn’t fit into other stuff we were doing,” Elmore told me in the control room while the computer rendered the audio tracks of the latest edit.
“At first, it was not that serious of a thing, then we started building an album out of it and it became this kinda concept album — sci-fi storyline kinda thing.
“It’s a bit prog, kinda sci-fi. But also we’re trying to relate all these kinda tongue-in-cheek sci-fi concepts to real world — allegorically making these sci-fi concepts relate to real world events and politics, but very, very vaguely,” he said. “So that it could be taken a lot of different ways.
“I’m not trying to put a specific political opinion in anyone’s head. It’s sort of abstract story that follows the curves of modern society in a weird way but on a very sci-fi level.”
I have a rough pre-release of the CD, 10 songs in total. This is some amazing stuff. If you’re familiar with Igneous Grimm, or Secret Ghost Champion, you know what these guys are capable of. Look for a CD release show in July, if all goes well.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard,” Prigmore told me. “And it’s local.”