Maxwell Stern | photo by Tom May | @tommayallday | courtesy of the artist

When folk legend John Prine died last month, local singer-songwriter Maxwell Stern was inspired to write a song in his memory. “Tying Airplanes To The Ground” is out now on Bandcamp. The track came together with the help of several of Stern’s musician friends: Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan of Ratboys, Ian Farmer of Modern Baseball and Slaughter Beach, Dog, Adam Beck of Into it. Over It., and Evan Loritsch of Mother Evergreen.

“I wrote this song on April 8th, 2020, the day after John Prine died. I spent the whole day doing nothing but listening to his music” Stern shares in a press release. “There’s such incredible beauty and humor in his songs but there’s also a definite darkness, a somber quality that can exist in that same space. I was wondering about what he might write for these current times, and then I tried to write my own personal version of that song.”

All proceeds from “Tying Airplanes To The Ground” will be donated to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) which provides financial support for independent venues nationwide. Independent venues are near and dear to our hearts here in Philly, and as we know, many of them were the first businesses to close at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will likely be among the last to reopen.

“Independent venues have given me everything — jobs, friends, inspiration and a means of self-discovery,” Stern says. “I don’t know who I’d be without places like The Grog Shop, Johnny Brenda’s, Boot & Saddle, O’Briens, Great Scott, and the Beat Kitchen. I became a better version of myself in these rooms, as have countless others.”

Listen below and purchase the track via Bandcamp.