Fair & Square

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Fair & Square
Studio album by John Prine
Released April 26, 2005
Recorded The Butcher Shop, Seventeen Grand Recording, and Minutia
Genre Folk, Alt-country, Americana
Label Oh Boy
Producer John Prine, Gary Paczosa
John Prine chronology
Souvenirs
(2000)
Fair & Square
(2005)
Standard Songs for Average People
(2007)

Fair & Square is the 15th studio album by American folk singer-songwriter John Prine, released on Oh Boy Records in 2005. Three versions were released: a standard CD, an Extended Play (EP) CD with four bonus tracks, and a vinyl version with the same four bonus tracks.[1]

At the 48th Grammy Awards, Fair & Square won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau Rating-Christgau-three-star-honorable-mention.png [3]
Freight Train Boogie 5/5 stars [4]

Writing for Allmusic, critic Mark Deming wrote of the album "...the man on Fair and Square seems a good bit less scrappy and more contemplative than the guy who cut Prine's most memorable material... for the most part this album is an unusually spare and subdued effort from an artist who usually can't help but crack a smile; with any luck he'll be feeling a bit more hopeful next time out, though this is still great music for a quiet afternoon."[2] Music critic Bill Frater wrote "There is a timeless quality to his songwriting style. He claims that the words just come to him without him having to do anything, but just write ‘em down. I don't doubt it; even random words like Constantinople can work if the right writer hears it. John Prine is indeed a songwriter's songwriter and we all should be so honest and trusting."[4] Music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a 3-star Honorable Mention rating.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by John Prine, except where indicated:

  1. "Glory of True Love" (Prine, Roger Cook) – 4:12
  2. "Crazy as a Loon" (Prine, Pat McLaughlin) – 5:03
  3. "Long Monday" (Prine, Keith Sykes) – 3:22
  4. "Taking a Walk" (Prine, McLaughlin) – 6:09
  5. "Some Humans Ain't Human" – 7:03
  6. "My Darlin' Hometown" (Prine, Roger Cook) – 3:14
  7. "Morning Train" (Prine, McLaughlin) – 4:02
  8. "The Moon Is Down" – 3:47
  9. "Clay Pigeons" (Blaze Foley) – 4:27
  10. "She Is My Everything" – 4:25
  11. "I Hate It When That Happens to Me" (Prine, Donnie Fritts) – 2:49
  12. "Bear Creek Blues" (A.P. Carter) – 4:45
  13. "Other Side of Town" (Live recording) – 4:53
  14. "Safety Joe" – 3:58

The following bonus tracks are also found on the EP and vinyl versions:

  1. "Carousel of Love"
  2. "That's Alright By Me" (Prine, McLaughlin)
  3. "That's How Every Empire Falls" (R.B. Morris)
  4. "Dual Custody" (Prine, Roger Cook)

Personnel[edit]

  • John Prine – vocals, guitar
  • John Wilkes Booth – mandolin
  • Shawn Camp – guitar
  • Jerry DouglasWeissenborn
  • Dan Dugmore – pedal steel guitar
  • Paul Griffith – drums
  • Pat McLaughlin – guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals, Wurlitzer
  • Phil Parlapiano – accordion, piano, Hammond B3
  • Dave Jacques – bass
  • Jason Wilber – guitar
  • Kenny Malone – percussion
  • Roger Cook – ukulele, background vocals
  • David Gerguson – bass
  • Alison Krauss – harmony vocals
  • Mindy Smith – harmony vocals
  • Dan Tyminski – harmony vocals

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
2005 Billboard 200 55
Billboard Top Independent albums 2
Billboard Top Internet albums 55

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fair & Square Liner Notes". The John Prine Shrine. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Fair & Square > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Fair & Square > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Frater, Bill. "Fair & Square > Review". Freight Train Boogie. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ableson, Jon. "Chris Carrabba To Release "Covered In The Flood" Solo Album". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 17 June 2013.