The Fine Print is a collection of unreleased material by the Drive-By Truckers mostly recorded throughout the making of their albums Decoration Day and The Dirty South; a highly prolific period for the band. It features album artwork and a sample of concert posters from 2009 by Wes Freed, and is produced by David Barbe.
The Fine Print is the first Drive-By Trucker album to include covers of other artist's original recordings; most notably "Rebels" by Tom Petty, and "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan. The latter of these songs has each of its four verses sung in rotation by Hood, Tucker, Isbell, and Cooley.
Two of the songs on the album, "Uncle Frank" and "Goode's Field Road" are alternate takes of songs released on other Drive-By Truckers albums. "Uncle Frank" has only minor differences from the original as heard on Pizza Deliverance, while "Goode's Field Road" is much harder and faster than the slower paced track eventually recorded for Brighter Than Creation's Dark. The Fine Print version of "Goode's Field Road" almost made it onto The Dirty South, but at the last minute was switched for "Lookout Mountain".
As the album was recorded during Jason Isbell's tenure with the Drive-By Truckers, two of his songs as performed by the Drive-By Truckers were also included. Though released in 2009, when Jay Gonzalez was already an official member of the band, he does not make an appearance on The Fine Print due to the recording dates of the tracks.