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John Prine - Fair & Square - Oh Boy Records

Fair & Square is singer-songwriter John Prine's first album of original material in nine years and comes after his recovery from a bout with cancer. His last studio album was the Grammy-nominated Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. It included some classic Prine stories - "New Train," "Ain't Hurtin' Nobody," "Humidity Built The Snowman," and continued to showcase an American icon at the top of his game and craft - some thirty years after his brilliant 1971 debut that included songs like "Angel From Montgomery," "Sam Stone," and "Hello In There."

Simply put, Fair & Square is an album that stands up equally with some of his finest work. An inspired collection of songs, Prine commands singer-songwriter supremacy throughout the record with nary a wasted word or image and there is a depth to the musicality and performance that radiates with warmth and realness.

Prine receives some nice guest help from Mindy Smith, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski. The twin guitars of Pat McLaughlin and Jason Wilber are exquisite. And through it all is that voice and those songs and stories that have made Prine such an important figure in the American singer-songwriter continuum. It is great to have him back with another excellent album.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release Date: 4/26/2005

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