John Prine’s Grammy Award-winning album, Fair & Square, will be available on vinyl for the first time in over sixteen years October 1 with three special double LPs: standard black, opaque green and a special limited amount of “Irish Edition”—green and orange vinyl with a matte jacket featuring embossed lettering. All pressed at Third Man Records’ pressing plant in Detroit, the standard black will be available exclusively via Amazon, the opaque green exclusively via independent record stores (pre-order here) and the “Irish Edition” exclusively via the John Prine and Oh Boy Records websites (pre-order here).
Originally released in 2005, Fair & Square won Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 48th Grammy Awards and achieved the fastest rise to number one in the history of Americana radio. The record marked a series of milestones for Prine, as it was his first album in nine years following 1995’s, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, as well as his first release after getting married to his wife and current president of Oh Boy Records, Fiona Whelan Prine. Released to widespread acclaim, Rolling Stone declared the album, “an excellent set of songs full of rootsy warmth and unpretentious wit,” while The Washington Post praised, “this low-key masterpiece arrives not just as a reminder of Prine’s cleverness and mischievous wit but also as a confirmation of his deeply human values. These are values rooted in the enduring mystery and majesty of everyday, ordinary lives.”
Further celebrating Prine’s legendary life and career, The Prine Family will host “You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine” October 3-10—a series of special concerts and events across various venues in Nashville. The weeklong celebration will include sold-out tribute concerts at The Ryman Auditorium (October 6 & 7), CMA Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (October 8) and the Basement East (October 9) and will culminate on October 10—what would have been John’s 75th birthday. Each of these shows will include a unique surprise line-up of friends performing and celebrating the legendary singer, songwriter and performer’s inimitable life and songs. Additional events will be announced.
All proceeds from the week will benefit the newly created 501c3, The Hello In There Foundation. The Prine family established the foundation to honor John’s memory. The work of the foundation will be inspired and guided by John’s simple song title, “Hello In There” and will aim to identify and collaborate with individuals and communities where people are marginalized, discriminated against or, for any reason, are otherwise forgotten. The foundation is pleased to share this year’s grant recipients are Nashville based non-profits Room In The Inn and Thistle Farms.
Additionally, on October 8, Oh Boy Records will release a new tribute record, Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 (pre-order here). Each month ahead of the release, Oh Boy will unveil a new artist and song that is featured on the record, including the first two installments: “Paradise” performed by Sturgill Simpson and “I Remember Everything” performed by Brandi Carlile.
Moreover, this year, Prine’s Oh Boy Records is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The country’s second oldest artist-owned independent label and the oldest in Nashville, Oh Boy was founded in 1981 by Prine and his longtime manager Al Bunetta and has since gone on to release more than fifty audio and video recordings while continuing to be a vital part of Nashville’s independent music community. To commemorate the milestone, Oh Boy will roll out several special releases this year including a new documentary series, “Big Old Goofy World: The Story of Oh Boy Records,” which chronicles the label’s rich history and legacy. Directed by Joshua Britt and Neilson Hubbard, the first installment of the series can be viewed HERE.
Adding to their already their prestigious roster, Oh Boy Records has recently signed singer, songwriter and musician Emily Scott Robinson, who will release her anticipated new album, American Siren, on October 29.
Regarded as one of the English language’s premier phrase-turners, Prine is a four-time Grammy-winner, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, a seven-time Americana Music Award-winner, a PEN New England Lyrics Award recipient and member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Since his debut in 1971, Prine released over eighteen albums and has had his songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band and many others, while drawing effusive praise from Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and more, who knew him as a smiling, shuffling force for good.
FAIR & SQUARE TRACK LIST
1. Glory of True Love
2. Crazy as a Loon
3. Long Monday
4. Taking a Walk
5. Some Humans Ain’t Human
6. My Darlin’ Hometown
7. Morning Train
8. The Moon Is Down
9. Clay Pigeons
10. She Is My Everything
11. I Hate It When That Happens To Me
12. Bear Creek Blues
13. Other Side of Town
14. Safety Joe