Born in Maywood, Illinois, on October 10, 1946, John Prine’s body of work has become the high-water mark of American songwriting and his songs have found a home in the repertoire of musical luminaries, such as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash and George Strait.
On March 9, 2005, at the request of Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, John Prine became the first singer/songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress.
Prine takes his own sweet time dancing with his muse - and truly writes what’s in his soul. So if it takes him a little longer to compose the songs that capture the moments that reveal the gently folded human truths that bind us all together, it’s always worth the wait.
There was a nine year gap between his Grammy-nominated Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings and his latest solo offering, appropriately titled, Fair & Square, but his unorthodox timing was rewarded with critical acclaim.
Along with rave reviews from Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, No Depression, Amazon.com and Blender, Fair & Square debuted at Number Seven on Billboard’s Top 20 Internet Album Sales chart and recorded the fastest rise to number one in the history of Americana radio.
In 2006, Fair & Square won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
“It was just time,” said Prine in his always understated way, just after the release of Fair and Square. “I had a bunch of songs. I’d started recording them, and it turns out, I liked them pretty well. So, now, I get to get them all just the way I like them - and then I get to let them go out to meet the world.”
Standard Songs for Average People by John Prine and Mac Wiseman, contains duet renditions of classic American songs with Bluegrass icon Mac “The Voice with a Heart” Wiseman. While this album is a slight departure from Prine’s renowned singer-songwriter approach, it promises to appeal to those seeking a trip back to when wholesome, well-crafted music mirrored simpler times.
With tracks like “Old Cape Cod,” “Pistol Packin’ Mama” or “Blue Eyed Elaine,” the charm and character of Standard Songs softly reinvigorates the soul and gently reminds the listener life should be enjoyed - not rushed.