Standard Songs for Average People

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The word "legend" is tossed around far too often. But John Prine, with a 30-years-plus body of unassailable, socially aware songs filled with wry humor, lyrical poignancy, and deep humanity, and Mac Wiseman, one of the greatest bluegrass tenors of all time -- well, these guys are unqualified legends whose styles will be studied by generations yet unborn. At the urging of another by-God legend, Cowboy Jack Clement, Prine and Wiseman gathered a bunch of their favorite songs, assembled a crack band that includes guitarist Pat McLaughlin and pedal steel master Lloyd Green, brought in the Grand Ole Opry's velvet-voiced Carol Lee Singers to provide sumptuous backgrounds, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The word "legend" is tossed around far too often. But John Prine, with a 30-years-plus body of unassailable, socially aware songs filled with wry humor, lyrical poignancy, and deep humanity, and Mac Wiseman, one of the greatest bluegrass tenors of all time -- well, these guys are unqualified legends whose styles will be studied by generations yet unborn. At the urging of another by-God legend, Cowboy Jack Clement, Prine and Wiseman gathered a bunch of their favorite songs, assembled a crack band that includes guitarist Pat McLaughlin and pedal steel master Lloyd Green, brought in the Grand Ole Opry's velvet-voiced Carol Lee Singers to provide sumptuous backgrounds, and voila! A genial, warmhearted musical event transpired that found our heroes assaying everything from Bing Crosby's pop classic "Where the Blue of the Night" to a dreamy take on Patti Page's 1957 "Old Cape Cod" (on which the ruggedly weathered voices offer a resonant contrast to a lush string chart and the Carol Lee Singers' smooth crooning) to a reverent, country church-style rendering of the venerable hymn "Old Rugged Cross." The grizzled vets have a lot of fun warming up to the perky Bob Wills-Cindy Walker western swing homily "Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age," which they aren't, and getting frisky on a perky bluegrass treatment of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama," during which Ronnie McCoury adds a sprightly mandolin solo. A little blues from Leon Payne, some heartbreak from Kris Kristofferson, some love and happiness courtesy Ernest Tubb, nostalgia for a simpler time via Tom T. Hall -- the songs are as vintage as the performances. But it all sounds fresh.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
The title tells the story well enough on Standard Songs for Average People, a set of 14 country-leaning classics interpreted by venerable singer/songwriter John Prine and bluegrass balladeer Mac Wiseman. While Prine has never possessed a classically strong voice, he knows how to communicate a lyric well enough (even lyrics he didn't write himself), and it's clear that he loves the songs he's selected for this project (Prine also co-produced with David Ferguson). Whatever Prine may lack in vocal polish, Wiseman easily brings to the table; if his voice is a bit sandier than it was years ago, he can still make the weepers sound convincingly sad and the uptempo numbers bring a smile when he's singing. The arrangements and production recall the smooth but homey sound of Nashville's countrypolitan era, and the pickers bring the songs across with a simple but impressive aplomb (especially Tom O'Brien on guitar and banjo and Joey Miskulin on accordion). And the songs...well, certain songs become standards because they're so good almost no one can go wrong with them, and on this set "I Love You Because," "The Blue Side of Lonesome," "Saginaw, Michigan," and "Old Rugged Cross" sound fresh and engaging, even though you've probably heard them hundreds of time before. And while they may not be as well-known, Tom T. Hall's "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine," Kris Kristofferson's "Just the Other Side of Nowhere," and Bob Wills' "Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age" sure sound like classics coming from Prine and Wiseman. The craft is strong on Standard Songs for Average People, but at its heart it sounds like two friends singing some old songs they love on a quiet evening, and that's part of the album's strength -- these are 14 songs sung by two guys who know a great tune when they hear it, and they allow these numbers to work their magic simply, which serves them very well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2007
  • Label: Oh Boy
  • UPC: 094012003821
  • Catalog Number: 38
  • Sales rank: 47,892

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Blue Eyed Elaine - John Prine (2:34)
  2. 2 Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age - John Prine (2:26)
  3. 3 I Forgot to Remember to Forget - John Prine (3:01)
  4. 4 I Love You Because - John Prine (4:22)
  5. 5 Pistol Packin' Mama - John Prine (2:43)
  6. 6 Saginaw, Michigan - John Prine (2:55)
  7. 7 Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine - John Prine (4:36)
  8. 8 Old Cape Cod - John Prine (2:25)
  9. 9 Death of Floyd Collins - John Prine (3:25)
  10. 10 The Blue Side of Lonesome - John Prine (4:09)
  11. 11 In the Garden - John Prine (3:08)
  12. 12 Just the Other Side of Nowhere - John Prine (2:36)
  13. 13 Old Rugged Cross - John Prine (3:31)
  14. 14 Where the Blue of the Night - John Prine (3:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Prine Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Mac Wiseman Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Lloyd Green Pedal Steel Guitar
Pat McLaughlin Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Ukulele, Vocal Harmony, Guitar (Baritone)
Mike Bub Bass
Jack Clement Dobro, Guitar
Charles Cochran Electric Piano
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Jamie Hartford Electric Guitar
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin
Pat McInerney Drums
Joey Miskulin Accordion
Tim O'Brien Banjo, Guitar
David Jacques Bass
Lester Armistead Vocal Harmony
Kenneth Blevins Percussion, Snare Drums
The Carol Lee Singers Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Tom T. Hall Composer
Kris Kristofferson Composer
Bing Crosby Composer
Charlie Feathers Composer
John Prine Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Leon Payne Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
Cindy Walker Composer
Fred E. Ahlert Composer
Al Bunetta Management
David Ferguson Audio Production
Stan Kesler Composer
David K. Shipley Mastering
Roy Turk Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Claire Rothrock Composer
Milton Yakus Composer
C. Austin Miles Composer
Allan Jeffrey Composer
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