John Prine: Diamonds in the Rough
Grade: M (sealed)
Diamonds in the Rough was recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios in New York City. The album's sound homed in on the Appalachian "high lonesome" influences evident on Prine's eponymous debut LP and its bluegrass instrumentation reflects Prine's fascination with early American folk and country music. The album was produced by Arif Mardin and features Prine's brother Dave on dobro, banjo, and fiddle while Steve Goodman also contributes on guitar and harmonies. In the Great Days: The John Prine Anthology liner notes, Prine tells David Fricke that the album was recorded in three days at a cost of $7,200, "including beer", and adds "I just wanted to do Diamonds the way I was used to playing music at my house with Dave and Steve. But it's taken me years to figure out how to balance those first two records. About every other record, after making a real studio or rock 'n' roll album, I'd come back and do a Diamonds in the Rough."