J. Geils Band

Pack Fair and Square

Composed by Walter Travis Price

Song Review by

J. Geils Band are to be commended for picking up a title by swamp/blues artist Big Walter Price, the song "Pack Fair and Square" showing up on their Atlantic debut and on Full House Live as well.

The two minute and one second studio version is an even shorter hundred and one seconds!!! on the live disc. Jon Landau praises the tune in his Rolling Stone Magazine review of their debut lp by saying "straight blues done as good as it can be done. The harp dominates...with its perfect lines and tone..." Landau should know as he was the original producer on the band's initial sessions for Atlantic about a year before the Dave Crawford/Brad Shapiro/Geoffrey Haslam album was released. For such a young group one has to marvel at the authenticity they poured into the grooves with years of roadwork still ahead of them. "Pack Fair And Square" is evidence that they were musically more mature than most with superb intuition - not only in the choice of this material - but in its execution. The live take is speedier and more condensed, a Peter Wolf monologue underscored by some gorgeous Seth Justman frills before they dive into the song with total intensity, Magic Dick's harp taking it to another level, Stephen Bladd pounding away and the singer/frontman showing a real understanding of the roots he's digging up. "Hard Driving Man" comes two songs later, and don't think the identical meter in the titles of both tunes is mere coincidence - J.Geils Band drew from their influences, Peter Wolf and J. Geils perhaps subconciously finding their own songwriter voices from the material they discovered and regenerated so well.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The J. Geils Band 1970 0:02
Live: Full House 1972 Atlantic 2:34
Houseparty: Anthology 1992 Rhino 2:24
No Image 2001 3:52
House Party: Live in Germany 2015 Eagle Vision 2:15
blue highlight denotes editor's pick