GEORGE JONES MCA Tom Rule, manager of Tower Records on South University suggested I listen to Jones' tastest release, l'm thankful to him! This great recording s a compilation that Jones recorded at the rural Tennessee studio of famed country and western producer Owen Bradley. This is not the first compilation Jones has made. It seems every country singer, and a few pop ones as well, have sung with Jones. On the 1 979 recording "My Very Special Guests," Jones teamed up with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Johnnie Paycheck plus pop and rock artists James Taylorand Elvis Costello. He now teams up with some of the most current country stars - Marty Stuart, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Mark Chestnutt, and Trish Yearwood - and some country legends like Tammy Wynette, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton. He also includes some unusual country music fansrock artists - Mark Knopflerof Diré Straits and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. Unlike Jones' earlier work, which consisted of his more obscure material, here he offers mostly tunes he's made famous overthe years: "Why Baby Why"; "The Love Bug"; "The Race Is On"; and "White Lightning." The result s quite exceptional. There are at least five reasons for "The Bradley Bam Sessions" success. First, the material isstrong. Ten out of the eleven songs were top-ten country hits. Although the silly "Love Bug" could have been left out, songs like "Where Grass Wont Grow" and "Bartender Blues" are beautiful, first-rate country laments. Second, Jones' legendary phrasing and emotivesinging is excellent Third, forthe most part, the artists who accompany Jones are strong and seem genuinely inspired by Jones' powerful delivery. Most notable is Alan Jackson's work on "A Good Year Forthe Roses." It's wonderful. The most forgettable singing is by Keith Richards on "Say It's Not You" (who invited him anyway?). Fourth.the instrumental ensemble is exciting and top-notch, especially Jerry Douglas' dobro work on "Why Baby Why" and "Golden Ring." Mark Knoefler's guitar playing (who made a fine countrytinged recording with country legend Chet Atkins a couple of years ago) is noteworthy as well. F'rfth is Brian Ahem's production work. It is brilliant Eachtunejumpsf rom the speakers. They're well balanced and fresh, particulariy the tight harmonies between Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Trish Yearwood on the beautiful "Where Grass Won't Grow." My one complaint of this "must-have" recording is that at a littJe over34 minutes it's entirely too short Buy it today!
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