George Jones

Bradley Barn Sessions

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The concept behind The Bradley Barn Sessions was an intriguing one: place George Jones in the hands of traditionalist country producer Brian Ahern, record at Owen Bradley's legendary studios, compile a selection of Jones' greatest hits, and have him sing duets with contemporary vocalists (and Tammy Wynette) who have cited him as an influence. In theory, it should have worked, but in practice, it's a stilted, nearly lifeless album. The production is too clean and polished, lacking any of the grit of true honky tonk records. Furthermore, songs like "A Good Year for the Roses" suffer from the stringless, stripped-down arrangements. And though all of Jones' duet partners -- including Marty Stuart, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Trisha Yearwood, and Travis Tritt -- are respectful, only Keith Richards captures the spirit of a roadside honky tonk.

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