There have been very few live recordings of George Jones, particularly of his early years, which makes Live at Dance Town USA so valuable. Recorded in June of 1965, the compact disc features 26 tracks -- including nine songs performed by Jones' supporting vocalist Don Adams -- that capture Jones running through his biggest hits, plus a couple of left-field covers like "Bony Moronie" and "Jole Blon." Jones is wired and energetic, breathing fire into the songs; one of the biggest joys of the entire disc is his between-song patter, such as when he tells the audience that he's taking a "liquor mission" halfway through the set. Not only is the music superb -- on this date, the Jones Boys featured steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and Cajun fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux -- but it illustrates exactly what a honky tonk concert was like in the '60s. For hardcore George Jones fans, it's an essential addition, one that's revelatory and highly entertaining.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Buddy Emmons