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George Jones apologizes, but no need

Jackson Rancheria Casino, Jackson, Cal., February 26, 2006

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

Other recent concert reviews
George Jones apologized in advance to the near-sold out audience of 1,700 of a case of bronchitis that was bothering him.

"The Possum" shouldn't have bothered.

Aside from "The Race is On" and the "Corvette Song," Jones was as good as usual during his hour-and-a-half show.

During some of those up-tempo tunes, Jones missed some words and sang off key, so he should have stuck with ballads.

With the help of his eight-piece band, Jones shined on classics like "Once You've Had The Best," "Bartender's Blues" and "A Picture of Me (Without You).

Included in Jones' band were Barry and Sherri Smith, who served as MCs/backup singers. They introduced several songs and reminded the audience - as if they didn't know - of Jones' place in country music. While the Smiths added some positives to the concert, some of their routine was downright silly.

Jones and Sherri sang the Hank Jr. tune "The Blues Man" in duet form. While Sherri was singing, Dolly Parton was shown singing alongside George on the overhead video. Although she obviously doesn't measure up to Tammy Wynette, Sherri did a respectable job teaming up with Jones on duet classics like "Golden Ring" and "Near You."

Jones showed off a little bit of everything, including his homage to veterans (50,000 Names) and the fun" I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," which had the audience dancing in its seats.

Jones received his biggest response for his signature song "He Stopped Loving Her Today," but that ovation didn't even close to the crowd's reaction when Johnny Cash's picture was featured on the video montage during "Who;'s Going To Fill Their Shoes?"

Jones is still going strong, but he might want to lose the Smiths and pick up some less attention-driven back up singers and more solos of fiddle player Jim Buchanan.