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George Jones

George Jones: Burn Your Playhouse Down, the unreleased duets – 2008 (Bandit)

Reviewed by Don Armstrong

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There are few revelations in this George Jones duets collection culled primarily from "The Bradley Barn Sessions" (1993 recordings). Producers have their reasons. Perhaps the biggest surprise is when Jones is outsung by one of his duet partners, Georgette Jones, the only child of his marriage to Tammy Wynette. Georgette may have the best singing genes in history, but it is time as much as anything that pushes Dad into a subordinate role on You and Me and Time. The revelation, then, is a sad one: age has finally done what alcohol, bad marriages and who knows what other demons could not; come to think of it, they only seemed to bolster Jones's magic.

He easily outclasses most of his other partners, including Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Dolly Parton. Jones gets most of the choices lines, yet Shelby Lynne holds her own on I Always Get It Right With You. Keith Richards shows on the title song why he lets his fingers do the talking with the Rolling Stones, and Leon Russell gives an oddly uninspired performance on The Window Up Above. But producers aren't always right, and a Jones-Wynette pairing from 1977, Loving You, Loving Me, demonstrates why they continue to scour vaults.