Picks and Pans Review: The Bradley Barn Sessions

updated 11/14/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

George Jones

Heaven, to many hard-core country-music fans, is holing up for an afternoon with a good stereo and a stack of George Jones records. Though at 63 Jones sounds as good as ever, the Ol' Possum's having trouble getting heard today; the tastemakers behind New Country want pretty faces, not great voices. So this album pairs him with a dozen mostly younger, mostly country singers in remakes of some of his biggest hits. Some of Jones's collaborators acquit themselves honorably, including Vince Gill ("The Love Bug"), Alan Jackson ("A Good Year for the Roses") and Mark Chesnutt ("Good Ones and Bad Ones"). But speaking of bad ones, Travis Tritt shows the musicality of a lug nut on "The Race Is On," and Mark Knopfler is dead weight on "White Lightnin'."

If Sessions is a bit uneven, a new Jones record is always a pleasure. Meanwhile there are two big new Jones retrospectives out: Legacy/Epic's 44-song The Essential George Jones: The Spirit of Country and Mercury's 51-song Cup of Loneliness: The Classic Mercury Years. (MCA)

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