Picks and Pans Review: You Oughta Be Here with Me
Not to wish ill for anyone, but let's hope Jones never gets in too satisfied a mood. He's so good at being unhappy.
This LP is full of gloomy tunes all but custom-made for Jones. In one, by Bobby Harden, he sings to an ex-mate, "This old town's closed, and I've got no place to go," then reports her response: "Hell stays open all night." In "Somebody Always Paints the Wall," a paean to frustration, previously recorded by Josh Logan, Jones laments, "If my old truck was a horse, I'd have to shoot it/Lord, when my ship came in I was waitin' for a train."
The Roger Miller title tune plays nicely with its lyrics: "If you think it's lonesome where you are tonight/Then you oughta be here with me." And on another track Jones sings, "Every night I sleep just like a baby/I wake up every hour and cry."
Jones's voice, a very musical version of a hound dog baying at the moon, cuts straight to the black-and-blue section of the heart. Old George was born to be the sing-along leader in the pit of despair, and bless him for it. (Epic)