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George Jones

God's Country – 2006 (Category 5)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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Though this could be described as a "tribute" album, George Jones does show on the title track (a new recording) that, while he's starting to sound his age (75 in September), he's still better than most. His only other (vocal) appearance is a recycling of his "Beer Run" duet with Garth Brooks from a half-decade or so ago, but it's still fun.

The rest of the disc features a cast of self-confessed (though none the less substantial for that) Jones worshippers that includes Vince Gill, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence, Pam Tillis and Mark Chesnutt, to name a few, and truth be told, nobody mails it in here as they take turns at a selection of Jones classics (where do you start, though?).

Everybody is credible and sincere, but special mentions go to Diffie and his duets with Shonna Faegan, nicely capturing the George and Tammy thang on a medley of "Golden Ring" and "We're Gonna Hold On" and Sammy Kershaw for a more than respectable job at the thankless task of taking on "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (once voted the "Greatest Country Song of All Time").

Worth the price of the disc by itself, though, is Tanya Tucker's re-casting of "Window Up Above," a song that reminds us that, while not quite as renowned as a writer, Jones did pen some of his own biggest hits.