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George Jones @ Rodeo Austin

The Ol’ Possum played the Rodeo Austin: Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in place of the incomparable Loretta Lynn, and it was a night for a lifetime for a fan. There couldn’t have been more than a few thousand people there, and George still rocked it as best he could. He’s definitely getting old and his voice is having trouble hitting all of the old notes, but that didn’t stop him from rolling out versions of “Why Baby Why” and a great medley of “White Lightning/The Window Up Above/She Thinks I Still Care”. The older, faster tunes definitely needed to be slowed down so he could keep up, and he and the band have structured the set so that he has what I would call a co-singer that helps fill the gaps in the songs he has trouble and the band delivers several rockin’ fun instrumental bluegrass tunes to help give his voice a rest and fill out the set. They rest of the night was mostly down-tempo hits from the 70s and 80s like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and gospel tunes, and it was an all-around fun time to see George do his thing, have fun, and not miss a beat.

He promised they’d be back before it was all over , and I highly encourage you to see him if you get a chance. He seemed in great spirits, but there was a certain sadness that crept into the proceedings when he talked about how the world doesn’t care about “traditional country music” (i.e., the only real country music) and he seemed to feel largely forgotten about. That seemed to me an incredible tragedy. We’ve lost enough culture over the last 10 years, it’s a shame that real, good music is fading in favor of plastic, electronic voice tuning, sugar, money, and plastic.

I, for one, will never forget…

 

Here’s to hoping that Loretta will stop back in to make up for canceling too, it doesn’t get any better than this…

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