- I am 31
- What is my nationaly:
- I'm from Kazakhstan
- Who do I prefer:
- Tender guy
- My Zodiac sign:
- I'm Leo
- What I like to drink:
- I don't have piercings
Billy,Don't you remember that there was a false rumor that Tito stabbed me.
But not one of them has to do with his singing, which was little short of exquisite. Jones did make time during his set for a sales pitch on behalf of a brand of pet food he has been hawking lately on the Nashville Network.
He even had his bass player, Ron Gaddis, haul out a big sack of the stuff for the edification of any cat or dog owners in the house. But Jones overlooked the most legitimate and effective sales tactic of all: play the damn thing. For one thing, he delivered the blarney with a folksy charm that made it easy to take, at least until you thought about it afterward and started feeling a bit taken.
For another, when one of the two or three greatest male country singers of all time comes through with as much strength, assurance, and radiant pleasure in singing as Jones did at the Celebrity, any of extracurricular lapses can be forgiven. Yes, the show was at least a half-dozen songs too short. Jones followed a steady pattern throughout the show: first a wry, up-tempo song, then one of his trademark ball. Like an ace pitcher who can hit the corners at will, Jones was able to reach and hold those low notes that drop out of a melody line like a sudden dip in the road, or deliver his ature upward slides that embroider a key word or phrase to heart-tugging effect.
At a couple of junctures, jokingly pleading that he had to defer to age and take a break, Jones set loose his six-man band on brief, bluegrass-style instrumental interludes. Each time, the Jones Boys lit out with the enthusiasm of a Labrador retriever chasing a Frisbee.
Throughout the show, guitarist Jerry Reid not to be confused with Jerry Reed, the veteran guitar-picker who is a country music headliner in his own right proved a solid anchor of restraint, choosing his spots well with tasty, twangy fills and brief solos. The Jones Boys were as sympathetic backing their boss on ball as they were kinetic when he let them run free on instrumentals.
The new generation of Garth Brooks and Clint Black has a way to go in proving it will have the same endurance. When he tried to reach for higher notes, his voice would give out, or he would fall into fits of coughing, followed by water-sipping and throat-spraying, that interrupted the performance.
With the voice virtually shelved, the arrangements sounded particularly hollow. But critiquing Twitty on a night like this would be like judging Mickey Mantle or Joe Namath by their final, injury-hobbled playing days.
Little rosewood casket
Mike Boehm is a former arts reporter and pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times. All Sections.
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