Jelly Roll Pours One Out for George Jones With ‘Bartender’s Blues’ Cover
George Jones died 10 years ago today, robbing country music of one of its greatest vocalists. While Jelly Roll may not be the answer to the question of “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” the Tennessee singer turned in an admirable rendition of “Bartender’s Blues” on Tuesday night during an all-star tribute concert to Jones in Huntsville, Alabama.
Jelly Roll stayed true to Jones’ version of the song, wrapping his raspy voice around the chorus of needing “four walls around me, to hold my life/to keep me from going astray.” It’s a tale of woe told from the POV of a dejected bartender, who dreams of leaving the job behind. Originally written and recorded by James Taylor, “Bartender’s Blues” served as the title track to Jones’ 1978 album.
Jelly Roll will release his new album, Whitsitt Chapel, on June 2. Last year, the tattooed songwriter, born Jason DeFord, scored his first No. 1 country song with “Son of a Sinner.” Earlier this month he debuted the new song “Need a Favor” with a gospel-choir performance at the CMT Music Awards.
Other performers at Still Playin’ Possum: Music and Memories of George Jones included Brad Paisley, who sang Jones’ signature ballad “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Lorrie Morgan, Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr, and Dierks Bentley.
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