Review: Brad Davis – A Bluegrass Tribute to George Jones

According to John Lawless of Bluegrass Today, this recording project was started as George Jones was making his final tour. Now, George Jones was a unique artist who crossed over genres. While mostly country, he could also be considered a bluegrass singer as well.

George Jones is my favorite singer of al time. Though he is gone, his song renderings are haunting. Brad Davis brings them to life. In addition, he brings to life a song that tried hard to be destined for George to sing, having been pitched to him often through demo recordings over 20 times, yet never was recorded by him: “Make Me One More Memory.”

“Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me”

I find Brad’s voice eerily similar to George’s. Although Brad doesn’t often show the finesse of George’s vocalizations, his voice is strong, the words clear and the phrasing generally similar. Sometimes he does get into a Jones type vocal mannerism like going for a very low note or rendering a sound effect vocal as in “White Lightning.” More dynamics would make his sound closer to George’s if that were one objective.

Bluegrass is my favorite type of music. It fits real well with George Jones. Brad, as flat-picking master guitarist, does some incredible breaks for many songs such as in “Race is On.” I hear some neat banjo and mandolin solos as well on some songs.

While George Jones did “We’re Gonna Hold On” with Tammy Wynette, Brad does it as a male duet. Some good holding in that chorus bit. I like the way he handles the second verse too.

His choice of songs covers a good range including “The Grand Tour” and “Walk Through This World With Me.” If you like George Jones and you like bluegrass, you’re sure to like this album.

Jeanne Mathewson

A New Yorker all my life, first heard bluegrass from WNYC in New York City. Learned to read music from taking piano lessons. Started mandolin in 2009. Slowly started playing by ear. Play a little fiddle too. Enjoy bluegrass festivals and jams. Currently living in Glens Falls.

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