George Jones / Sara Evans – Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)
One is rarely privileged to see an authentic high priest in the cathedral of country music. But as so often seems the case with organized religion, the distance between the preaching and the practicing is the space between rapture and reality.
It will do no good to complain that he was badly mixed, for he pulled back from the microphone so often one could hardly blame the sound. It will do no good to complain that he stumbled over words, despite a teleprompter, for everybody already knew the words. It will do no good to complain that he sang song fragments. Indeed, it will do no good to complain, for he is George Glenn Jones, the voice of god and a complete cypher.
And so one is reduced to treasuring those few rare instants when that voice rang clean and pure through the Ryman, and we elect were all for just that instant sanctified.
Newcomer Sara Evans wisely chose a repertoire long on classics, from Willie Nelson to Patsy Cline to Wanda Jackson, which about runs strength to weakness: she has the torch, but not the twang.