Murrel Counts - fiddle, vocals; Mark Dunn - drums; Ron Gaddis - bass, vocals; Steve Payne - keyboards, vocals; Tom Killen - pedal steel; Terry McMillan - harmonica; Clyde Phillips - guitar; Guest: Lorrie Morgan- vocals; Guest: Merle Kilgore - guitar, vocals
The Jones Boys have been the touring band for country legend George Jones for decades, but this show was recorded over two decades ago for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert series in 1982, at Boston's Paradise club. The Jones Boys (with guest vocalists Lorrie Morgan and Merle Kilgore), were given their own six-song set in between opener, Bobby Bare, and headliner, George Jones.
The Jones Boys, Bobby Bare, and their guests did a great job of warming up this audience, who were totally stoked by the time Mr. Jones strapped on his guitar and unleashed his distinct brand of country blues. The Boys opened their set with "You Win Again," a traditional styled country song about -what else—unrequited love. Next up is guest vocalist Lorrie Morgan, who lends her outstanding voice to "Good Girls Gonna Go Bad," and the beautiful ballad, "That's The Way Love Goes."
Next, they call up long time Hank Williams Jr sideman, Merle Kilgore, who pumps the crowd up and then launches into "Truck Driving Man." For the record, this has got to be one of the greatest "outlaw" country songs ever written. How could it not be, with the opening line "Well, I stopped at a whorehouse in Texas, a little place called the Hamburger Den." Kilgore offers a stand-up version of "If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time)," before telling the audience to get ready for an amazing George Jones show.
The set ends with a spunky version of "Ring Of Fire," which Kilgore wrote in the 1960s with June Carter for her future husband and co-headliner, Johnny Cash, to immortalize. Prior to launching into the song, Kilgore tells an amusing story about how the overtly jealous Cash stormed in, and thought Kilgore was having an affair with Carter while they were in the motel room writing "Ring of Fire." In the end all was well, and Cash ended up recording one of the biggest hits of his career.
Most backup bands don't get this kind of attention from the stars they perform with. The fact that Jones has always given this band its own spotlight has a lot to do with their collective musical chops, and also is likely a reason they've stayed with the legend for so many years.