With Do You Know Me? Sammy Kershaw pays tribute to his inspiration and longtime friend George Jones by recording a dozen of the Possum’s classics from “White Lightning” to “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
Louisiana native Kershaw has always sounded something like Jones, who grew up in east Texas. But it’s almost eerie how close Kershaw comes to Jones when he’s singing “Why Baby Why” and “The Grand Tour.” The arrangements of the songs are about as close to hearing George Jones, without hearing George Jones.
“I couldn’t pick just 12 songs and be happy, I had to cut as many of his songs and then I decided really which one’s I wanted,” Kershaw explained. “I mean, the man meant the world to me, this was the only way I knew how to honour him.”
One of the highlights and true tribute moments is when Kershaw duets with Georgette Jones on “Near You.” It isn’t George and Tammy, but it’s a good pairing and a fine tribute to her parents. "I had to ask Georgette to sing with me, I think it took us two takes and we both cried."
Do You Know Me? ends with a pair of songs -- the title cut, which is explicitly about Jones, telling his life story in song, and “The Route That I Took,” a reflection that very well could be about him.
That’s a perfect way to end the album that’s a heartfelt tribute from Kershaw and a vivid reminder that Jones was one of the greatest country singers ever, and he picked songs worthy of his voice.