It is no secret that George Jones played a huge role in the life and career of Sammy Kershaw, who was often compared to the late singer with his traditional voice. So now, a little over a year following his death, Kershaw is honoring Jones with the release of Do You Know Me? - A Tribute to George Jones. The project is slated for release on July 22, 2014.
"When I was four or five years old, I can remember hearing George Jones sing and even though I hadn't yet lived any of those heartbreaking songs, I could hear that natural tear in his voice and it would make me cry," says Kershaw. "I felt every word in every story that he was singing. I can remember that when I was that little kid, I felt like I already knew him.
"When I was 14 years old I had the honor of meeting Jones for the first time and was able to open several shows for him, which for me was the opportunity of a lifetime," Kershaw continues. "Sometimes things in life are hard to explain but like I said, I always felt like I knew George Jones before I ever met him."
Kershaw tackles some of Jones' biggest career songs on the 14-track album, including "White Lightning," "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," "The Grand Tour," "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "The Race Is On," among others. Two all new songs, inspired by Jones, are also included and Kershaw has tapped the Possum's daughter Georgette Jones for the classic duet, "Near You."
"When it comes to doing a George Jones and Tammy Wynette duet there was no way that I couldn't ask Georgette Jones to do her mother's part," notes Kershaw. "I knew I wanted her on the album and when I asked her she said yes right away and that sure made me happy. I am so honored to have her on this project."
Do You Know Me? - A Tribute To George Jones was produced by Kershaw and will be released through his label, Big Hit Records. The album will be available in stores as well as digitally through i-Tunes and Amazon.com. Digital pre-sales are available starting June 23, 2014.