Recorded at the height of the rock & roll establishment's infatuation with George Jones in the late '70s, Bartender's Blues is one of the most uneven and misdirected albums in his catalog.
Though the production is dated, leaning too close to the soft rock with its electric pianos, the main flaw with the album is the material.
Apart from the excellent weeper "I'll Just Take It Out in Love," the strongest song is the forced title track, which is essentially James Taylor's impression of what life in a honky tonk must be.
The remaining songs don't deal in such hackneyed clichés, but they don't have its melodic force, either.
That means that the album becomes just a wash of songs, despite Jones' fine performance.