Now we’re not going to suggest that a cover is better than the original – that’s surely some form of blasphemy, right? – but let’s face it, some covers come damn close! The best is when you come across a cover to a song you absolutely hate and the new version of it makes you secretly love it forever. Some of these covers you may be familiar with, but hopefully you’ll find a few new versions of songs you enjoy!
From Morgan Evans to Taylor Swift, Keith Urban to Cassidy-Rae, Taylor Acorn to Lady A, Brothers Osborne to Jason Isbell and more, here’s 18 incredible covers by country artists you need to hear immediately!
Taylor Acorn – Matchbox Twenty’s Unwell
The GRAMMY Award -nominated song was released in 2003 as the second single from Matchbox Twenty’s third album, More Than You Think You Are. Lead singer, Rob Thomas has stated that he wrote the song as a metaphor for humanity in general, and that’s certainly felt in Acorn’s emotional cover.
Kelsea Ballerini – Fleetwood Mac’s Dream
Earlier this year, Ballerini wowed viewers with an incredible rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s hit Dreams duringCMT’s Campfire Sessions. The iconic track was the second single from the Fleetwood Mac’s eleventh studio album, Rumours (1977).
Black Stone Cherry – Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason
Black Stone Cherry play tribute to their bluesy roots with their version of the Tracy Chapman hit. Give Me One Reason was first released on Chapman’s 1995 album, New Beginning, later becoming platinum-certified, and remains Chapman’s biggest Australian hit to date.
Tyler Braden – Train’s Drops Of Jupiter
Braden has some specular covers on his YouTube page – including songs by Keith Urban, Hank Williams, Eric Church, Tim McGraw and more – so it was difficult to choose just one, however, we’re partial of his version of Train’s 2011 smash hit, Drops Of Jupiter.
Brothers Osborne – Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again
Brothers Osborne performed a fireside rendition of Willie Nelson’s hit, On The Road Again as part of CMT’s Campfire Sessions. Nelson originally released the iconic song in 1980 as a part of the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack and was his ninth #1 single.
Kane Brown and Restless Road – Blake Shelton’s Ol’ Red
Ol’ Red was actually a cover done by Blake Shelton for his self-titled debut album in 2001, having originally been recorded by George Jones in 1990 and Kenny Rogers in 1993. However, CMT credits the song to Shelton during this Campfire Sessions performance.
Zac Brown Band – The Greatest Showman’s From Now On
The Greatest Showman is a musical drama starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya. Following its release in 2017, a re-imagined album of the movie soundtrack was released, which features covers from Kelly Clarkson, Panic! At The Disco, P!nk, Zac Brown Band and more!
Cassidy-Rae – Taylor Swift’s Me
Having played thousands of covers as a wandering songstress on board Carnival Cruise Lines, it’s no surprise that Cassidy-Rae has an arsenal of party anthems to heartfelt ballads at her disposal. Me was originally released in 2019 as a collaboration between Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco.
Travis Collins – John Denver’s Thank God I’m A Country Boy
Thank God I’m A Country Boy was originally included on John Denver’s 1974 album, Back Home Again. As well as this cover by Collins off his 2015 album Wired, the hit song has been covered by The Road Hammers, Lee Kernaghan, Dolly Parton and many more.
Mae Estes – Brooks & Dunn’s She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind
Brooks & Dunn’s She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind was the lead single from their album, Waitin’ On Sundown. It topped the Billboard charts, becoming the American duo’s seventh number one single. Check out Estes’ YouTube page, where takes male songs and puts a female flip on them with impressive results.
Morgan Evans – Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi
Originally written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970 for her album, Ladies Of The Canyon, it later became a hit for Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton in 2002 and featured on the soundtrack to the romantic comedy film, Two Weeks Notice.
Jake Hoot – Chris Stapleton’s What Are You Listening To
What Are You Listening To was Chris Stapleton’s first single after he signed to Mercury Nashville in 2013. While Hoot didn’t sing this song during The Voice US, he performed songs by Luke Combs, Trace Adkins and Lonestar among others which helped him to win the 17th season under Kelly Clarkson’s mentorship in 2019.
Jason Isbell – Johnny Cash’s All I Do Is Drive
Liam Neeson’s latest Netflix flick, The Ice Road features a ton of great cover songs on its soundtrack – including Isbell’s rendition of the Johnny Cash classic, All I Do Is Drive. The song was originally released in 1974 on Cash’s 47th (yes 47th!) album, Ragged Old Flag.
Gemma Kirby – Alessia Carra’s Scars To Your Beautiful
Scars To Your Beautiful was the third single from Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara’s debut studio album, Know-It-All (2015). The song peaked at #8 on the Australian ARIA charts in late 2016. Kirby covered the ballad on her 2021 EP, Salon Sessions, Vol 1.
Lady A – Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide
Also, part of CMT’s Campfire Sessions, Lady A stunned audiences with a beautiful rendition of Landslide. The hit song first featured on Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album in 1975 and was notably covered by The Smashing Pumpkins in 1994 and The Chicks in 2002.
Miranda Lambert – Hank Snow’s I’m Movin’ On
Made famous by Canadian country music legend Hank Snow, I’m Movin’ On was recorded and released in 1950. It would go on to become Snow’s first-career number one single. Lambert’s cover is another from Liam Neeson’s latest Netflix flick, The Ice Road.
Keith Urban – Billy Nicholls’ I Can’t Stop Loving You
While first recorded by Billy Nicholls in 1977, Leo Sayer released his hit version (and one most people associate the song with) the following year. It later became a hit for Phil Collins in 2002 and featured on Keith Urban’s album Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing in 2006.
Taylor Swift – Billy Nicholls’ I Can’t Stop Loving You
Swift also covered I Can’t Stop Loving You in 2020 in the Live Lounge. The performance earned Swift a 2020 iHeartRadio Music Award nomination for ‘Best Cover Song’ but lost to Sam Smith and Normani’s cover of 5 Seconds Of Summer’s, Dancing With A Stranger.
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Images: Morgan & Cassidy-Rae supplied / Mae Estes & Keith Urban via Facebook