All-Star Tribute Album Showcases Tom Petty’s Songwriting Legacy

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Tom Petty’s songwriting legacy is being showcased by some of country music’s biggest stars with the release of Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, which arrived on June 21, 2024, via Big Machine Records in partnership with the Petty Estate. The album includes Dolly Parton’s reimagined version of “Southern Accents,” as well as “I Should Have Known It” by Chris Stapleton, “Angel Dream No. 2” by Willie Nelson & Lukas Nelson, “Ways To Be Wicked” by Margo Price feat. Mike Campbell, and “You Wreck Me (Live)” by George Strait, each of whom put their own personal touches on some of Petty’s greatest hits. Listen to many of these tracks and more below, including star recordings of “Refugee,” “I Need to Know,” “American Girl,” and many others.

The album was curated by some of Petty’s closest friends and collaborators, including George Drakoulias and Petty’s esteemed colleague Randall Poster, both of whom are 2x GRAMMY® Award-winners. It’s available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here. A 2-LP edition in tangerine-colored vinyl is available here.

Listen to Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives perform a classic from the Heartbreakers’ second album

A major hit from the Heartbreakers’ third studio album, Damn The Torpedoes, “Refugee” remains one of the band’s most popular songs—peaking at #15 on the Hot 100—and was fondly remembered by Petty as one of his favorite singles the band ever wrote and released together.

“That was one of the coolest experiences of my life,” Lainey Wilson said when asked about recording with Wynonna Judd. “My gosh, every time I tried to use that growl in my voice, I was trying to channel my inner Wynonna,” she added. “Everybody wants an inner Wynonna.”

“I was fortunate enough to get to know Tom over the years,” says Parton. “He’s such an iconic artist and important songwriter. I’m so honored to be a part of this special album and to be able to share my version of one of Tom’s best songs.”

The beloved “Southern Accents”—a Petty classic and considered by Petty to be one of the best he ever wrote—takes on new life in the world of country music as Parton’s beautifully intimate version arrived with a video directed by Trey Fanjoy, featuring poignant home videos and professional footage of Petty throughout his life.

“I am sincerely moved that these artists are honoring my friend and partner Tom Petty,” wrote Mike Campbell. “I think these songs are timeless and it’s great to hear other artists’ interpretations.

“I had a wonderful time recording with Margo Price,” he added, referring to “Ways To Be Wicked,” which he wrote with Petty. “She’s a phenomenal talent.”

Petty Country finds some of the most lauded voices in country music exploring the extensive Petty catalog and putting their own personal touches on some of his greatest hits. Other artists include Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Lady A, and Rhiannon Giddens. The Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench also performs. See the complete track list below.

The video for “American Girl” opens with Bentley strapping on Petty’s own signature Rickenbacker guitar that was flown in from his archives in California for the shoot.

Shot at Nashville venue Clementine, the performance-forward video focuses on musicianship as Bentley and his band circle up at golden hour with light pouring into the room, offering up a sense of sanctification and celebrating the fellowship, joy of playing and spirit that defined Petty and the Heartbreakers. Director Wes Edwards shows Bentley’s band along with Americana images, and other items from Petty’s archive.

“Holding an instrument that carries so much musical history and significance was surreal, you could almost feel the stories resonate from it as I played it,” says Bentley. “Tom Petty’s lyrics and delivery were a huge part of what made his music so impactful.”

“Yer So Bad” was the fifth and final single shared from the late rocker’s first solo album, Full Moon Fever, which featured other Petty classics “Free Fallin’” and “I Won’t Back Down.” The song reached #5 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks chart and remains one of Petty’s best told lyrical stories.

Listen to Stapleton’s rocking cover of “I Should Have Known It”

Petty Country Track List
“I Should Have Known It” by Chris Stapleton
“Wildflowers” by Thomas Rhett
“Runnin’ Down A Dream” by Luke Combs
“Southern Accents” by Dolly Parton
“Here Comes My Girl” by Justin Moore
“American Girl” by Dierks Bentley
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Lady A
“I Forgive It All” by Jamey Johnson
“I Won’t Back Down” by Brothers Osborne
“Refugee” by Wynonna Judd & Lainey Wilson
“Angel Dream No. 2” by Willie Nelson & Lukas Nelson
“Learning To Fly” by Eli Young Band
“Breakdown” by Ryan Hurd feat. Carly Pearce
“Yer So Bad” by Steve Earle
“Ways To Be Wicked” by Margo Price feat. Mike Campbell
“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Midland
“Free Fallin’” by The Cadillac Three feat. Breland
“I Need To Know” by Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives
“Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Rhiannon Giddens feat. Silkroad Ensemble and Benmont Tench
“You Wreck Me (Live)” by George Strait

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. MadMax
    #1 MadMax 10 June, 2024, 00:17

    This could possibly be the best music that has come out of Nashville in at least twenty years…

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