Welcome to the second installment of DUCT! While I do enjoy my “liquid bread,” I am certain that you will be relieved that this has nothing to do with booze, well at least not directly, and everything to do with the song “Tennessee Whiskey.” It is a song that has been covered by many, and I feel will continue to be covered for quite some time. The song was written in 1981 by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove, after meeting together at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, going back to Dean’s house to write the song at four o’clock in the morning. Although this is purely conjecture on my part, I have a feeling some of the above may have been involved! When the song was completed, they first offered it to George Strait but he turned it down. It was first recorded in 1981 by American country music artist David Allen Coe for his album of the same name. His version is done in a more traditional country style. The song was recorded two years later (1983) by another country music artist, George Jones on his third album “Shine On.” The Chris Stapleton version (the one that most people are familiar with) was R&B tinged and recorded for his debut studio album “Traveller,” released in 2015. In November of 2015, he performed the song with Justin Timberlake at the Country Music Association Awards. It was after this performance that the song really took off. Below you will find the original followed by five covers that I felt not only paid tribute to the lyrics and music, but in many ways transformed it into something unique. Enjoy!
David Allen Coe was born on September 6, 1939 and started his music career playing mostly blues style music, before transitioning to country music, when he became an integral part of the 1970s “outlaw” country scene. His biggest hits include: “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” “Longhaired Redneck,” “The Ride,” “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile,” and “She Used To Love Me a Lot.” You have to love country music song titles! He was well known for his rebellious attitude, wild image, and for living, what some might call, an unconventional lifestyle.
George Glenn Jones was born in Texas on September 12, 1931 and died on April 26, 2013. After a brief stint in the United States Marine Corps (discharged in 1953), he married and kicked off his music career in 1959 recording “White Lightning,” written by The Big Bopper. He achieved international success and fame for his long list of hit songs, including his best known “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” He was celebrated for his distinctive voice and phrasing. For the last two decades of his life, he was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer.
Chris Alvin Stapleton was born in Lexington, Kentucky on April 15, 1978. He is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. His career started as a songwriter, and by 2018 he had written and co-written over 170 songs. He has co-written six number-one country songs: Kenney Chesney”s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” Josh Turner’s “Your Man,” George Strait’s”Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” and Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer.” It was his rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey” that launched his career as a vocalist.
Kevin Bazinet was born in Mont-Laurier, Quebec on June 14, 1991. In the late 2000s he became popular performer on YouTube singing and playing both original songs and covers. Jackie Pierre is a Canadian singer from Vancouver and also has a presence on YouTube.
Justin is a gifted blues guitarist from Upland, California. Along with his amazing guitar skills, he is also a prolific producer and has independently released 11 full-length albums. Hi first album, “Smoke & Mirrors,” was officially released in March of 2014.
Taj Farrant was born in Australia on May 21, 2009. After watching this video, you will need to let that date sink into your head! I discovered him on YouTube one evening performing on “Australia’s Got Talent” (he was nine years-old then as well), and I remember sitting there with my mouth wide open, which is exactly what all four judges were doing. In 2020 (11 years-old), at the House of Blues even in Las Vegas, he was invited on stage by Carlos Santana for a jam session, and the kid “shredded” with the great Santana note for note!