Various – Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty

Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty



4.8/5 Pros

  • Great cover versions
  • Amazing line-up of country music stars
  • Lovely tribute to Tom Petty

I am a huge fan of Tom Petty. I was gifted to see him once live on stage before he passed away – one of the most impressive concerts of my life. The more, I was excited about the album Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration Of Tom Petty. Country music stars add their flavor to some of the finest songs of the legendary artist. The album will be released on 21st June 2024.


Tom Petty – About The Artist

Thomas Earl Petty was born on 20th October 1950. He sold more than 80 million albums in his career. His key career was as a leader of the rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who released thirteen albums between 1976 and 2014. On top of that, Petty released four solo albums. Petty was also a member of the supergroup Traveling Wilburys, who released two studio albums. His releases regular reached high positions in the charts, not only in North America, but also in Europe and other parts of the world. He died on 2nd October 2017 in Santa Monica, California, due to an accidental drug overdose, at the age of 66.


Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty – Track by Track

The twenty song album lasts 77 minutes.

1. I Should Have Known It (Chris Stapleton)

The tribute album starts with the I Should Have Known It, sung by Chris Stapleton. The first song, originally released in the 2010 Mojo album, already illustrates the character of the album. Yeah, it is a Tom Petty original, but Stapleton makes it feel like a song of his. A damn cool Southern / country rock track.

2. Wildflowers (Thomas Rhett)

Thomas Rhett is giving his version of the title track of Tom Petty’s second solo album (1994). This one feels much closer to the original. Nonetheless, it has a stronger country music vibe in this 2024. It is almost needless to say that this version works out very well.

3. Runnin’ Down A Dream (Luke Combs)

Runnin’ Down A Dream topped the US Rock Charts, when it was released as a Full Moon Fever single in 1989. Luke Combs makes it sound more dirty, more rocking than it was 25 years ago. Nonetheless, there is a lovely gentleness in this version as well.

4. Southern Accents (Dolly Parton)

When Dolly is covering you, you somehow have the (posthum) proof that you are a big one. The female country music legend goes for the title track of Petty’s 1985 studio album. A beautiful ballad, sung by one of the most characteristic voices in the music industry. If this song does not touch you, you might have a heart of stone.

5. Here Comes My Girl (Justin Moore)

The 1979 Tom Petty album Damn the Torpedoes was a triple platinum one in the USA, a double platinum in CanadaHere Comes My Girl was one of the single releases. Even though Refugee was the key track, it is still a very popular song. Justin Moore does this song in 2024. A bit more energetic than the original, but overall, rather close to it. Still a good one.

6. American Girl (Dierks Bentley)

It would definitely be easier to list the big country artist who are not part of this tribute than naming the included ones. Dierks Bentley goes for a song, which is one of my Petty favorites, but which did not perform that well in the charts when it was released in 1977. The nice drive of the original is still there. Dierks Bentley nicely adds the fiddle and even some bluegrass elements to it. Great!

7. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (Lady A)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were guest musicians this 1981 Steve Nicks single. The song was a huge success, especially in North America. The polyphonic performance of Lady A leads to a different style, but definitely works out in a lovely way.

8. I Forgive It All (Jamey Johnson)

I Forgive It All, a song about Tom Petty’s childhood, became popular by the 2016 version of Mudcrutch. Jamey Johnson turns it into a slow, very emotional song in a very traditional country singer-songwriter style. The song is special on this compilation just because it is a bit more quiet than other ones.

9. I Won’t Back Down (Brothers Osborne)

The 1989 single I Won’t Back Down is one of these rock songs which you simply recognize after very few seconds. Brothers Osborne respectfully do a version of this classic, which is quite in line with the original.

10. Refugee (Wynonna feat. Lainey Wilson)

When Refugee has been released in 1980, it was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ biggest success in Canada so far, peaking second in the local charts. The song went third in New Zealand as well. Wynonna (Judd) and Lainey Wilson do a very energetic version of this song. Not only the two powerful vocalists turn it into a special listen. Even though I obviously did not know him, I am sure Tom Petty would have loved this version.

11. Angel Dream (No. 2) (Willie Nelson & Lukas Nelson)

In 1996, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released the soundtrack for the 1996 film She’s The One. Angel Dream (No. 2) was one of the songs on it. The Nelsons have opted for that song. Willie and Lukas do so good. The great voice of Willie Nelson and the virtuous style of his son just lead to one of the most lovely listens on this album.

12. Learning To Fly (Eli Young Band)

The Eli Young Band takes over the burden of doing their version of one of the biggest songs of Tom Petty’s musical heritage. There are steel guitars and some playful elements on the instrumental side. However, overall, the version stays close to the original – which I feel is a good choice.

13. Breakdown (Ryan Hurd feat. Carly Pearce)

The 2024 version of Breakdown is another duet. Ryan Hurd and Carly Pearce go for this song, which in fact has been the first single release by Tom Petty and his band. The two artists add quite some groove to the sound, the organ lines also give a nice new touch. Pearce is a bit more present in the second half of the track, which is definitely lead by Ryan Hurt.

14. Yer So Bad (Steve Earle)

This song has been the last single release of the Full Moon Fever album (1990). Steve Earle is doing the song in a rather traditional instrumentation, which does not feel outdated at all. Lovely one.

15. Ways To Be Wicked (Margo Price & Mike Campbell)

If you look into the discography of Tom Petty, you won’t find it likely. Petty and Mike Campbell wrote this song for a short-living country rock band, Lone Justice, who released the song in 1985. So cool to have Mike Campbell back in this song, which is having quite some speed and rock power. Margo Price takes the lead on the vocal side and does it excellently.

16. Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Midland)

Mary Jane’s Last Dance is one of these “you just have to do this version excellently” songs. The Texas country rockers Midland go for it. They stick to the plot of the song, but add a lot of Midland spirit to it. Nice result.

17. Free Fallin’ (The Cadillac Three feat. Breland)

The Cadillac Three and Breland are both artists, who I really highly appreciate and adore. They go for one of the biggest songs of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker, Free Fallin’ from the Full Moon Fever album. Especially the choral part of the song feels a bit more gentle than in the original. Cool one.-

18. I Need To Know (Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives)

The original of this one is a nice, fast Southern rocker. Marty Stuart and his band exactly go along this line. However, the steel guitar adds quite some country music flavor. Another fascinating listen.

19. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Rhiannon Giddens feat. Silkroad Ensemble & Benmont Tench)

That’s quite a line-up in the second last track. The version of the 1986 single is maybe the most special on the album. It feels like soul and gospel and let’s Don’t Come Around Here Now More feel very differently. However, the track which is driven by some percussion is really cool and touching in this style.

20. You Wreck Me (live, George Strait)

You Wreck Me has been the second single of the Wildflowers album. George Strait closes Petty Country with a live recording of this song. I love his version – and I love the idea of having a live version. Tom Petty’s music will never die. And there will be cool tributes – like this one!


Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty – My View

Tom Petty was a rock music genius. He truly deserved being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Transforming his music into country and country versions (and some other styles) simply keeps him and his music alive. This lineup of star artists help to keep the memory alive. I love it.

Favorite Song: Runnin’ Down A Dream


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