I’ve got this thing lately where I scavenge Spotify for genre-crossing covers. It started with indie-folk covers of popular ’80s hits, then quickly evolved to reggae versions and even tango versions of ’80s and ’90s pop songs.
Last week, I discussed my peculiar hobby with a friend of mine. She challenged me to find Metal covers of hit country songs… and I found quite a few. And what’s more, they’re pretty good! Check out my favourite three covers.
Volbeat – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Danish Metal band Volbeat’s 2008 version of Hank William’s I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry starts exactly the way you’d expect a Metal version of a country ballad to start, with a sweet, laid-back acoustic guitar at pretty much the same tempo as the original song.
You know it’s going to come, but 30 seconds into the song, the blasting of the fast-paced Heavy Metal riff still comes as an exciting surprise. If you ever get the chance to catch Volbeat live, this tight rocking version of a country classic will surely get the party started.
Megadeth, These Boots (Are Made For Walking)
Contrary to Volbeat’s cover song, the opening of top-of-the-bill Thrash Metal band Megadeth’s rendition of These Boots is not an immediate giveaway. It takes a good minute into the song until Dave Mustaine starts singing, that you start catching on that this is Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 number 1 hit.
Megadeth’s intro is nonetheless an impressive arrangement with a powerful guitar solo. After that, the only few seconds of rest the listener gets is when “these boots are gonna walk all over you.” Then it is headbanging time all through the thumping outro and until Mustaine’s final growl, “You think I’m kidding, don’t you?”
Their version goes way back to their 1985 debut album but is still great fun today.
DevilDriver, Whiskey River
The hardest song on this list is, without a doubt, DevilDriver’s rendition of Johnny Bush’s Whiskey River. In fact, you’ll need a bit of imagination to recognize Bush’s steel guitar and violin-clad traditional country ballad.
The original song is so chilled out that even Willie Nelson covered it on his 1973 album, Shotgun Willie. But it’s in there somewhere. If you like what you’re hearing, there’s more where that came from. Literally.
DevilDriver’s 2018 album Outlaws ’til The End has nothing but country covers on it. To create this roaring piece of filth, DevilDriver brought in some muscle, with Randy Blythe and Mark Morton from Lamb of God.
That’s it. There are plenty more cross-genre cover gems to discover, so give it a try on Spotify or YouTube. These songs are all copyrighted, but if you’re looking for great music, Metal, country, or any other genre to license and use in your video productions, you should definitely look into royalty-free music.