The last decade has brought country fans some of the greatest songs in the genre’s history, including some of the most amazing covers of all time.
Covers can often be viewed as a gamble since they provide new takes on already popular tracks, but they often further showcase the greatness of a given song when done the right way. While typically honoring the original artists work, they often provide their own unique sound and style.
It’s important to mention that this listing only includes studio-recorded tracks. There are countless other incredible covers such as Cody Johnson’s You Look So Good In Love, but for the sake of continuity, I chose to leave it off.
With that in mind, here are some incredible studio recorded covers from the last decade:
Cover Me Up – Morgan Wallen
Wallen took this deeply emotional Jason Isbell tune from 2013 and made it feel completely fresh and new. Covering this song was definitely an interesting choice and it didn’t sit well with many Isbell fans. That being said, it’s worth mentioning that Wallen chose it out of respect for Isbell’s incredible songwriting.
Releasing Cover Me Up represented a shift in tone and direction for Wallen in his young career, following tracks such as Up Down and Whiskey Glasses. Covering this song showed that he was ready to show a different side of himself as an artist and it paid off massively. His version honors the original and, in some ways, elevates it with Wallen’s phenomenal vocals.
Seminole Wind – Luke Combs
Originally released by the great John Anderson in 1992, this classic country tune was re-imagined by Combs within a full album of tributes. Out of all the songs covered by well-known artists, Combs’ version of Seminole Wind really stood out.
He kept the same classic feel of the original, while adding his signature sound and a unique opening piano riff that gives the 90’s classic new life.
Heaven – Jason Aldean
In 2021, Jason Aldean released a cover of Bryan Adams’ number one hit from 1984, Heaven, as part of his tenth studio album, MACON. A bright spot on a somewhat disappointing project, this cover impressively makes the 80s pop song feel country and doesn’t stray away from Aldean’s on-brand sound from producer, Michael Knox.
His appearance on CMT crossroads alongside Adams over a decade ago gathered great praise after the two performed Heaven together on stage. Aldean’s fans had been calling for him to release a studio version for years and even though it took over a decade, he didn’t disappoint.
Paradise – Sturgill Simpson
Steering in a different direction, Sturgill Simpson’s take on this John Prine tune is an absolute gem. Originally released in 1971, Paradise has been covered many times by artists such as John Denver and Dwight Yoakam. Simpson’s version stays true to the original, leaning into the classic sound that made it so great. He successfully revisits the themes of the story, preserving that same authentic tone and charm the original possesses.
I Don’t Know A Thing About Love – Cody Johnson
Cody Johnson took this twangy, funky Conway Twitty song from 1984 and added his own unique flair to it. His version is featured on his seventh studio album,Human: The Double Album and it absolutely fits as a piece of the project in terms of style.
Johnson possesses a certain authenticity and originality that makes his voice feel like a perfect match for more classic country tunes such as this. His version of I Don’t Know A Thing About Love definitely stands out as one of the best covers released in the last decade.
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
Easily the biggest hit in this group at 14x platinum, Tennessee Whiskey was a no brainer to include.
One of the most notable country songs of all time, Stapleton’s version of the original David Allen Coe-recorded song has become a mainstay in the genre. Sitting on his 2015 album, Traveller, it combines Stapleton’s powerful, soulful vocals with the original lyrics written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove.
This song helped skyrocket Chris Stapleton into stardom- many of his fans discovered him through his phenomenal performance of the tune alongside Justin Timberlake at the CMAs in 2015. This is a prime example of how to take an older song, re-vamp it, and make it into your own great product.
Fast Car – Luke Combs
Seemingly, Luke Combs knows how to pick incredible songs to cover and Fast Car is no exception. The most recent cover in this group, his take on the Tracy Chapman tune is already 2x platinum and won “Single of the Year” at the 2023 CMA Awards last week.
Combs had been covering it for years in live shows, calling it one of his favorite songs of all time. He is able to successfully channel the compelling storytelling of the 1988 song and add his own feel to it, while respecting its original form. It’s a testament to Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs both, combining both of their talents for one amazing song.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – Charles Wesley Godwin
Charles Wesley Godwin’s rendition of John Denver’s famed Take Me Home, Country Roads is nothing short of fantastic. His distinct voice adds an interesting twist to the song while still remaining true to what makes the 1971 so amazing. Godwin’s live performances of the tune alongside Zach Bryan turned his version into somewhat of a “cult classic” amongst his fans. Covering something as loved as Take Me Home, Country Roads is a bit of a risk and Godwin is able to pull it off flawlessly.
Honorable Mentions: Feeling Whitney – Tyler Booth, Dancing In The Sky – Sam Barber, Honky Tonk Man – Jon Pardi,