Country superstar Chris Stapleton wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on his new album Starting Over. Listeners might not even realize they’re not all his unless they read the fine print of the credits. He picked three extremely deep cuts to cover, and they fit right in with his own compositions. Two are by the great singer-songwriter Guy Clark, who passed away a few years ago (Steve Earle recorded an entire tribute album). And one is a later solo song by John Fogerty.
Guy Clark has a few songs that get covered a lot in Americana circles: “Desperados Waiting for the Train,” “L.A. Freeway,” etc. Stapleton dug deeper, tackling 1988’s “Old Friends” and 1996’s “Worry B Gone.” He said of the latter in an interview with The Tennessean, “There’s two things I like to find on a record. One is a shuffle and the other one is a song about smokin’ pot. That song can do both.”
He dug deep on his Fogerty cover too, eschewing Creedence Clearwater Revival classics or even Fogerty solo hits like “Centerfield.” Instead, he picked “Joy of My Life” off Fogerty’s 1997 solo album Blue Moon Swamp. Cover songs database SecondHandSongs doesn’t list any prior covers of this song – a slight exaggeration with a few on YouTube, but he certainly seems to be the first prominent artist to ever tackle it.
Listen to all three covers below, first Fogerty and then the two Clarks.