I always look with interest when there’s a new Hank Williams cover released, as the brilliant simplicity of his songs means there’s plenty of room for an artist to add their spin on the track. William Lee Golden of The Oak Ridge Boys has released his version of Williams’ classic hit “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” for his upcoming album Country Roads: Vintage Country Classics.
We already counted down the 50 Best Cover Songs of 2018 but, inevitably, many of our staff’s personal favorites get left off. So, before we begin scouting for what might become the best cover of 2019, we share the best of the rest, an unranked hodgepodge of worthy covers that only just missed our year-end countdown.
For decades, Tennessee’s Oak Ridge Boys have made a living singing songs about drinking, cheating and “late night benedictions” for Saturday-night cowboys, while also churning out good-old-fashioned gospel music for those eager to repent on Sunday. On their new single, a cover of Brandy Clark’s “Pray to Jesus,” the country quartet covers all those bases. The track will be included on the group’s forthcoming album 17th Avenue Revival, due out in mid-March.
Clark is a country singer-songwriter who has penned songs for numerous A-list Nashville artists. She co-wrote “Pray to Jesus” with singer Shane McAnally and included it on her 2013 album 12 Stories. The lyrics are a tribute to the idiosyncrasies of American faith, describing people “From California to Kalamazoo,” who, as she puts it: