The Promise - Sturgill Simpson

from the album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (2013)

The two essentials of a great record are the songwriting and the vocal performance.

One of the things I dig most in a cover song is when an artist strips a great song down to a crawl, making you feel every chord, every lyric.

On his extraordinarily beautiful cover of When In Rome's The Promise, Sturgill Simpson accomplishes all of the above, turning the new wave power pop tune into a modern country classic.  The vocals give me chills.  The rhythm guitar accents combine with the tasteful drums and magnificently restrained bass line to lock me into the groove, while my mind to wanders and wonders.  The orchestration and vocal dynamics let my spirit soar as I sing along...

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
I know that they don't sound the way I planned them to be
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you I will

On a personal note, although this may one-day become the quintessential version, I will always have a soft spot for the original.  It makes me smile, particularly when thinking of the final scene in Napoleon Dynamite.

Click Here to listen to Sturgill Simpson cover The Promise.

Click Here to watch the abbreviated final scene of Napoleon Dynamite.


  1.'re back. And in a big, sweet, reminiscent way.

    Welcome back.


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