While not many at Stars & Guitars here in Fayetteville had anything to complain about during his performance, Morgan Wallen has taken plenty of flack for his emotional cover version of the song “Cover Me Up” by multi-Grammy winning artist Jason Isbell.
The powerful and personal track that Isbell wrote for his wife/bandmate/amazing artist in her own right, Amanda Shires, has been lauded throughout the Americana and deep roots Nashville industries. But for a young artist that many have tried to classify more in the “Bro-Country” genre, it seemed like an unusual choice to handle in a fairly traditional format.
At his concert in Nashville last night, Morgan surprised some who may not quite have heard his version of the track yet, but prefaced it with a great explanation of how much Isbell’s original means to him.
Ok, now that I have service again I’d like to add 3 things:— Dave Paulson (@ItsDavePaulson) December 13, 2019
- Morgan Wallen gave the song a very good introduction (seen here)
- I’m not saying his cover is bad, it was just really surreal to see in this setting
- despite the reference I really don’t like Stranger Things pic.twitter.com/CquprMrAzq
Wallen has made no secret his affinity for the original version of the song, and he’s certainly never tried to take credit for writing it. The debate still rages on in country circles though, because many Isbell fans see his work as almost untouchable. Isbell himself has been vocal on Twitter about his support for Wallen’s version. But still, that hasn’t stopped the critics.
So that all came to a head last night when Wallen performed it in Nashville. Wallen is such a fan of the song, he even released an 8-minute short film version of his cover of the song that transforms the meaning a little bit from Jason’s ode to Amanda. Watch that below.