A Look Back At Eric Church’s Rockin’ Cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Loew”

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t listened to Eric’s new song, “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones,” there’s a major twist at the end that I’m going to spoil.

So you should probably go listen to that one first…


Ok now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Holy shit. I was NOT expecting that ending to “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones.”

If you STILL haven’t listened to it (here come the spoilers), the Casey Beathard-penned tune tells the story of a young boy whose mom get pregnant at a Lynyrd Skynyrd show by a dad that he’s never met. But when the dad shows up at the mom’s funeral, we get hit with a completely unexpected twist: It’s Curtis Loew, the black man with white curly hair who played dobro and was “the finest picker to ever play the blues.”

Yes, it turns out “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones” is essentially written as a prequel to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1974 hit, “The Ballad of Curtis Loew.”

Definitely didn’t see that one coming. And that’s what makes for such a great song.

Well in light of the surprise ending from Eric’s new single, I thought it only appropriate to revisit his own version of “Ballad of Curtis Loew.” Eric originally recorded the cover for the 2010 album Sweet Home Alabama: The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it still pops up in his setlists pretty regularly.

It’s definitely up there with my favorite covers that Eric’s ever done, and now that we have some backstory on Curtis Loew thanks to Casey Beathard’s amazing songwriting, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing this cover in quite a few more live shows (when live shows can happen again).

Here’s the studio version:

And the new “Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones”