Riley Green Singing Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” Is The Way To Cover A Country Classic

A person sitting in front of a wall with signs

You can’t ever go wrong with a little Merle.

Riley Green posted an acoustic version of him covering Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am,” and I have to say, Riley’s one of the few artists who can really sing the classics the right way.

I could listen to him sing, Merle, Johnny, Waylon, Willie and George (Jones or Strait, honestly) all damn day.

He has that neo-traditional sound to his voice, and obviously, a lot of respect for the artists who made the country music genre what it is.

And it’s not the first time he’s covered a country classic, either. He’s also done “Family Tradition”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, and another Merle Haggard song, “Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)” before.

Written by Sonny Throckmorton, “The Way I Am” was the lead single and title track on Merle’s 1980 record. The song peaked at #2 on the US Billboard Country Songs chart the year it was released.

It has been covered by a couple other incredible artists over the years, too, like Alan Jackson for his 1999 album Under the Influence and Cody Jinks on his 2016 album I’m Not the Devil.

While Riley’s been playing festivals this summer and is gearing up to hit the road with Dierks Bentley and Parker McCollum in a few weeks, he had some down time at home in Alabama between the shows and felt a little nostalgic:

“Made a pit stop in Alabama between shows. Somethin about bein home always takes me back to the old ones.”

No bells and whistles, backing band, or anything fancy… Just him, an acoustic guitar, and a damn good country song.

I could stand to see a whole lot more of this:

Merle’s original version:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock