Parker McCollum Covers Tom Petty’s “American Girl” For Apple Music Sessions Feature

Parker McCollum country music
Courtesy of Apple Music

Parker McCollum is bringin’ it with these acoustic performances.

He is the featured artist for this week’s Apple Music Sessions series, where he reimagined a few of his own singles and an iconic hit by the great Tom Petty in “American Girl.”

Written by Petty and first included on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1976 self-titled debut album, “American Girl” is an all-time classic and widely considered some of Petty’s best work (and I’d have to agree with that too).

Parker also stopped by The Kelleigh Bannen Show where he revealed that he chose to sing that one because it’s so identifiable and beloved, noting that he rarely covers songs because he often struggles to find songs he feels will play well to such a large audience at his concerts:

“Everybody sang that song forever, and it’s such a massive classic hit. And, that opening lick is so, just identifiable with everybody.

I think every generation’s probably heard that song and probably knows the hook at some point or another. So, it’s just a fun song. We’ve always struggled to find covers.”

He also dug up an oldie from his fan-favorite 2015 The Limestone Kid record “High Above the Water,” which he says pulls inspiration from one of his musical heroes in John Mayer.

Parker explained that he wrote it looking in the mirror in about 30 to 45 minutes, saying he didn’t really even know what it was about but wanted to be “clever, poetic… and put together a good melody”:

“I remember the day I wrote that song, I had read something about John Mayer and how he’ll write songs looking in the mirror, playing guitar and write songs looking in the mirror. And, I just so happened to where I was living at this time…

I had the sliding closet doors like on your closets on the wall, like in an apartment, and all four sliding doors were big glass mirrors, floor to ceiling. And so, I stood there that day and looked in the mirror and wrote ‘Hive Above Water’ in 30, 40 minutes.

And I didn’t know what I was writing about. I didn’t know what the song was about. I was just trying to be a clever, poetic songwriter and put together a good melody.”

If you have Apple Music, you can go listen the full versions of each one there now, but if you don’t, you can listen to a large portion of them below, starting with “American Girl”:

Here’s a little bit of “High Above the Water”:

Parker’s single “Burn It Down” was also featured with an acoustic twist that I really love:

“American Girl”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock