I feel like almost any cover Chris Stapleton does becomes an all-time great one, but this performance is just a little bit more special.
Today, the living legend Willie Nelson released a live album of sorts, which was recorded over the course of two days during his massive birthday celebration at The Hollywood Bowl in April of this year.
Officially dubbed Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 Live At The Hollywood Bowl, the live concert film is now available as a 2CD+Blu-Ray deluxe edition, a complete digital edition on streaming services and a 2xLP highlights.
And while there is so much amazing music included on the record, Chris’ performance of “Always On My Mind” is the one that I keep going back to.
Partially because it’s easily in my top 10 favorite songs of all-time, but also, because there’s no more powerful or potent voice in country music than Chris Stapleton, and his cover of this standard is mind-blowing and amazing.
I simply cannot get enough…
Of course, “Always On My Mind” is one of the red headed stranger’s signature songs, and was written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher and Mark James. It was actually originally recorded by Gwen McCrae as “You Were Always on My Mind” in 1972.
It became the title track to Willie’s 1982 album, and a monster #1 single on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart that year.
His version secured three wins at the 25th Grammy Awards in 1983, as Wayne, Johnny and Mark won Song of the Year and Best Country Song, and Willie won for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. More on that HERE.
Chris’ voice on this live recording is spectacular, and he delivers the entire song with such sincerity and heart that it really is one of the best versions I’ve ever heard.
When I tell you I’ve had it on repeat all day, and plan to keep it that way for the foreseeable future, that is not hyperbole…. I’m obsessed.
Do yourself a massive favor and check it out here: