Jamey Johnson & Chris Stapleton’s Cover Of Waylon Jennings’ “Luckenbach, Texas” Is Pure & Simple Country Music Perfection

Chris Stapelton Jamey Johnson country music
Youtube/Taylor Hendrix

What a duo.

At a benefit show in Nashville at 3rd and Lindsley back in 2020, two country powerhouses in Chris Stapleton and Jamey Johnson teamed up for a rendition of Waylon Jennings’ hit “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).”

In fact, that song was released on this date in 1977, and has remained a country standard and fan-favorite ever since. Chris and Jamey gave their rendition a bit of a soulful, bluesy touch and slowed down the production a bit compared to the original, but it simply doesn’t get better than hearing those two singin’ together in my book.

“Luckenbach” was written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, and recorded by the one and only Waylon Jennings, along with a little bit of vocal assistance from his friend Willie on the official studio version. Waylon released it in April of 1977 as the lead single from his Ol’ Waylon album.

The song shot to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, but Waylon actually hated the track and didn’t like singing his own name in the lyrics.

Waylon said himself in his 1996 autobiography, Waylon: An Autobiography, he believed the song succeeded like it did for a simple reason, though:

“Every state has a Luckenbach; a place to get away from things.”

Fair enough…

He also remarked that it’s important to remember that if a song is not your favorite, it’s always a possibility it might become a hit and you’ll have to sing it night after night forever:

“Just remind me when I’m picking singles from now on that I got to sing that motherf*cker every night.”

Classic Waylon.

“Luckenbach” went on to become a country standard and one of Waylon’s biggest hits, and is beloved by generations of country fans to this day.

And I know the song wasn’t Waylon’s favorite, but I’d like to think he would’ve at least loved this cover… pure and simple country perfection from two of the best in the business:

And while you’re here, check out the live version from The Highwaymen’s epic American Outlaws: Live at Nassau Coliseum show in 1990:


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock