Matt Koziol Delivers Impressive Cover The Willie Nelson Classic “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”

Matt Koziol country music
Matt Koziol

With all of the incredible country music out there, it’d be impossible to identify a single greatest country song of all time.

In my opinion, though, there a handful of elite songs that ought to inevitably find themselves in consideration, and one of those is Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

Taking a step back, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” isn’t a Willie Nelson original, though he undoubtedly boasts the most famous version. Originally penned by Fred Rose and recorded by Elton Britt in 1946, the song gained initial mainstream traction when Roy Acuff, a country music superstar at the time, released a version in 1947. Over the next few decades, the likes of Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Charley Pride, among others, tried their hand at recording the track, too.

None of these versions held a flame, though, to Willie Nelson’s recording of the song that landed on his legendary concept record Red Headed Stranger in 1975. A country music standard ever since, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” would become Nelson’s first no. 1 hit as a singer later that year, and earn him his first Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in that year’s edition of the awards ceremony.

While no version of the classic will likely ever challenge Nelson’s for the crown, plenty of artists have paid homage to the country music great by covering the song over the years. Most recently, Nashville-based artist Matt Koziol delivered a rather impressive cover of the track.

Included as the final track on his must-listen album Last of the Old Dogs released earlier this month, Koziol’s cover of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” is about as good as one can get, and he recently released a live acoustic video playing the song form a barn loft somewhere outside of Nashville.

Check it out for yourself here:

And here’s the original version, for reference.

It’s just too good…

A steady presence in the Music City for several years, Matt Koziol released three EPs and a handful of singles between 2014 and 2020, before he began releasing singles in 2021 for his debut album Wildhorse that hit streaming platforms in 2022. Well received by fans and critics alike, Wildhorse coincided with plenty of big time gigs on the road with Whiskey Myers and other high profile artists, and laid the foundation for what has the potential to be a breakthrough for Koziol this year.

Showcasing a bigger sound and some of Koziol’s best songwriting to date, his latest album Last of the Old Dogs, released earlier this month, is comprised of 13 tracks, including the “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” cover, and features collaborations with the legendary Vince Gill and 49 Winchester frontman Isaac Gibson. One of the best albums of 2024 thus far, Last of the Old Dogs is required listening for any country music fan. If you haven’t done so yet, here are a few of my favorites of the record to get you started:

“Last of the Old Dogs”

“Old Fashioned” ft. Isaac Gibson

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock