Delivering a modern take on an old classic, country singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly has released a cover of The Carter Family’s “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow,” simply titled “Weeping Willow.”
The heartfelt and melancholic cover replaces the twang and old-timey feel of The Carter Family’s version with forlorn guitar, a dash of minimalist synth and a booming drum clap, making the song seem much more anthemic than the original.
The Carter Family first released the track in 1927, and Kelly recorded his cover in the Carters’ home in Virginia before releasing the cover on the song’s 92nd birthday Friday. Kelly spent some time at the Carter house, which is near Poor Valley on the side of Clinch Mountain, and the singer-songwriter came out of his solitude there a changed person.
“I went there on a personal Mecca and I left profoundly moved and grateful for the peace and spirit that family instilled there,” Kelly said in a statement “On a stormy night in their living room, I started recording this song. It was recorded by the Carter Family 92 years ago and I’m proud to share my take on such an impactful piece of music history.”
The Carter Family have been an influence for Kelly throughout his career, and in 2018, Kelly and his wife, the wonderful Kacey Musgraves, recorded a version of Johnny Cash’s “To June This Morning” for the compilation album Johnny Cash: Forever Words.
“To say I’ve been influenced by the Carter Family is an understatement,” Kelly said in a statement. “When I first heard their 1927 recordings—considered the ‘Big Bang’ of country, folk and Americana music—I was changed forever; Maybelle Carter remains one of my greatest musical influences.”
Lately, Kelly has been riding the high of his 2018 debut album Dying Star with extensive touring. In May, the country-folk singer announced more tour dates set for September and October.
Listen to Kelly’s cover of “Weeping Willow” below and revisit his 2019 Paste Studio session beneath that. You can also view the “Weeping Willow” single art further down.
“Weeping Willow” Single Art: