HELLO JUNE has JOHN DENVER – Country Roads, covered
by Walter Price
The way each individual can interpret a song is all the magic. Take John Denver’s seminal 1971 single “Take Me Home, Country Roads“; is a song that poured out of my Mother’s old Pontiac 8-track player as we tried to find a place to sleep on far too many occasions. The fantasy of some far-off place with beautiful tree-covered mountains felt like heaven if not a world away. Peace. Something hard to find in those trying times. And the song has stuck with me in a very special way ever since.
And while there are more covers than one could shake a stick at, a couple have been well received by me. Olivia Newton-John’s gospel-country rendition was quite the treat (partly due to my adolescent crush, I assume), and the more recent redux by Brandi Carlile is haunting ear candy. The same song, but heard and then retold in two very diverse manners.
From Hello June’s contender for Album of the Year, “Artifacts”, we can add a third heady version that, again, is narrated from a vastly distinct if not daunting societal viewpoint. Speaking about the LP and this cover as well, Sarah Rudy is quoted, “West Virginia is just a piece of who I am—Being raised in Appalachia, most everybody has known someone who has been affected by the drug crisis. A big thing that weaves through this album is when you grow up in such an area, you realize life is short.” Well, my childhood idealized images and continued fantasized versions of WV have now been repainted, once again. Kudos.
You can stream Hello June’s weighty “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, here at the GTC.
(Side Note: I’ve now been to WV several times and it is a difficult balance of beauty and devastation, pure Americana. If you will.)
Hello June Take Me Home, Country Roads
Cover photo and artwork via Bandcamp // Quotes via All Eyes Media
‘Country Roads’: Written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver
Arrangements by: Sarah Rudy and Roger Alan Nichols
Executive Producer: Andy Rubin
Produced, Engineered, and Mixed: Roger Alan Nichols
at Bell Tone Studio in Nashville, TN
Production assistant: Jesse Brady
Mastering: Richard Dodd
“If you were to take little bits of my life and put them into mason jars on the wall, it would feel like this album. These are stories from different pieces of my life. I was just allowing the songs to define the journey.” – Sarah Rudy