SIERRA FERRELL has KITTY WELLS If I Was a Bottle, covered
by Walter Price
When most think about the female country artists that paved the way and challenged the male-dominated music charts, names like Patsy, Loretta, Tanya, and Reba easily come to mind. But I’ve argued for years in honky-tonks and dive establishments from Dallas, LA, NYC and stops in-between that Kitty Wells was the real deal hero that many have built their careers off of.
Remember, it was Wells, way back in the early 1950s, who took on the big boys of the era, most notably Hank Thompson, for chart supremacy, and won. And from that period on, the singer would go on to chart dozens of memorable singles and forge a whole new world for the mighty women of country music.
This is now and Nashville-based Sierra Ferrell covers one of Wells’ most beloved B-sides, “If I Was a Bottle“. This one is a classic drinking song through and through. Lamenting on what it would be like if the storyteller’s other half loved her as much as he (or she, none the matter) loved drinkin’. And while this song may be a deep cut, it’s a song I’ve heard so many try to redo to varying degrees of success. The reason Ferrell’s rendition works so brilliantly is that the singer respects the emotional weight of the original. Heartbreak is everywhere, knowing how to sing it properly, is an entirely different story.
This cover song comes just ahead of Ferrell releasing her debut Rounder Records LP, aptly titled ‘Long Time Coming’, expected August 20th. You can see the video for “If I Was a Bottle” as well a GemsOnVHS earlier performance of the single “In Dreams”, now at the GTC.
SIERRA FERRELL If I Was a Bottle
+ In Dreams
Artist photo and quote courtesy of Rounder Records
Sierra Ferrell performs “If I Was A Bottle” during the first night of her Pick Your Poison Virtual Concert Series on April 18, 2021
“With her spellbinding voice and time-bending sound, Sierra Ferrell makes music that’s as fantastically vagabond as the artist herself. Growing up in West Virginia, the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist got her start belting out Shania Twain songs in a local bar at the age of seven, and left home in her early 20s to journey across the country with a troupe of wandering musicians. “I met all these homeless kids who were traveling all over the place and playing amazing old songs, and I wanted to be a part of that,” says Ferrell, who played everywhere from truck stops to alleyways to freight train boxcars speeding down the railroad tracks. “The music they were making was so honest, so pure. It seemed important to bring that kind of music back, and it’s been with me ever since.” – bio