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The Band Perry, ‘Gentle on My Mind’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Gentle on My Mind
Republic Nashville

The Band Perry do what one should do with a song as precious as Glen Campbell’s ‘Gentle on My Mind.’ The sibling trio put their stamp on the classic while staying true to the spirit of the story and the singer. Fans young and old will instantly recognize this track.

Kimberly Perry and a sidecar banjo give this song the surge of energy it needs to still sound new after hundreds of alternate versions and 47 years. Find the Band Perry’s version on the soundtrack to the ‘Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me’ movie, set to release soon.

It’s not clinging to the rocks and ivy / Planted on their columns now that bind me / Or something that somebody said / Because they thought we fit together walking,” the newly married Perry sings.

It’s just knowing that the world will not be cursing or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find / That you’re moving on the backroads by the rivers of my memory / And for hours you’re just gentle on my mind.”

Dig deep into these lyrics to find a masterpiece that might be too strong for country radio today. We’ve homogenized some, leaving songs that require two or four or six listens at the side of the highway. The Band Perry might have been the last to really stretch the imagination and ask fans to wonder, “What is she talking about?”

“I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’, cracklin’ caldron in some train yard / My beard a rustling, cold towel, and a dirty hat pulled low across my face / Through cupped hands ’round the tin can / I pretend to hold you to my breast and find / That you’re waiting from the backroads by the rivers of my memories / Ever smilin’, ever gentle on my mind.”

It’s difficult to go gaga for a cover song, but KP, Neil and Reid do about as good of a job as one can in recreating this masterpiece. There’s no awkwardness or sense they were pushed into doing something. The musicality of the song, and the depth of its lyrics, could fit into their catalog today.

Why Fans Will Love It: The Band Perry capture the spirit of Glen Campbell’s original to do him justice. In singing ‘Gentle on My Mind,’ they stay true to his spirit.

Key Lyrics: “And it’s knowing I’m not shackled / By forgotten words and bonds / And the ink stains that are dried upon some line / That keeps you on the backroads / By the rivers of my memory / That keeps you ever gentle on my mind”

Did You Know?: This oft-covered song is actually a cover song itself. Glen Campbell heard songwriter John Hartford’s version and decided he needed to cut it. Obviously, the country legend’s version was a bigger hit, but Hartford’s version was not unknown.

Listen to the Band Perry, ‘Gentle on My Mind’

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