Single Review: The Band Perry, “Gentle On My Mind”

The Band Perry Gentle on My Mind

“Gentle On My Mind
The Band Perry
Written by John Hartford

The Band Perry’s Grammy-winning cover of Glen Campbell’s classic “Gentle On My Mind” (the trio’s contribution to the soundtrack of the recent I’ll Be Me documentary on Campbell) is an absolute delight. It feels fresh and energetic, but you don’t get the sense that they’re going to needless lengths to modernize or reinvent it.

Kimberly Perry gives a sweetly restrained performance that hits the right notes both technically and in terms of interpretation. While her connection to the Campbell version is discernible, her take doesn’t come across as a karaoke-like attempt at a re-creation. The trio brings plenty of their own style to the affair, their strong picking prowess amply displayed with prominent acoustic instrumentation.

What really makes the cover work is that everything about it feels so natural and unaffected. More than anything else, it feels like a Band Perry single – impressive for a cover of such a beloved song. How refreshing to hear a cover stay so true to the spirit of the original song, but without giving the impression that the act is trying to be anything other than what it is.

Grade: A-


  1. I still like the original Glen Campbell version better. I have the “Gentle On My Mind” LP and “Gentle” along with the Jimmy Webb song “Galveston” are my favorite GC songs. But I have to agree that the Band Perry did a good job covering this great song.

  2. Yes, good for The Band Perry for covering this song and doing a good job with it. I love the Campbell version, but I also like John Hartford’s (ths songwriter) version a lot too. I guess it’s just a great song all around.

  3. What a shame that the great Glen Campbell had to get Alzheimer’s disease before so many people, myself included, decided to go back and take a listen and realize what a treasure he and his music have been to our lives. My respect to those who never left him behind and always had his songs in their cd, phonograph, cassette player, or ipod.

    While nothing will ever sound better than Campbell’s version in my opinion, I do think TBP did a very nice cover of the song. I don’t really get their style of music, but I appreciate their talent, originality, and gusto. This band is an original – they have their own unique sound and are brave enough to try things other bands don’t even think about tyring.

    Here’s to an incredible song, an icon who sang it, and the band who brought it back to radio.

  4. I think it is an even greater shame that Glen Campbell was largely forgotten by the majority of music fans all around, country, pop, folk, and rock alike, until his Alzheimer’s condition was made public, which just goes to show the short attention fans of much of today’s music-listening public in my opinion.

    While I’m not exactly wild about Kimberly Perry’s voice, I do think that her and the Band Perry’s version of “Gentle On My Mind” is as good and original as it could possibly be, given the state of country music in the era of “bro country.” And it does fit with both the band’s sound and the song’s origin, which I think is more or less of a bluegrass nature anyway.

    This song has had a ton of cover versions over the years, incidentally–most notably Elvis (on his landmark 1969 album From Elvis In Memphis), Aretha Franklin, Lucinda Williams, and Terri Clark, so you’ve still got a lot of artists out there with good taste (IMHO).

  5. It was poignant that they won on the same night as Glen.

    I will say, to Erik’s point, that fuzzy memories go both ways. Hearing Miranda Lambert go off on Chris Brown being part of the Grammys after his assault on Rihanna, but making no mention that the Glen Campbell tribute on the same night was lionizing a man who’d done the same thing, was surprising to me.

    Kanye shoulda said something about that!

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