Written by Bruce Robison
A cappella and sometimes country group Home Free are previewing their upcoming set with a cover of Bruce Robison’s “Travelin’ Soldier,” which was a No. 1 country hit for the Chicks back in 2003.
They sound beautiful on the record, borrowing more from the harmony-laden Chicks cover than the stark Robison original recording. Of course, without the bluegrass twang and heartache harmonies, the lyrics don’t pack quite as much of a punch, but it’s still a pleasant listen.
One big change is that they updated the lyrics to be about a female soldier heading off to the Middle East, leaving behind a loyal young waiter who still plays the piccolo in the marching band. This allows for the setup of the third verse to remain intact, but it doesn’t work quite as well as its original Vietnam setting. It comes off as an anachorism.
It’s still worth checking out for fans of the group, as well as of earlier recordings of “Travelin’ Soldier.”