The Steel Woods pay tribute to their roots — both geographically and musically — with a new cover of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ “Southern Accents.”
Released on next year’s Old News, “Southern Accents” turns Petty’s 1985 original into a Southern rock power ballad. The bridge, which the Heartbreakers treated so delicately, is repurposed as a launchpad for the first of multiple guitar solos, all of them woven around Wes Bayliss’s Stapleton-sized lead vocal. The song maintains that intensity throughout the final stretch, and if Petty’s version felt like a prayer, this feels more like a battle cry. It’s big and burly, too — a salute not only to Petty, but to those who combined Southern sounds with guitar-fired stomp before him.
Old News, which arrives January 18th, finds the Nashville-based Steel Woods firing off a few more covers, from Black Sabbath’s “Changes” to the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post.” The songs were recorded in Nashville and Asheville, North Carolina, as captured in the slow-motion snapshots that fill the new music video for “Southern Accents.”
Following a week at sea aboard the Southern Rock Cruise, the Steel Woods will kick off their Old News Winter Tour on release day in Nashville. From there, the tour circles its way through the southeast and midwest.