Sierra Ferrell Releases ‘Years’ from John Anderson Tribute Album

by Clayton Edwards
sierra-ferrell-releases-years-john-anderson-tribute-album

In May, we learned that Something Borrowed Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson was on the horizon. The album contains some of the best artists in the game today covering some of Anderson’s best work. Dan Auerbach, who co-produced the record with David Ferguson, said he wanted this album to be special. “It had to be the best singers with the best songs,” he said of choosing the lineup. He got exactly what he wanted. If you want to hear one of the best voices in country music today, look no further than Sierra Ferrell.

Much like John Anderson, Sierra Ferrell’s instantly-recognizable voice makes her stand out in the crowd. It would be hard to mistake her Dolly-meets-Loretta-on-an-island vocal delivery for anyone else. If you’ve ever wondered how her voice would fit a John Anderson tune, you can finally find out. Yesterday, Ferrell released her cover of “Years.”

Sierra Ferrell Delivers

John Anderson co-penned “Years” with Dan Auerbach, David Ferguson, and Patrick McLaughlin and made it the title track of his 2020 studio album. It’s a bittersweet song about the passage of time that strikes a really cool balance. Lyrically, the song conveys something akin to mourning for the years that have come and gone as well as hope for the future.

The original version of the song features a stripped-down piano and guitar arrangement that showcases Anderson’s voice. At the same time, it drives home the more somber aspect of the song. Sierra Ferrell’s version is a little more upbeat.

Sierra Ferrell really made “Years” her own. She picked up the tempo a little and let her Appalachian roots show with a bluegrass-tinged arrangement. The guitar, mandolin, and fiddle create the perfect backdrop for the West Virginia native’s vocals. More than anything, though, it’s her delivery that subtly shifts the feel of the song. There’s a measure of hope in her voice when she sings about the future that just isn’t there in the original.

These differences make the John Anderson and Sierra Ferrell versions of this song feel like two sides of the same coin. Their differences in age, perspective, and experience feed into their interpretations of the song. Listen to them back-to-back and you’ll see what I mean.

All in all, it’s a damn good cover of a great song. As usual, Sierra Ferrell delivered.

“Years” Lyrics

Verse
Those years
Look around
Up and down
They’re nowhere to be found
Like the wind
Old friends
They come and go again

Don’t look back in sorrow
Just hope you see tomorrow

Chorus
Those years
Everybody knows
You gotta let ’em go
And they kinda roll by
Like tears
Just a measure of time
Playin’ with your mind
Passin’ you by
Those years


Verse
You and me
Came to be
We raised a family
When we’re gone
They live on
To see what we won’t see
Don’t look back in sorrow
The children have tomorrow


Chorus
Those years
Everybody knows
You gotta let ’em go
And they kinda roll by
Like tears
Just a measure of time
Playin’ with your mind
Passin’ you by

Those years
Everybody knows
You gotta let ’em go
And they kinda roll by
Like tears
Just a measure of time
Playin’ with your mind
Passin’ you by
Those years
Oh

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