Retro-country newcomer Dillon Carmichael salutes the King of Rock & Roll with an intimate cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” posted in honor of the late icon’s birthday. Presley would have turned 84 on January 8th.
Dedicating the performance to his grandfather Harold, who he says “taught me to sing with these songs” in the video’s description, Carmichael leans into his neo-traditional reputation, presenting the tender ballad in raw acoustic fashion. With his commanding baritone on full display, the Kentucky native delivers the whole track in one uncut take, even leaving a few mistakes and vocal cracks for all to see. That only adds to the tribute’s air of honest personal reverence, though, as the talent adds a slash of Appalachian soul to Presley’s lovestruck classic.
Written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was recorded by Presley for the 1961 soundtrack album Blue Hawaii and would later become his traditional show-closing number. In 2018, Carmichael made his Dave Cobb-produced album debut with Hell on an Angel, a project that was named one of Rolling Stone’s 40 Best Country and Americana Albums of the year. Up next for Carmichael is a supporting gig on Aaron Lewis’ spring tour beginning February 1st. He’ll open a trio of dates for Dwight Yoakam in Illinois and West Virginia later that month.