Andy Grammer’s hit single, “Honey, I’m Good,” may be about staying faithful to his wife while he’s on tour, but the pop songwriter is more than willing to play the field when it comes to experimenting with genres. Which is why he recruited Eli Young Band to add some quick-step twang and Texas-tinged vocals to a country version of the song from his sophomore release, Magazines or Novels.
Swapping keys for guitar and boosting the harmonies up a notch, the song works surprisingly well as a modern country tune – something that could slide in nicely next to Jake Owen’s “Real Life” or Frankie Ballard’s “Sunshine & Whiskey,” where the Nashville influence comes through via a foot-stomping melody fused with pop hooks and appropriate for both honky-tonks and frat houses. Known for his easily digestible, every-day-dude anthems meant for flip-flops over wingtips, Grammer’s not the first of his kind to seek a little country duet action: In 2013, Hunter Hayes showcased Jason Mraz’s sugary, sing-talk vocals on “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me.”
Whether this is an indication of a poppier direction for Eli Young Band’s in-the-works sixth studio album – or just a playful diversion – is yet to be seen, but there’s certainly a sense of experimentation on their new EP, Turn It On, released in March. Though the Texas-based quartet love the craft of making a full-length LP, recording this four-song collection was a unique way for them to test the waters, and give fans exactly what they want: new music, right away.
“Are we the kind of guys that enjoy the liner notes because we appreciate reading those things? Yes, we love that,” Mike Eli told Rolling Stone Country. “But there comes a point where you realize that the fans want the music immediately. And that’s what’s really fun about making an EP. We got to put the music out a month and a half after we actually recorded it. We haven’t been in that situation since we were a regional band with no record label.”
To be fair, the Eli Young Band version isn’t the first country cover of “Honey, I’m Good” in existence – a Canadian singer named Eric Ethridge released a bluegrass-infused take via YouTube in April. No word as to whether or not Grammer was inspired by it, but, either way, he steered clear of dueling fiddles.