Jon Pardi's 'Ain't Always the Cowboy': Listen - Rolling Stone
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Jon Pardi Reins in Wanderlust in New Song ‘Ain’t Always the Cowboy’

“It ain’t always the cowboy that rides away,” sings the traditional country star in the latest track off ‘Heartache Medication’

George Strait famously sang about romantic restlessness in his show-closing signature “The Cowboy Rides Away,” but Jon Pardi upends the idea of the impossible-to-fence-in rambler in his new song “Ain’t Always the Cowboy.”

Opening with plaintive fiddle, the mid-tempo ballad sets a scene of leaving, but here it’s the woman who’s lighting out for greener pastures, leaving her man alone and lonesome. “It ain’t always the cowboy that rides away,” sings Pardi in the pay-off line, lamenting his lover’s “tumbleweed heart” and her need to go searching and running.

“Ain’t Always the Cowboy,” written by Brandon Kinney and Josh Thompson, is the latest taste of Pardi’s upcoming album Heartache Medication, following the May release of the title track. The California country singer also appears on Thomas Rhett’s salute to a cold one “Beer Can’t Fix,” off Rhett’s new album Center Point Road.

Pardi is on the road this summer with Dierks Bentley and also playing select festivals. He’ll launch his headlining Heartache Meditation Tour with Riley Green on October 1st with back-to-back shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Heartache Medication is Pardi’s first album in three years and follows up 2016’s California Sunrise. His third studio album for Capitol Nashville, Heartache Medication arrives September 27th.

In This Article: Jon Pardi


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