Keith Urban caught flack from country purists for borrowing and manipulating the riff to Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” for his latest hit “Coming Home.” But that polarizing intro is nowhere to be found here, as Urban strips down the song to its bare bones for an acoustic performance.
It’s a particularly rhythmic version of “Coming Home,” and Urban’s vocal turn evokes the raw emotion of past hits like “You’ll Think of Me” and “Making Memories of Us.” Without the bells and whistles of the studio original – and guest singer Julia Michaels – the rendition highlights the core strengths of the song. It also doesn’t miss the “Mama Tried” sample, which Urban said came about organically when he spoke with Rolling Stone in April.
“It was really beautiful, how the whole thing was quite organic,” Urban said. “That sample drove what became the story in the lyric as well. I didn’t set out to write a song called ‘Coming Home,’ but hearing that sample in that context drove all of that out.”
Urban is currently on his Graffiti U Tour with Kelsea Ballerini and will play Salt Lake City, Denver and Albuquerque this weekend.