For a band of Brits who formed one of the greatest rock groups in history, the Rolling Stones’ country roots run deep. One of the Stones’ most traditional forays into country music is the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards-penned ‘Far Away Eyes.’
Featured on 1978’s Some Girls, the song includes heavy use of pedal steel and Jagger’s exaggerated Southern accent. It champions the Bakersfield sound made famous by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.
In a Rolling Stone tribute to Merle Haggard, Keith Richards credited alt-country legend Gram Parsons with giving him a crash course in country music appreciation. “Gram knew so much,” Richards told Rolling Stone. “Gram explained a lot about Merle and the difference between Bakersfield and Nashville country.”
Much like Parsons’ “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man,” “Far Away Eyes” takes a sometimes humorous look at southern masculinity while still staying true to the soul of classic country.
Throughout the years, the Rolling Stones have incorporated country and roots music into their collective catalog and individual projects. Last year, Mick Jagger joined Don Henley and Miranda Lambert on a cover of Tift Merritt’s “Bramble Rose” for Henley’s country album Cass County. The perennially touring group also invited Brad Paisley to open their Nashville show at LP Field during their 2015 Zip Code Tour.