Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell Reveals Why Tom Petty Would Be “Really, Really Happy” with New ‘Petty Country’ Tribute Album

The star-studded album Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty got its release on Friday, June 21. Among the many noteworthy contributors to the 20-track tribute record was Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Videos by American Songwriter

Campbell, who’s featured alongside acclaimed singer/songwriter Margo Price on a version of the rarity “Ways to Be Wicked,” says he believes Tom Petty “would be really, really happy about” the album, particularly with regard to the list of stars featured who lent their talents to the record.

[Buy Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs Concert Tickets]

As Campbell explained in a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Petty “was proud to have country roots and I think he would like the record.”

Campbell, who, like Petty, grew up in northern Florida, told the website that a country-themed Petty tribute “made perfect sense” to him.

[RELATED: Listen to Margo Price’s New Version of a Tom Petty Deep Cut Featuring Heartbreakers Guitarist Mike Campbell]

“[W]e grew up in the South and we grew up around country music and there’s a lot of country music strings in the Heartbreakers’ music, I think,” Mike noted. “Tom wrote that character quite a bit. And I was just really excited, mostly because I want to keep the history and those songs alive and all these great artists doing his songs, it was wonderful thing.”

More About the Guest Artists on the Petty Country Album

As previously reported, among the many stars who recorded tunes for the album are Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Dierks Bentley, Wynonna Judd, Lainey Wilson, Marty Stuart, and Lady A. Petty & the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench also played on a track.

Campbell’s Favorite Songs on Petty Country

As for picking a favorite track on Petty Country, Campbell said, “I like them all.” He did single out a few though, including Stuart’s version of “I Need to Know,” Parton’s take on “Southern Accents,” and, especially, Price’s rendition of “Ways to Be Wicked.”

The 74-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer added, “[E]verybody did a bang-up job on all the songs. A lot of the artists, I hadn’t heard of them before, because I’m not in that world, but when I listened to it, I thought, ‘It’s good, these young whippersnappers have got it down.’”

Feelings About Petty Tribute Shows

Campbell has been hesitant to take part in any type of Petty tribute concert, but he told Ultimate Classic Rock he might now be open to such an event.

“I’m open to anything that honors the legacy of Tom and the band,” he said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but if it’s got integrity and it holds to the honesty that Tom and I helped build with the Heartbreakers … anything going forward that I feel that Tom … would like … I’ll say yes.

Campbell’s New Album with His Band The Dirty Knobs

On June 14, Campbell and his current band, The Dirty Knobs, released their third studio album, Vagabonds, Virgins & Misfits. The 11-track collection will feature guest appearances by Stapleton, Tench, Graham Nash, and Lucinda Williams.

Campbell and The Dirty Knobs’ 2024 Tour Plans

Campbell and The Dirty Knobs have a series of 15 North American summer tour dates scheduled. The trek kicked off June 21 in Skokie, Illinois, and runs through a July 16 concert in Toronto.

Tickets for The Dirty Knobs’ tour dates are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

Petty Country Track List:

  1. “I Should Have Known It” – Chris Stapleton
  2. “Wildflowers” – Thomas Rhett
  3. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” – Luke Combs
  4. “Southern Accents” – Dolly Parton
  5. “Here Comes My Girl” – Justin Moore
  6. “American Girl” – Dierks Bentley
  7. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – Lady A
  8. “I Forgive It All” – Jamey Johnson
  9. “I Won’t Back Down” – Brothers Osborne
  10. “Refugee” – Wynonna Judd and Lainey Wilson
  11. “Angel Dream #2” – Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson
  12. “Learning to Fly” – Eli Young Band
  13. “Breakdown” – Ryan Hurd featuring Carly Pearce
  14. “Yer So Bad” – Steve Earle
  15. “Ways to Be Wicked” – Margo Price and Mike Campbell
  16. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” – Midland
  17. “Free Fallin’” – The Cadillac Three featuring Breland
  18. “I Need to Know” – Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
  19. “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – Rhiannon Giddens featuring Benmont Tench
  20. “You Wreck Me” – George Strait

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

The Writer’s Block: Dave Stewart on His “Surrealist” Nature, Writing with Stevie Nicks, and Musical “Manifestos” with Annie Lennox

Sheryl Crow Criticizes Drake for Using AI To Bring back Tupac Shakur’s Voice

Sheryl Crow Criticizes Drake for Using AI To Bring back Tupac Shakur’s Voice