Jon Pardi tributes heroes in rollicking surprise EP, 'Rancho Fiesta Sessions'

Capitol Records NashvilleJon Pardi fans are in for a surprise: The singer dropped his new Rancho Fiesta Sessions EP today, an eight-track collection of songs pulled from his favorite artists’ discographies.

“All of these covers are of artists that I admire and I look up to,” Jon explains. “There are all kinds of great names and styles of songs on here — from legends. I think the magic and the fun of it all is in these eight covers of songs that I really like or grew up singing.

Unsurprisingly, classic country gold is a dominant theme on the project, with selections from George Strait, Joe Diffie, Dwight Yoakam and Merle Haggard. Jon delivers a faithful take on Diffie’s performance of “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” for example.

But the singer also looked outside the country genre for inspiration. He offers his interpretation of “The Waiting” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as a searing performance of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

The Rancho Fiesta Sessions songs were cut in one evening, as the product of a jam session with Jon’s touring band at his home in Nashville.

“We mainly did it to have fun and record, and it sounds like we’re in your backyard playing for you,” Jon reflects. “….It turned into something special because it’s a year where we are off the road, and we recorded it live in real time, out at my house.”

As for the EP’s title? Jon says that’s a nod to where it was recorded.

“I nicknamed my place out here Rancho Fiesta because it was fun and sounded uplifting,” he says.

By Carena Liptak
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