There are those certain songs that turn out great no matter who ends up singing them. Take the wonderful "You'll never leave Harlan alive", for instance.
I first heard this great song on Patty Loveless' 2001 album, Mountain Soul. She did an incredible job with it. Then I heard Brad Paisley's version of the song on his album, Part II, which was also released in 2001 - about a month prior to Patty's. Kathy Mattea also recorded the song and included it on her wonderful 2008 album, Coal.
I find all three versions of this song to be wonderfully recorded. I'd still consider Patty's version to be my slight favorite, probably only because it was the first one I heard - and maybe because Patty's one of my all-time favorite singers (but Kathy is too!).
So take a listen, and decide which one would be your favorite.
Patty Loveless' Version:
Brad Paisley's Version:
Kathy Mattea's Version: