Country fans already know Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance's capacity for weighty, emotional songwriting from his song "Burden," which Keith Urban covered. Vance has worked with other big names in the genre, too: He co-wrote Miranda Lambert's "Pushin' Time" with Lambert and Natalie Hemby, and has also collaborated with Bonnie Raitt, Devin Dawson and more.

However, there's nothing quite like seeing his searing, emotional delivery live, which is why Vance dropped by the Taste of Country studio to perform an intimate version of "Cradled in Arms." The song comes off his 2019 album To Memphisand the singer tells Taste of Country that he wrote it as a Christmas present for his mother.

"My mom was such a worrier, such a natural born worrier," the singer explains. "She worries about everything -- if she has nothing to worry about, she'll worry about having nothing to worry about, you know."

Vance's mom has always doted on him. "I can never do any wrong in her eyes. Even if I killed someone, she'd go, 'Son, why'd you do that? You probably shouldn't do that, sweetheart,'" he adds. All jokes aside, his performance of "Cradled in Arms" not only reflects his personal relationship with his mom: It speaks to the universal feeling of having an unshakable bond with somebody that transcends all else. For Vance, those nearest and dearest relationships come in the form of family.

To Memphis is one half of a pair of companion albums Vance released in 2019, alongside From Muscle Shoals. Together, the two projects span a cross-section of America's musical landscape, taking the singer from the fabled grounds of one historic recording studio (FAME Studios, in Muscle Shoals, Ala.) to the next (Sun Studios in Memphis, Tenn.)

It's fitting that "Cradled in Arms" comes off of To Memphis, as Vance has said that not only did the Memphis singing style come to him a bit more naturally, but making the record reminded him of family in another way.

"The songs [I recorded in Memphis] made me feel a little bit like my dad, in a good way," he told The Boot earlier in 2019. "My dad's a little bit of a crooner, you know, so when I got to sing songs like "Have Me Maria," I just felt like my dad. And they're so easy to sing."

Vance's live performance of the song is one of two he recorded at the Taste of Country studio during AmericanaFest 2019. On Friday (Oct. 25), they'll share another performance, of a To Memphis song called "Malibu Jane."

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