Chris Stapleton has worked behind the scenes of Music Row for quite some time. He’s written hits for mainstream artists like Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. He’s also showed his melodic diversity by penning songs covered by Adele, Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow. He’s also up for Song of the Year at this Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, for Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer.”
The man know his away around the craft to chart and to speak to the heart.
His first foray into the spotlight was as the lead singer and guitarist of the neo-bluegrass band The SteelDrivers from 2008–2010, where he was was nominated for three Grammy Awards as a member.
Chris Stapleton’s next act will be the release of his much anticipated debut “Traveler” (May 5th.) Not only will the album feature Stapleton’s tremendous talent but it will feature some of the best musicians going. If that weren’t enough for your hard earned dollar it’s notable that the album is produced by Dave Cobb, tha man at the boards for two recent stellar roots albums, Sturgill Simpson’s ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ and Jason Isbell’s ‘Southeastern.’
Last night, the singer-songwriter joined a long and prestigious list of country, Americana and roots musicins that have graced the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater apperaing as a musical guest for the Late Show with David Letterman.
Stapleton performed the title song, wrapping his big Southern soul beautifully around his wife and collaborator Morgane’s accompaniment. Backed by a steady, smooth cadence by Derek Mixon on drums and JT Cure on bass, and, notably, the whining to and from of Robby Turner on pedal steel (To Letterman likening the the skill to flying a helicopter is probably not far off. )
It’s both sad and startling to hear this much soul and subtle beauty in country music.
Stapleton will open for Eric Church on April 30th in Boston. He will begin his solo tour tonight in Dallas and will perform at Good Records on April 18th for Record Store Day before continuing on tour.