By John Lindsay —
Before “Traveller”, Chris Stapleton would have been most known by those outside Nashville as the guy who wrote and sings backup on Luke Bryan’s mega hit “Drink A Beer.” This new CD should change that with a quickness. The voice dubbed “the Soul of Nashville” has put together a collection that harkens back to country’s very roots. If you are looking to dance, this probably should not be your first choice. But, if you’re looking for a heartfelt country listening experience…you’ve found it.
The songs are deep, poignant, and heartfelt, inspired by and recorded after the death of his father. The delivery is unique and passionate, a blend of rock, soul, blues, and classic country that puts his whole being into every word he sings. Songs reflecting on life, regret and loss using classic country metaphors woven into this Traveler’s experience and used to help cope with the losses and challenges of life. Lyrically, an interesting view into the grieving process. Sonically, if you were looking to reform the Waylon, Willie, Johnny & Kris Outlaw Country movement, this would be a great place to start. The stripped down arrangements only embellish the soulful quality of the vocals.
Some of the standouts include “When the Stars Come Out”, “Tennessee Whiskey”, the amazing “More of You”, the Kristofferson-esque “The Devil Named Music.” There is even the Kid Rock meets Willie Nelson “Might As Well Get Stoned”, reminiscent of some of the best outlaw country of the 70’s. While you may never hear “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore” on mainstream country radio, it is the perfect example of what country needs. A song that makes you stop what you’re doing and listen.
Chris Stapleton has been a Nashville underground sensation for awhile. He has written for everyone from Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan to Adele, but finally this album may bring his soulful classic country sound to the world. This “Traveller” is a rewarding journey into the soul of a man haunted by choices in life and reflecting on what it all means. I personally can’t wait to see where Chris Stapleton’s future travels lead. This is a great album to sit back, listen, reflect, and drink a beer.