Chris Stapleton Before the 2015 CMA’s


The second I heard Chris Stapleton and his belting voice, my ears perked up, almost like my dog Mealle’s ears orbit her head when a phone rings.    Deep, emotional, raspy, and something in it’s tone that reminded me of a time well before I was born.  A time well before Chris Stapleton was born.

I Did Some Research

A voice doesn’t hit me like that often.  Lets face it, I listen to lots – tons – ridiculous – life altering amounts of music.  I still have an easy list of voices that pop into mind as greats.  I set the bar Joe Cocker high.  Chris had really grabbed my attention.  I was listening to the self titled album by The SteelDrivers, which by the way, I believe was a group full of amazing talent from all musicians and vocalists.  Chris Stapleton, the lead guitarist and vocalist, was absolutely a stand out.

Chris Stapleton Is More Than a Voice

I jumped online to find an image of Chris.  There are times where you see a musician for the first time and they look nothing like what you expected.  This wasn’t one of those times.  In this case Mr. Stapleton looked much like he sounded.  A bit dirty and unkempt, exactly like the roaring scream he would project on songs he sang.  Long beard, long hair, and it seemed just by looking at him, a long list of stories with themes of whiskey and high grass in the fields of his native Kentucky.

What really drew me to Chris Stapleton, was his story.  He had moved to Nashville years and years before.  He was a songwriter, with credits writing for some big names in the country realm.  A real talented musician.  He could write, he could play, and he could SING!  He wasn’t the pretty polished Ken doll image Country Music had started to mass produce over the years.  He was the face of how I felt Country and Bluegrass looked in my mind, and the voice of how it sounded as well.

You Have Got to Hear This

First, as is almost always the case, I played some songs for my wife.  “You have got to hear this band The SteelDrivers!  The lead singer Chris Stapleton is amazing!” I told her.  She whole heatedly agreed.  The next The SteelDrivers album was out soon, and just as good.  Their music became a part of my everyday rotation.

No More The SteelDrivers

Well, time went by as it always does.  I was many an instagram post deep sharing my obvious fanboy relationship with Chris Stapleton when I got the news.  The SteelDrivers had broken up. I nearly fell into a black hole of chocolate, my favorite blanket, and Netflix binge watching, but tried to stay strong. Then the real kicker, Chris Stapleton came out with his first few songs as a solo artist and I wasn’t a fan.  Actually, I kind of hated them.  What had happened!  Why Chris!

Traveller

Finally, Chris Stapleton released his new album Traveller, and the first time I heard it I released a sigh of release. He kept it country and roots, and made an absolutely amazing album. I wasn’t surprised at all that he won vocalist of the year at the CMA’s. It had known he deserved it for years.

Justin Timberlake, as always put on an amazing show!  I think however, that the best part is the new ears that will fall upon Chis Stapleton’s music.  I hope all of the new fans enjoy his music as much as I have for years.

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Bear Cole has worked just about every job in the music industry. He is a Songwriter, Musician, MC, and Producer. He is a certified Audio Engineer, has worked in studios, promoted shows, managed bands, worked at record stores, and owned a record label. However, before all that he was just a music fan. His love for music continues to drive his pursuit to save the good stuff in any way he can. Whether it is with writing and reviews, or as a listener. Bear writes for his own music blog at TheUnhype.com. When he isn’t writing about music or making it, you will find him hiking, fishing, or driving around on a dirt road somewhere near his home in Flagstaff Arizona.