For his fifth album, Americana giant Chris Stapleton continues his success by sticking to what works… And it works!
We remember. The shock, the surprise, then recognition with a shower of awards from all American music authorities, including a Grammy and two Billboard Awards: Chris Stapleton’s first solo album, Traveller, released in 2015 and sold nearly 3 million copies, was a breath of fresh air for country music, a welcome return to craft musicianship and a more traditional Americana sound, something fans then found only on the fringes of the genre, where the production of the vast majority of “Made in Nashville” records all presented the same type of sound.
But besides the harshness of his guitars, there was this voice. Incredibly powerful, raspy, it rises very high, as his compatriots were able to discover when our man came, last winter, to sing The Star-Spangled Banner, the American anthem, during the Super Bowl final, a performance which raised him to the rank of icon. Better still, at the beginning of November he received a Country Music Association Award for best singer of the year, the same day of the release of his new album, Higher, an opus with a devilish Stapletonian sound, drowned in attacking guitars and depressing ballads like only countrymen know how to do them.
Although Stapleton got his start with the bluegrass band The SteelDrivers, new fans quickly jumped on the bandwagon after hearing his poignant rendition of the country classic, “Tennessee Whiskey,” which catapulted him to the top of all power bands. -play country stations from around the country. Since then, he has been recognized as a heavyweight in the genre, paving the way for younger artists, such as Luke Combs and Jelly Roll.
On his new, fifth album, released November 10, Stapleton takes an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. Once again, he tapped longtime collaborator Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, John Prine) to co-produce it, this time with his wife, singer-songwriter Morgane Stapleton. . He also asked some of Music Row’s best musicians to join the adventure, including pedal steel legend Paul Franklin (George Strait, Vince Gill) and new piano and organ genius, Lee Pardini (Dawes, Roger Waters); Stapleton handling acoustic, electric and slide guitars.
Find this article on Chris Stapleton in full in our issue 158, available on newsstands and via our online store.