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Country - Released December 1, 2017 | Mercury
His album Traveller was one of the best country discs of 2015. Over the years, Chris Stapleton has written for the the whole of Nashville (but not only Nashville!), signing hit after hit for Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Adele, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley, and co-writing with Vince Gill, Peter Frampton and Sheryl Crow. The native of Kentucky no longer has much to prove in terms of his songwriting ability… However, getting behind the mic was a different matter: his first solo album which he has record at the age of 37 had to be up to scratch. And it was. Sure, between 2008 and 2010 Stapleton had been at the helm of the SteelDrivers, a decent bluegrass group, but this time it was time for him to write his own record - under his name and no one else's… Traveller proved that Chris Stapleton possessed a truly gifted voice. From the ballads to the considerably more up-tempo tracks, he suited his songs from head to toe, sometimes even adding a touch of southern soul… Two years down the line, the songwriter is back with a superb follow-up: a contemporary country work that preserves tradition while remaining firmly in the present. After a flawless first volume in May 2017 (From A Room: Volume 1), the second volume has been released this December (From A Room: Volume 2)! Recorded in the lair of the famous RCA Studio A in Nashville where Elvis, Waylon Jennings and other legends hung out last century, this record brings out a more rootsy side from its author. Stapleton still sings divinely well, bawling like a wounded wolf when necessary, playing the southern soul lover if needs be, and rolling out small touches of sticky blues. In short, the bearded-man from Lexington slaloms perfectly between the very personal and the more commercial, and at the end of his winding road he has arrived at a record that is every bit as good as volume 1. © MD/Qobuz
Country - Released May 4, 2015 | Mercury
Distinctions Grammy Awards
Like many country troubadours, Chris Stapleton cut his teeth as a songwriter in Nashville, churning out tunes that wound up hits in the hands of others. Kenny Chesney brought "Never Wanted Anything More" to number one and Darius Rucker had a hit with "Come Back Song," but those associations suggest Stapleton would toe a mainstream line when he recorded his 2015 debut, Traveller. This new release, however, suggests something rougher and rowdier -- an Eric Church without a metallic fixation or a Sturgill Simpson stripped of arty psychedelic affectations. Something closer to a Jamey Johnson, in other words, but where Johnson often seems weighed down by the mantle of a latter-day outlaw, Stapleton is rather lithe as he slides between all manners of southern styles. Some of this smoothness derives from Stapleton's supple singing. As the rare songwriter-for-hire who also has considerable performance chops, Stapleton is sensitive to the needs of an individual song, something that is evident when he's covering "Tennessee Whiskey" -- a Dean Dillon & Linda Hargrove tune popularized by George Jones and David Allan Coe in the early '80s -- lending the composition a welcome smolder, but the strength of Traveller lies in how he can similarly modulate the execution of his originals. He has a variety of songs here, too, casually switching gears between bluegrass waltz, Southern rockers, crunching blues, soulful slow-burners, and swaggering outlaw anthems -- every one of them belonging to a tradition, but none sounding musty due to Stapleton's casualness. Never once does he belabor his range, nor does he emphasize the sharply sculpted songs. Everything flows naturally, and that ease is so alluring upon the first spin of Traveller that it's not until repeated visits that the depth of the album becomes apparent. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Chris Stapleton in the magazine