Few, besides Nashville insiders, had heard of Chris Stapleton until several months after his 2015 feature in Rolling Stone, and then, just a few months after that, he won three CMA awards (Country Music Association): Album Of The Year, New Artist Of The Year, and Male Artist Of The Year.
Stapleton has paid his dues and stayed true to his vision. None of that “flavor of the month” or hipster scene for him, he’s hard core Country in the the George Jones vein—exceptional style, a deep emotional well, and good pipes.
His second, follow-up album, “From A Room: Vol 1.,” is just out; he co-wrote all the songs, except for one, a rendition of Willie Nelson’s “The Last Thing I Needed, the First Thing This Morning,” which was a major Country hit some 35 years ago.
You can’t fault a man for covering a Willie Nelson hit—Stapleton emotes a lot in his version vs. Willie’s ironic delivery—-minor points—Stapleton is one of the few Country “traditionalists” and if that’s your thing, than “From A Room: Vol 1.” is a must. Volume 2 is scheduled for release later this year.
Chris Stapleton performs on the Jimmy Fallon show Monday night.