Recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with additional production at The Castle and Blackbird Studio), Traveller was produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) and recorded by Vance Powell (Jack White). In addition to renditions of Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove’s “Tennessee Whiskey” and Don Sampson’s “Was It 26,” the album features twelve original songs, including fan-favorite “Sometimes I Cry.”
Chris Stapleton s Traveller to Be Released This Spring
By JON CARAMANICA
FEB. 20, 2015
At the 2013 CMA Awards, Luke Bryan performed Drink a Beer, probably the most melancholic number of his brawn-and-booze career. He sat on a stool, surrounded by smoke, in a noncommittal T-shirt and jeans and sang about losing a loved one with a tender, lovely flutter in his voice. He seemed like a man in pain. You wanted to give him a hug.
Just before the first chorus, the camera panned back, revealing a man in a weathered leather cowboy hat and full, thick, long beard hovering in the background. Mr. Bryan began to set the table for the song s emotional reckoning: Don t feel like going home/So I m gonna …
And then came the ghost in the rear, singing in devastating harmony with Mr. Bryan loud to his soft, agitated to his wounded, twangy to his clean, scratchy to his smooth: … sit right here/on the edge of this pier/and watch the sunset disappear. If you listened to Mr. Bryan sing that part alone, you d think that was a sad, lonely act. But listen to his background singer alone, and it would sound searching, frenzied, almost frightened.
That was Chris Stapleton singing behind Mr. Bryan. Mr. Stapleton was one of the writers of that song, along with other songs that cut to the emotional quick sung by Josh Turner ( Your Man ), Darius Rucker ( Come Back Song ), Kenny Chesney ( Never Wanted Nothing More ) and more.
And Mr. Stapleton has, for years, been a voice in search of a spotlight. Once the frontman of the bluegrass band the SteelDrivers Adele covered a SteelDrivers track, If It Hadn t Been For Love Mr. Stapleton has put in work in a rock band, the Jompson Brothers, and plenty of time in Nashville songwriting rooms.
Now it s his turn. After a false start with What Are You Listening To?, a debut single that fizzled, Mr. Stapleton is arriving this spring (May 5) with his debut solo album, Traveller (Mercury Nashville). On this howling, earthy, spacious album, Mr. Stapleton s voice is liquor-thick and three-drinks limber. That s not the modern country model of manliness, which is preening and glossy, but a reminder of the genre s haggard strain that long predates it. –NY Times