It’s no secret that I worked in Country Radio for 20 years, and therefore, have developed a love for the genre. But mostly a particular alternative branch of it (Think Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Zac Brown Band, Dixie Chicks–but also Steve Earle, Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams, Lyle Lovett, Todd Snider…..you know, artists who don’t blend in with the Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryans of the world–the ones who sometimes have no place on the radio dial). Once in awhile, the Grammys will recognize an artist for his or her excellence when country radio will not. Then, radio is kind of forced to. Enter Chris Stapleton.
Chris Stapleton fits no mold for airplay, nor does he try to. My guess is that he’d like to have his music heard in that way, but he’s not going to conform to some stereotype of a pretty boy in a cowboy hat, boots and tight fitting jeans even when sometimes these guys are all hat, no horse.
Having said that, I would like to tell you that you don’t have to worry Chris Stapleton. His music is alive and well as was evidenced by the crowd of about 15,000 fans packed into the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul on Saturday night (Oct 7, 20time 17). For the first time in a VERY long time, I attended a country concert as a fan— where I didn’t have to broadcast live, introduce the artist (oh, boo-hoo, I know, I know) or upgrade seats. That’s a pretty cool gig, if you can get it but my point is: I wasn’t working. I was playing, and I had nowhere else to be but in my seat–ALL night.
Stapleton is a Grammy award winning artist who has been playing music for a long time and doing it well (understatement). His songs might not be your jam, but there’s no denying that this is pure unadulterated talent. It’s as good as it gets. Think: old Skynyrd meets Stevie Ray Vaughn meets 38 Special. It’s southern rock/blues/country—it’s authentic.
He plays a mean guitar, writes some kick ass songs (check Adele’s albums “21” and “25” for credits and listen to Kenny Chesney’s #1 song Never Wanted Nothin More and Darius Rucker’s #1 Come Back Song.) Before I get too Fan-girl on the bit, I’ll let these videos from Saturday night speak for themselves. A lot of people are listening to Stapleton’s music (even though he’s lucky if his latest single “Broken Halos” gets buried in overnight radio play or some other low rotation)– he’s captured some momentum. Check out The Traveller and/or From a Room (two stand outs). And check out the videos below to see how he captivated the crowd in St Paul (his first time headlining a show in The Cities)
5 out of 5 Garys0