MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Country Act to Watch: Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton is one of those long-time music industry veterans that not a lot of people have heard of, basically because most of his success to date has been found behind the scenes. Stapleton has penned no less than 150 songs that have been performed on label releases by the likes of George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Adele, Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley, to name a few. As a performer, he has three Grammy nominations to his credit as a member of bluegrass band The SteelDrivers, from whom he parted ways in 2010.

But on his own, Stapleton offers a unique, satisfying blend of country, bluegrass and southern rock, his raspy voice easily crossing the gap between southern drawl and blue-eyed soul. Recently signed to Mercury Nashville, Stapleton debuted his song “What Are You Listening To?” at CMA Fest in June, and officially released it as a single last week. Right off the bat, you can pick up on Stapleton’s masterful songwriting, only now it’s being carried by his own voice. It makes me wonder why we haven’t heard more from him as an artist before now. What. A. Voice. Seriously.

But better late than never. This song tells me this is Chris Stapleton’s time. And I, for one, cannot wait to hear what’s next.

The video below is a live acoustic performance of the song on a Philadelphia radio station; you can pick up the studio version at iTunes. Either way, Chris Stapleton needs to be on your radar.

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About the Author


Music blogger Rob Burkhardt has been a fan of country music since he was a child, cutting his teeth on the sounds of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Reba McIntyre and George Jones. In the words of the now-legendary Barbara Mandrell song, he was "country when country wasn't cool." Nowadays, Rob is both intrigued and excited about the mainstream crossover appeal of modern country, as seen in the success of artists like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum. Even so, Rob's personal tastes in country music remain "old school," tied to the great legends of country. When he's not blogging about country music, Rob Burkhardt holds a day job as a middle school teacher, and is an avid sports fan. He lives with his wife and two teenage girls in southern Ohio.

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Posted in: Country Music, Featured


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