Mercury Nashville …………
First class debut from respected Nashville songwriter
With a string of hits penned for several of Nashville’s greats, veteran songwriter Chris Stapleton has come up with something of a gem for his long overdue first album. TRAVELLER was released in the States earlier in
2015 and peaked at number two on the US country charts. His gravelly vocals, reminiscent of a young Guy Clark, are perfectly suited to the eclectic mix of Americana, country soul and gentle ballads.
The theme veers from hard drinking to lost loved ones and affection for his Emmylou sound-a-like wife Morgane who chips in with some exquisite backing vocals. Stapleton throws everything into several Americana anthems; The Devil Named Music features the famed Mickey Raphael on harmonica whilst he really rocks on Outlaw State Of Mind.
The decibel levels are raised even higher for the live rendition of Sometimes I Cry where the artist must have been in danger of breaking blood vessels as he screamed his way through what is the closing track. I felt Stapleton was at his best on the gentler numbers; Whiskey And You, Nobody To Blame and the standout track More Of You where wife Morgane almost steals the show with her gorgeous backing.
With 14 tracks spanning some 63 minutes, the artist believes in giving value for money and fans of ‘modern’ country music will no doubt be eager to add this one to their collection. John Roffey