Like the rest of the world, I was introduced to Chris Stapleton through his performance alongside Justin Timberlake on the Country Music Awards.
Stapleton has such a rich, powerful voice that it’s a mystery why he has toiled away as a writer of hits for other artists without earning much attention as a performer himself. But that all changed in November.
With debut album Traveller, Stapleton has a hit on his hands, and deservedly so. The record is a catalog of traditional country and southern rock styles, mostly about the troubles of whiskey-soaked men. In addition to the usual country influences, I hear a little Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton as well as one of Stapleton’s professed idols, Tom Petty.
It’s tough to pick a favorite song from an album that’s solid start to finish, but ‘Parachute’ is the one I responded to first.
Street lights along the highway
Throwing shadows in the dark
And the memories keep on turning
To the rhythm of a broken heart
You only need a roof when it’s raining
You only need a fire when it’s cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I’ll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute
There’s a song that I remember
I never learned to play
And a lifetime of forgotten words
I never got to say
If you think you’re going down
Just know I will be around