He co-wrote “Drink A Beer.” I know because my inbox is filling up with testimonials to Chris Stapleton. He’s got a vocal fanbase exceeding that of any artist who hasn’t broken through yet. To the point where I had to check him out.
And if the above video doesn’t close you, you don’t.
Cry, that is.
So there is hope. Although it seems to be centered in Nashville.
Yes, I know my audience hates Top Forty and wants to believe real music can still triumph. Chris Stapleton is testimony to this.
But he’s not completely unknown.
He cowrote Kenny Chesney’s number one single, “Never Wanted Nothing More,” which ironically was the track that got me into Kenny. There’s that one change…
Actually, Stapleton has had four number ones. Including George Strait’s “Love’s Gonna Make It All Right” and Darius Rucker’s “Come Back Song.” Hell, he’s had over 150 covers.
And most people still don’t know his name.
So put that in your I’m ready to be famous pipe. Those with no audience and no traction who are looking for their one big break.
You’d believe Stapleton would have caught his by now. He’s had multiple bands, including the SteelDrivers and the Jompson Brothers. And now he’s a solo act on Universal. And I’d like to tell you that song they’re pushing, “What Are You Listening To,” is a stone cold smash.
But it’s not.
It’s good. But it’s just a bit too polished, a bit too slick.
Oh, it’s close. If you’re a fan you’ll love it.
But if you’re not, you probably won’t be closed.
But this live video of “Sometimes I Cry”… Wow!
They talk about autotune, everybody’s trying to be perfect, but the key is to get it right.
And when it comes to music, it’s about humanity.
He’s picking his guitar and you feel like you’re right there, even though it’s on your screen.
Then he starts to sing.
Everybody thinks they’re a singer. And then someone like Chris Stapleton opens his mouth and you hear the raw emotion, the rich honey, but then comes the bark with the bite.
When Stapleton sings…”sometimes I CRY”…it’s like one of those moments on “Britain’s Got Talent,” where an unknown becomes an instant star. Imagine if Susan Boyle was a hit songwriter!
That’s how powerful this presentation is.
And when you’re this good, you instantly become beautiful, and desirable, because your insides shine.
You think you need to look like Rihanna and your vocal can be fixed in the studio.
And that’s one path.
But the one we really want to take is the one evidenced by Stapleton.
If he wrote this song…he must have lived it! How does a bearded, bear-like man decide to reveal his inner pain, how does he become so vulnerable?
That’s what we’re all looking for, vulnerability.
You can go to dinner and discuss what you did, but that’s only a set-up, leave it at that and it’s boring. You’ve got to get to the heart of the matter, how do you FEEL!
‘Cause every day that I walk around like I’m all right
I pretend to wear a smile on my face
Hiding your emotions, keeping them inside, it’s the American way.
Everybody keeps telling me to move on
That’s the second worst thing about a breakup. That your friends don’t want to hear about it. Oh, they’ll listen for a while, but then they want you to move on long before you’re ready to.
But I can’t seem to go anywhere without you
It’s like they’re sitting on your shoulder, stuffed in your back pocket, not only where you used to go, but places you know they’d like to be.
Sometimes I CRY
Alone in bed. Driving home. The waterworks are unexpected, and can’t be turned off, you ache, you don’t think you’re ever gonna feel good.
This is the essence. This is what we’re looking for.
And when Chris Stapleton distills this raw essence into a studio recording everybody will know his name.